It may seem obvious, but a Maryland or Virginia car accident can cause serious, life-altering injuries to those involved. In most cases, the at-fault party will have liability insurance that will kick in to compensate the accident victims for the injuries they sustained in the accident. However, once the at-fault driver’s liability policy maximum is met, the accident victims will only be able to rely on whatever personal assets the at-fault party has. This may still leave accident victims without full compensation for serious injuries.
Every insurance policy that is issued in Maryland is required to provide un/underinsured motorist (UIM) protection to the insured. In the event of a serious Maryland car accident where the at-fault party’s liability coverage is insufficient to cover the costs of an accident victim’s injuries, the accident victim’s UIM policy will kick in, covering the remaining uncovered portion.
In Maryland, all motorists are required to obtain the following liability and UIM coverage amounts:
- $30,000 to cover bodily injury to one person;
- $60,000 to cover bodily injury to two people; and
- $15,000 to cover damage to property.
While these are the base limits for a Maryland car insurance policy, motorists are encouraged to obtain additional coverage. In Virginia, insurance companies are required to offer UIM coverage. However, a motorist can opt out of UIM coverage if they choose to do so. It is important to keep in mind that once the UIM coverage is rejected, it will not be later made available in the event of an accident.
The plaintiffs in a recent car accident case learned this lesson the hard way. After opting out of UIM coverage, they were involved in a car accident. The at-fault party carried some liability coverage, but the coverage was insufficient to fully compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries. Thus, the plaintiffs filed a claim with their own insurance carrier, under the UIM clause.
The insurance company rejected the plaintiffs’ claims based on a Rejection Form filled out by the plaintiff. This form explained UIM coverage and the risks of issuing a policy without it. While the plaintiffs tried to convince the court that the form was not a valid rejection of UIM coverage, the court was not convinced by the plaintiffs’ arguments and dismissed their cases.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland or Virginia Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland or Virginia car accident, and you are currently dealing with a difficult insurance company, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers can help. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have been handling complex personal injury cases in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. for decades, and we know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. Whether it be through pre-trial negotiation or litigation, our attorneys will fight for your right to recover. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Finds Used-Car Dealer May Be Liable for Plaintiffs’ Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published June 4, 2018.
The Dangers of Fatigued Driving in Maryland, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published June 18, 2018.