Uninsured Motorist Claims in Maryland - Maryland Injury Lawyers Blog
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jan 02, 2009 in Car Accidents
If you are struck by an uninsured vehicle, underinsured vehicle or a phantom vehicle in Maryland, then you can and should make an uninsured motorist claim on your own policy. If you do not own a car, but if you live with others in your family who do own a car, then you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim on their policy.
Maryland's legislature requires that all insurance policies issued in the State of Maryland have uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount as liability insurance coverage unless an appropriate waiver has been signed (See Section 19-509 (e) of the Insurance Article of the Maryland Code. Maryland Courts have explained that the purpose of the requirement for uninsured motorist coverage (also known as "UM coverage") is to assure financial compensation to innocent victims of motor vehicle accidents who are unable to recover from financially irresponsible uninsured motorists. See Matta v. Geico, 705 A. 2d 29.
Unfortunately, in Maryland taxicabs and government owned vehicles are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Pope v. Sun Cab Co., 488 A.2d 1009. Also, practitioners should note that uninsured motorist coverage does not stack in Maryland. Section 19-511 of the Insurance Article of the Maryland Code governs how a tort victim who is injured as a result of the negligence of an under insured motorist can go about settling with the underinsured tortfeasor, while preserving his right to pursue the additional UM benefits he may be entitled to. The written offer from the tortfeasors carrier needs to be sent via certified mail to the UM carrier. The UM Carrier then has 60 days to consent to the acceptance of the offer and execution of a release, or to refuse consent. If consent is refused, the insurance company must pay the amount of the settlement to the injured party (this preserves their subrogation rights).
As a consumer, I would advise that everyone make sure that they purchase as much uninsured motorist insurance as they can afford, and as will be permitted to be sold to them. It is important because if you are injured as a result of a collision with an uninsured motorist, you want to be sure that you and your family receive compensation as if the party that caused the accident in fact had adequate insurance.
The Maryland Auto Accident Attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan, LLC can give expert compensation claims advice. They handle claims from a variety of accidents and negligence including car, work, and medical accidents.