Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver in Maryland?

By Peter DePaolis

No one wants to go through a car accident, let alone one in which the person who hit you does not have insurance. Unfortunately, an at-fault driver in a car accident may be uninsured, or you may not have a chance to find out if they were insured because the accident was a hit-and-run. So, can you sue an uninsured driver in Maryland? The answer is yes. Our Maryland personal injury attorney can advise you on handling the situation and getting the best outcome.

Uninsured Drivers

All drivers or registered car owners in Maryland are legally required to have automobile insurance with certain minimum coverages. Specifically, you are required to maintain insurance that has $30,000 coverage for bodily injury (or $60,000 for two or more people) and $15,000 of coverage for property damage. However, despite this requirement, not everyone follows the law or keeps their insurance payments up to date. 

There are two common scenarios where uninsured drivers may injure a person. The first is where you do not know who hurt you or was driving the car because they fled the scene. This is frequently referred to as a “hit-and-run” driver. The second is where you know who the driver is, but they lack insurance.

How Do You Pursue a Claim?

In either of the situations described above, you can pursue a claim. You can sue the uninsured driver who caused the accident. However, any insurance recovery you obtain would be through your insurance policy’s Uninsured/Underinsured provision. Every Maryland insurance policy has this coverage. This insurance is meant to protect you in these types of situations. So, your insurance will take the place of insurance for the at-fault driver in these situations. But, the insurance coverage will, unfortunately, be minimal. The one upside is that if you have to utilize this part of your policy, your insurance company cannot raise your rates solely because of you doing so. 

Maryland drivers can purchase enhanced underinsured motorist coverage by law. You may wish to consider doing so if your policy only has minimal coverage.

What if the Other Driver Does Not Have Enough Insurance?   

Where a driver may be underinsured, the situation becomes more complicated. An experienced attorney can assist you with figuring out how to handle this. An attorney who is familiar with insurance companies and filing claims can ensure you can access all available insurance coverage options in your situation.  

However, you should act quickly. In Maryland, you must file a complaint for Underinsured/Uninsured benefits within three years of the date you knew or should have known that they had a possible claim against the insurance company.

Speak With an Attorney Right Away  

In Maryland, there are three kinds of uninsured motorist claims you can file. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with determining which claim you can file. They can also help you determine if you may be able to collect additional damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and you’re not sure what you need to do, you should contact a lawyer for advice. The sooner you do so, the better able you are to protect your rights. Our firm knows how to handle these cases, deal with insurance companies and protect your rights. Our attorneys can also review your policy to see if you can improve your coverage to protect you and your family in a situation with insufficient insurance coverage. Contact our office today for a free consultation about your case.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.