When you are in a car or motorcycle accident in Maryland, it’s natural to want to ensure that the at-fault party covers the cost of damages to you and your vehicle. In most accidents, this will involve the insurance company. The insurer is the one who will take care of covering costs and reimbursements, which is why it’s so important to collect insurer information right after an accident.
Unfortunately, sometimes a car accident occurs and the person who is at fault is not insured. While the state works hard to ensure that uninsured motorists stay off the roads, things can slip through the cracks and people can drive without insurance knowing that they are breaking the law. What should you do if you are in a car accident with someone who is not insured?
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Before learning more about what will happen, it’s important to understand the key differences between uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists. Uninsured motorists are not currently covered by a car insurance policy but might have been in the past. Hit-and-run accidents are also considered uninsured accidents. Underinsured motorists are very common, and they are drivers who have the minimum amount of insurance required by the state of Maryland but do not have coverage amounts high enough to cover the amount of damage that occurred.
Your Insurance Can Help
The state of Maryland requires all drivers carrying insurance to have at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per incident for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If your insurer does have an active uninsured or underinsured motorist policy for you, you can file a claim and utilize the coverage.
Because Maryland is an at-fault state for accidents, you will need to first establish that the other driver is legally responsible for causing the car accident, as well as that they are underinsured or lack insurance. Working with our team in the aftermath of your car accident can ensure that you establish this and present a strong claim to your car insurance company. Depending on the amount of coverage on your account, you may or may not have all of your expenses covered.
You Can Go Beyond Your Insurance
Additionally, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was at fault. Working with an attorney is very important to make sure that everything is thoroughly documented and that you are able to recover the damages that you need to get your life back on track.
Do Your Part to Prevent This From Happening to You
Many car owners don’t realize that they might be underinsured, as they meet the minimum requirements for the state and believe that is all that they need to be safe. Other car owners let their coverage lapse for a short period of time due to financial issues or forgetting, and they don’t realize how severe the consequences can be for driving without the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required by Maryland state law.
Some of the penalties for lacking car insurance coverage and getting into a collision can include:
- Losing your vehicle registration or license plates
- Paying penalties of $150 for the first 30 days and $7 for every subsequent day in order to be in good standing again
- Being unable to register a new vehicle until you resolve the existing violations and pay any related fines
- Being unable to renew a suspended registration policy until you resolve the existing violations or pay any related fines
- Having your plates taken
- Paying maximum fines of $1,000 or serving up to one year in prison if you present falsified insurance information or fake proof of insurance paperwork
The state takes underinsured and uninsured motorists seriously, as carrying the right amount of insurance protects everyone on the road.
Help for Auto Accident Victims After an Auto Accident
Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad LLP is an established law practice dedicated to assisting auto accident victims throughout Maryland. We also specialize in wills, estates, trusts, family law, business law, elder law and real estate law. To get in touch or schedule your consultation, call us at your convenience at (410) 848-4444. We are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve and start on the path to healing.