Jill Kolodner | March 29, 2022 | Car Accidents
Most states have minimum liability insurance requirements for drivers. Maryland requires drivers to carry liability insurance in the minimum amounts of:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $15,000 in property damage insurance
Even though it is the law, some drivers choose to drive without insurance. Therefore, if you are hit by an uninsured driver in Baltimore, you might assume that you cannot recover any money for your losses and injuries.
However, that is not the case. You could have several options for receiving compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver in Baltimore. First, it is important to know what to do after an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver in Baltimore
If your car accident involves an uninsured driver, treat it like you would any other traffic accident in Baltimore. Take steps to protect your legal right to compensation for your damages.
Our Baltimore car accident lawyers suggest the following steps:
- Report the accident – Call 911 to report the accident and create an official traffic crash report. Wait at the accident scene for the police to arrive.
- Document the accident scene – Take pictures of the vehicles, including their location and the damage to each vehicle. Make a video of the entire accident scene, including street signs, skid marks, traffic signals, etc.
- Do not admit fault – Never apologize for the accident or admit fault, even if you think you may have contributed to the cause of the crash. Instead, let an attorney investigate to identify the cause of the accident.
- Never accept cash – Do not accept money from an uninsured driver to settle the accident. You don’t want to jeopardize your chance to pursue an uninsured motorist claim or other legal actions.
Do not refuse medical treatment at the accident scene. It’s important to document all injuries for an accident claim. If you do not go to the emergency room, see a doctor as soon as possible. Delays in medical care could make it more difficult to recover a fair settlement amount.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Maryland requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of uninsured motorist coverage.
Every car insurance policy must contain minimum limits for uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of:
- $30,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $15,000 for property damage
The purpose of uninsured motorist coverage is to compensate the driver for damages caused by an uninsured driver.
To recover compensation under your uninsured motorist policy, you have the burden of proving:
- The other driver did not have insurance coverage;
- The other driver caused the car accident; and
- You sustained injuries due to the car accident.
If you can prove these elements, your insurance provider should compensate you for your injuries and damages caused by an uninsured driver. However, it may not be as simple as filing a claim with your insurance company to receive the compensation you deserve.
Filing an Insurance Claim With Your Uninsured Motorist Insurance Provider
After an accident with an uninsured driver, notify your insurance provider of the accident. Your insurance company should assign a claims adjuster to investigate the accident. The claims adjuster also determines the value of your damages.
Before filing an uninsured motorist claim, keep the following things in mind:
- You have the burden of proving that the other driver caused the crash. The insurance company might dispute liability.
- The claims adjuster does not work for you. Instead, the insurance adjuster works to limit the insurance company’s liability.
- An adjuster may accuse you of exaggerating the extent of your injury.
- Your insurance company may claim that you did not report the claim promptly or seek medical treatment to mitigate damages.
- The insurance adjuster might try to blame you for the accident to avoid paying the claim by using Maryland’s contributory fault laws.
You may assume that you will receive a fair settlement because you are dealing with your insurance company. However, your claim is being handled by the claims department, not your insurance agent. Therefore, your claim is treated like any other insurance claim filed with the company.
For that reason, it can be helpful to talk with a Baltimore car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney will explain your legal options and rights regarding an uninsured motorist accident.
What Compensation Can I Recover for an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
When you file an insurance claim for uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company stands in the place of a liability insurance provider for the at-fault driver. Therefore, your insurance provider may compensate you for your non-economic damages and economic damages.
Examples of damages you could receive include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages, benefits, and diminished earning potential
- Property damages
- Impairments and disabilities
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
The value of your personal injury claim depends on the facts of your case. However, more severe injuries tend to cause damages to increase in a personal injury case. Careful documentation is necessary to ensure that you recover maximum compensation for your claim. As with any other car accident case, you can only recover compensation for the damages you can prove.
Therefore, keep detailed records of all expenses and costs related to the accident. You may also want to keep a journal to record details of your recovery, including how your injuries impact your daily life and activities.
What is the Deadline for Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Baltimore?
Most personal injury cases in Maryland have a three-year statute of limitations. The time when the statute of limitations begins running on an uninsured motorist claim can be confusing. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident in Baltimore. You want to avoid problems with the statute of limitations if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In addition to filing a claim for uninsured motorist coverage, you could also file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. If you obtain a judgment, you could try to collect the judgment from the driver’s personal assets.
Unfortunately, if the driver does not have car insurance, it is unlikely they have sufficient assets to pay a claim. An attorney will review your case to provide guidance and legal advice regarding all options for seeking compensation for damages.