The Importance of Notifying an Insurance Company of an Accident

An insurance company can be a Maryland car accident victim’s best friend or worst enemy. While the stated purpose of insurance is to compensate a claimant for losses that occur due to a covered incident, in practice, insurance companies view most claims with an eye toward denial. This is because insurance companies are for-profit companies that rely on taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims.

TimerThat being the case, insurance contracts are often written in a way that gives the insurance company many “loopholes” to get out of satisfying even a meritorious claim. For example, almost all insurance policies have strict notice requirements that require an accident victim to provide the company with notice of the accident within a certain amount of time. The way that insurance contracts are written, if an accident victim fails to provide timely notice, the insurance company is not bound by the terms of the agreement and can deny an otherwise valid claim.

A recent case illustrates the frustration one motorist experienced when trying to recover compensation for his injuries after a car accident. While the case arose in Georgia, it illustrates an important point for Maryland car accident victims.

The Facts of the Case

In 2013, the plaintiff was involved in an accident while working as a truck driver. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was covered under his employer’s insurance policy as well as his own private policy.

In 2015, the plaintiff filed a personal injury case, naming both insurance companies as well as the allegedly at-fault driver as defendants. However, while the plaintiff served his employer’s insurance company with a complaint, the plaintiff did not include a summons.

At trial, both insurance companies moved to dismiss the case. The employer’s insurance company argued that, under state law, the plaintiff was required to serve a complaint and a summons on an insurance company in the same manner as the defendant-driver was served. Here, it was undisputed that the plaintiff failed to serve a summons. Thus, the court agreed with the employer’s insurance company and dismissed the case.

The plaintiff’s own insurance company argued that, under the terms of the plaintiff’s insurance policy, he was required to provide the company with notice of the accident within 90 days. Here, the plaintiff waited until well past that 90-day mark to notify the insurance company of the accident. Thus, the court agreed and dismissed the case against the plaintiff’s insurance company.

Thus, as a result of the court’s decision, the plaintiff’s cases against both insurers were dismissed.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you have recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, it is imperative that you consult with a dedicated Maryland car accident attorney to determine which deadlines your case must follow. The skilled Maryland car accident attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of Maryland car accident claims, and they have a firm understanding of the procedural and substantive rules that govern these cases. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Determines Jury Was Permitted to Find Witness Testimony Speculative When Failing to Award Plaintiff Future Medical Expenses, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published January 3, 2018.

Appellate Court Reinstates Plaintiff’s Case After Finding Lower Court’s Evidentiary Ruling Was Improper, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published January 16, 2018.

Contact Information