If you are new to Maryland or are a new driver in the state, it is crucial to obtain and understand the necessary auto insurance
All Maryland drivers are required to meet the state minimum auto insurance requirement or risk facing a criminal charge and license suspension. Drivers must have proof of primary insurance coverage before even registering a vehicle.
Car insurance plays an essential role after any kind of car accident. Substantial medical expenses can cause a person to lose their car and be unable to buy a new one or continue working. If you are new to Maryland or are a new driver in the state, it is crucial to obtain and understand the necessary coverage. Let’s go over what you need to know about Maryland auto insurance.
Maryland is an “At-Fault” State
Maryland, like many other states, follows the “fault” system when determining financial responsibility for losses resulting from a car accident, such as injuries, lost income, and vehicle damage.
This means the person who was at fault for causing the car accident is also responsible for any resulting harm. In Maryland, a person who is injured due to an auto accident can receive compensation by:
- Filing a claim with their insurance company, assuming that the loss is covered under the policy
- Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Maryland
Maryland residents must obtain the minimum amounts of liability car insurance coverage, which are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of a person in an accident caused by the insured driver
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in a crash caused by the driver of the insured vehicle
- $15,000 for property damage per accident caused by the insured driver.
These insurance requirements provide financial relief to parties injured in an auto accident or those who have suffered property in an accident. Auto insurance also protects drivers involved in a crash caused by someone who lacks insurance.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Maryland
Like most states, Maryland charges fines to motorists without car insurance. The fine is $150 for the first 30 days, and then it is $7 per day for each day beyond that. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration may also impose administrative penalties in addition to fines or any other criminal penalties, such as:
- Loss of license plates and vehicle registration
- A restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle’s registration
- Inability to register any future vehicles or renew a suspended registration until all insurance violations are cleared
- Confiscation of license plates once a registration suspension is in effect
Maryland Auto Insurance Claims Laws
Under Maryland auto insurance claim laws, the at-fault party will be required to compensate the injury victim after a collision. Since Maryland is a fault-based state, after an accident, you will file a claim against the liable party’s insurance policy.
Even if you purchased no-fault insurance coverage, you should always begin by filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. If you were to file a claim against your own auto insurance policy, the insurance company would be more likely to increase the amount you are required to pay in premiums when your auto insurance policy renews.
What The Insurance Company Covers After a Car Accident
Do not put all your hopes and dreams into recovering a settlement from the insurance company. It is important to remember that insurance covers specific types of damages. You will generally not be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, or out-of-pocket expenses.
The types and amounts of insurance coverage the policyholder purchased will determine how much you can recover through your auto insurance claim. If the defendant only purchased the minimum of $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, but your medical expenses exceed $100,000, the insurance company will only pay out up to $60,000.
This means you may have excess damages the insurance company does not take care of. Fortunately, filing a claim with the insurance company is not the only way you can recover the compensation you are entitled to. You should always prepare to file a car accident lawsuit against the liable party. You could still avoid going to court if the liable party is willing to settle, but be ready to bring your case before a judge and jury to get the most out of your claim.
How Insurance Companies Handle Car Accident Claims
Although the insurance company has financial obligations, there are also various ways they can get out of compensating you fairly. Insurance adjusters have been known to resort to unscrupulous tactics to reduce their liability. They may blame you for causing the accident, Misrepresent the terms of the policy you filed a claim against, or even delay the processing of the claim.
Do not be surprised if the insurance company manipulates any statement you gave them to make it seem like you have accepted responsibility for causing the accident or expressed guilt in some way. If they can capitalize on Maryland’s pure contributory negligence laws, and you are found to share liability for your injuries, they will not be obligated to compensate you at all.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
Filing an insurance claim after a car accident is one of the best ways to get the financial help you need to cover your expenses. However, it is important to keep in mind that insurance does not cover every loss. You have the right to be made whole. The insurance company is likely to attempt to take advantage of you during this difficult time in your life. Do not go into negotiations without a powerful legal advocate.
Connect with an experienced Baltimore car accident attorney at The Snyder Law Group, LLC today. Our firm is proud to represent car accident victims across Washington, DC, Baltimore, and the entire state of Maryland. When you are ready to go up against the insurance company and pursue the compensation you are entitled to at trial, do not hesitate. Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can reach us through our online contact form or by phone to get started as soon as today.