In Maryland and D.C. most drivers have something called “Uninsured” or “Underinsured” motorist coverage on their car insurance. We refer to these claims as UM or UIM claims, and this type of insurance is especially important to understand if you have been injured in a car accident.
Most often, uninsured motorist coverage comes up in “hit and run” cases where a person is hit in car accident by a “phantom” motorist who leaves the scene of the collision. Often, injury victims believe there is nothing they can do to recover compensation for their injuries in these cases because they cannot find the person (or insurance company to make the claim against). Obviously, this would be an unfair result and the Maryland legislature recognized this by requiring motorists to carry UM insurance on their own policies. In essence, if you have been injured in an accident and cannot find insurance elsewhere, you are allowed to make a UM claim against your own policy to recover your fair damages.
UIM claims are important when it comes to making sure that Maryland car accident victims are made whole for their injuries. In Maryland, motorists are only required to have pretty minimal “liability” coverage. At this time, the at-fault driver may only have $30,000.00 to cover you for your injuries. That $30,000.00 is enough to cover minor accidents, but is nowhere near enough to compensate people who have been severely injured in car accidents. Obviously, a person who has lost a leg, lost a loved one, or has suffered a severe spinal injury is not going to be enthused with only receiving enough to cover one surgical procedure.
In such cases, you can apply for UIM coverage through your own insurance company. Essentially, this is a contractual lawsuit where an injury victim would argue that the value of his injuries and/or pain and suffering far exceeds the amount of coverage that the at-fault driver has. If you carry more UIM coverage than the other driver, you can substantially benefit from a UIM claim. In many cases, it is the most important component of a car accident case even though most would assume the claim against the “at-fault” driver matters most.
UM or UIM claims are, frankly, complex. Bloom Law has a wealth of experience handing these cases. Please contact us if you have been injured even if you feel there is no insurance to go after. Usually, that is simply not the case.
If you have been injured in an accident, please contact us for a free consultation.