Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents

By Peter DePaolis

motorists stuck in highway trafficAn auto accident is an extremely stressful event to begin with, and discovering that the responsible driver is uninsured and underinsured can add additional stress. Though automobile insurance is mandatory in Maryland, it’s not required in states like Virginia which significantly increases the chances that someone will suffer from an accident caused by a driver with no means of paying for injuries, medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

If the accident causes injury or even wrongful death, our car accident injury lawyers have experience helping victims of accidents involving uninsured drivers obtain the most financial damages available under the law. The poor choices made by an uninsured or underinsured motorist should not limit the amount of compensation available to you, the victim. Our law firm has more than 35 years fighting – and winning – against insurance companies. Let us review your case for free today to see how we may be able to help.

Is Uninsured and Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage Mandatory in Maryland?

If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your own insurance may cover the cost of the damages caused by the accident under your Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) coverage.

In Maryland, all insurance policies are required to include UM/UIM. Even in Virginia, where having auto insurance is not mandatory, if a driver purchases car insurance, it must include UM.

How Does UM/UIM Coverage Work?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage typically provides for any personal injury that you or your passengers may sustain from an auto accident caused by an uninsured driver. However, in many states, these policies are not required to cover damages to your vehicle. The amount of minimum insurance coverage varies by state.

Sometimes a driver may have insurance, but his or her policy may not cover 100 percent of your damages or medical bills. For instance, if the negligent driver carried only the Maryland minimum of $30,000 and you carried $60,000 in UM coverage, your claim would be fulfilled first with the other driver’s $30,000 and then with $30,000 from your own policy. In this case, your UIM coverage can be used to make up this deficit.

Another benefit to having Uninsured Motorist Coverage is that you can receive compensation for damages, injuries and lost wages if you are hit by a motorist who refuses to stop and exchange information with you (sometimes called a hit and run).

If you are unsure about your uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage and live or were in an accident in Maryland you should contact our experienced car accident attorney to discuss your policy.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured by an Uninsured Motorist?

If you are injured in an auto accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can use your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance to offset the cost of your medical bills. However, an auto accident is never caused by a lack of insurance. If the car crash was the result of driver error, distracted driving as a result of cell phone use or texting, negligence, car defects or driving while intoxicated, an uninsured motorist lawyer at our firm can discuss what other options you may have to recover compensation to pay for your injuries, medical costs and emotional pain.

How to Contact a Maryland Car Accident Attorney

Contact Koonz, McKenny, Johnson, DePaolis LLP by filling out a free attorney claim review form or by calling one of our law offices in Maryland.

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.