In Maryland, it is essential for drivers to purchase a specific type of automobile insurance called “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” coverage (UIM coverage). This coverage protects you if you are hurt in a Maryland car accident caused by someone who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the resulting damages. For example, if Driver A is hit by Driver B, and incurs medical expenses of 100,000, they will likely seek to recover the $100,000 from Driver B. But if Driver B doesn’t have insurance, or only has enough insurance to cover $25,000, this may leave Driver A thousands of dollars in debt from an accident they did not cause. This tragic scenario can be avoided, however, if Driver A has UIM coverage.
UIM insurance is not just for individuals—companies can purchase it for company vehicles and employees. Sometimes, however, Maryland residents might think that they are protected by their commercial UIM insurance, when they are not. This is why it is important to carefully read each insurance policy, to avoid a situation like one discussed in a recent state appellate opinion.
According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiffs in the case were a husband and wife, members of a pet and feed supply store limited liability company (LLC). The LLC had a commercial automobile insurance policy from the defendant, including UIM coverage for the LLC’s vehicles. One day, the wife drove her personal vehicle to a feed supply store to purchase inventory—a trip she made purely for business reasons. Whilst walking towards her parked car, she was hit by another vehicle in the parking lot. The driver of the second vehicle was an underinsured motorist, and had only $25,000 in liability insurance. The injured plaintiff suffered severe injuries, costing her over $200,000 in medical expenses. She could only recover $25,000 from the at-fault driver, however, and her personal insurance could not cover the full remaining amount, meaning she was not fully compensated for her injuries. Because of this, she submitted a UIM claim to the LLC’s automobile insurance carrier, the defendant in this case.
The defendant insurance company, however, filed a motion for summary judgment. It argued that the insurance policy did not cover this accident. Although the injured plaintiff was named as the insured, the vehicle she was driving was not listed as a scheduled vehicle, and therefore was not covered. The court agreed that this was the case, as set out clearly in the insurance policy’s language, meaning the plaintiffs could not recover anything from their LLC commercial automobile insurance policy.
Have You Been Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist?
If you or a loved one have recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may want to know what your options are for financial recovery. Contact the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen today to schedule a free, no-obligation, and no-risk consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case. We have a track record of success when it comes to helping injured accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. Don’t wait, call today, at 800-654-1949.