In a previous post we discussed the possibility of more than a few drivers out on Maryland roadways who may be risking their insurance coverage, not to mention their family’s financial future, by underinsuring themselves and trying to save on their monthly insurance premiums. Is it worth it? We would have to say, emphatically, No. This is especially true when one considers the extreme downside of such as strategy, if one could even call it that. Yet, in light of all this, there is a percentage of the motoring public plying the roads of Annapolis, Bowie, Gaithersburg and The District who may be in even more danger of a catastrophic auto or motorcycle accident: these individual constitute the ranks of uninsured drivers.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers we are not about to lay odds that you or anyone you know will NEVER be involved in a car, bike or commercial trucking collision; statistics tell us that a certain number of people will be caught up in a traffic wreck at some time in their lives. This is, in fact, why we have car, home and business insurance in the first place. To go through life without insurance is only to tempt fate. Of course, insurance companies are businesses and they will do their best to avoid paying or limiting what they will pay to the best of their ability. This is why automobile and personal injury attorneys like our firm exist to help those who may be facing difficult circumstances following a bad accident.
Still, some individuals who may feel that they have little to lose sometimes forego car insurance in an effort to avoid paying for coverage. Some of these people may have such a bad driving record that insurance companies either will not offer any coverage or will charge such a high premium that it is financially impossible for that individual to make ends meet. Yet, instead of finding alternate methods of transportation, they choose to drive without coverage and against the laws of this state.
When it comes to the uninsured motorists out there, and there are quite a few in Maryland, these people face the same risk of a car or truck accident as those who have full coverage. In fact, everyone who drives accepts the same physical risks anytime they get behind the wheel. Depending on the kind of accident, a victim could be looking at severe or debilitating bodily injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, and accumulating medical treatment and rehab costs.
It is the responsibility of every driver to obtain liability insurance, which should help them avoid paying out of pocket for any injuries they might cause as a result of a car or truck accident. But as anyone who has been on this planet long enough knows, the world is full of irresponsible individuals. Here in Maryland, a segment of the driving public ignores the law as well as their individual responsibility to purchase and maintain proper insurance on their vehicles. This despite the risk of being cited or held personally liable for injuries resulting from a traffic accident they have caused.
It’s important to remember that if one is involved in a roadway collision with a driver who leaves the crash scene, has no insurance or insufficient coverage for the injuries or damage sustained in the wreck, the only way that compensation can be gained by the victims is if those individuals carry their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If a driver who causes an traffic collision has no insurance (or actually leaves the scene without providing personal information to the victims or police) then it is up to the victim’s insurance company must pay for all of those incurred damages pursuant to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of your policy. This includes damages to one’s vehicle and compensation for any injuries or other losses sustained in the crash — including medical treatment and lost wages.
Here in Maryland, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will also pay for pain and suffering damages because of provisions included in auto insurance policies that are supposed to put the injured party in the same position as if the negligent (uninsured) driver had adequate coverage. This is what is referred to in the industry as “hybrid” claim; essentially a combination of a personal injury and breach of contract. A qualified injury attorney can walk auto accident victims through this and explain their options following a severe or costly automobile accident.