Uninsured-Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM)
File Your Claim with a Salisbury Car Accident Lawyer
An uninsured motorist is a driver who has violated state Maryland state laws and using their motor vehicle on public roadways despite not having any car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. An underinsured motorist who has also violated the law, perhaps inadvertently, by driving with insurance that does not meet minimum coverage requirements; in some instances, the car insurance company has actually sold an illegal policy to an unknowing driver. In either case, an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) spells big trouble for the people they hit.
If you live in Maryland and need some legal advice or representation after you are struck by an uninsured-underinsured motorist, I, Salisbury Car Accident Attorney William R. Hall, can assist you. For more than 15 years, I have been in legal practice, including handling numerous complicated car accident cases. Call my office today at 410.205.1684 and set up a free initial consultation to learn if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Maryland
Each state has a minimum car insurance coverage amount that each motorist must carry. If they do not have this minimum coverage, they not only have broken the law and could be arrested and charged but they may also automatically assume all or most of the liability for any accident they are in.
In Maryland, the minimum coverage amounts per accident are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury to a single person
- $60,000 for bodily injuries to all people
- $15,000 for property damage, including car damage
This breakdown is usually referred to as 30/60/15. If you are exchanging insurance information with the driver that hit you and you notice their policy says anything less than 30/60/15 – for example, 25/50/25 is commonly sold despite not meeting two of the three requirements – you should make a note of it and call your attorney. You may also want to call the police; use your best judgement and stay safe.
Pursing Compensation in Civil Claims Court
Many uninsured drivers will try to strike up a deal after crashing into another driver. Aware of their illegal decision to carry no insurance, they attempt to bargain to stay out of legal trouble, often offering up a few hundred dollars in cash for the other motorist to stay quiet. It is important that you never accept an impromptu settlement of this nature.
You should not accept informal payment from uninsured drivers because:
Medical payments: Even if you feel they have estimated the cost of repairs to your vehicle accurately, there is no way they can anticipate how much money your probable medical bills will cost. Remember that a slight pain now, such as a sore neck, could become a serious health issue later on that requires thousands to alleviate.
Unwritten contract: Accepting payment directly from the driver could be seen as a verbal contract, which could bar you from pursuing other compensation from the same person later. This is a gray area of the law you simply do not want to get caught within.
Get as much information as you possibly can from the uninsured driver, including government identification and contact numbers. Your goal will likely become suing them in civil court after working out a plan with your personal injury attorney.
With My Advocacy, Your Success is an Option
After being struck and injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, or even a hit and run driver who disappeared before you could identify them, you may understandably feel as if your chances of getting fair compensation have been diminished. It is my personal goal to provide you with excellent legal counsel that aims to maximize your recovery through a settlement or verdict. Contact my office to get a highly-experienced, top-rated Salisbury car accident lawyer on your side.
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