So you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and now your insurance is involved, how could that be? There are several possible reasons.
The most obvious reason to an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer is a claim for personal injury protection benefits or “PIP”. If you have PIP you should use it (you pay extra for it every month). It is “no fault” coverage, your insurance rates won’t go up, and you can use it to pay for medical bills so you will get more money from your bodily injury settlement. Usually, PIP will add $2,500 to the typical settlement (unless you use it for lost wages).
There are less obvious and more annoying reasons. For example, maybe the driver of the car that hit you didn’t contact his insurance or isn’t returning calls. In that case, you could be stuck with a damaged vehicle and no way to get it fixed. The other driver’s insurance isn’t going to accept the claim unless they speak with their insured. So what are your choices? You can drive around a damaged car or, even worse, have your car totaled and stuck in some tow lot collecting storage fees. The inconvenient truth is that you may be stuck with one option, pay your deductible and get your car fixed through your own insurance. Your rates won’t go up since the car accident wasn’t your fault and, if you are lucky, your insurance will waive your deductible or get it back through subrogation.
You could be stuck going through the same scenario if the other driver is disputing liability. People lie all of the time. You know the accident wasn’t your fault, after all the guy was nice and even apologized. The other driver might have a completely different story when his insurance asks how the accident happened. The other driver’s insurance isn’t going to pay for your car repairs if their insured is pointing the finger at you.
A significant percentage of drivers are uninsured. If the other driver was uninsured, your deductible will most likely be less but it will not be waived or reimbursed. In addition, you would have to make your bodily injury claim through the uninsured motorist coverage under your insurance policy. Again, an uninsured motorist claim will not make your rates go up since the car accident wasn’t your fault. Making an uninsured motorist claim may seem confusing at first but it is very simple. Your insurance takes the place of the at fault driver. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in Maryland!
Your insurance could also be involved due to an under-insured motorist. Maryland minimum limits are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. If your bodily injury claim is worth more than the minimum coverage and your insurance policy has greater than the minimum limits, you will need to make an under-insured motorist claim.
People who are in accidents are weary involving their own insurance but there is nothing to be worried about if the accident wasn’t your fault. You pay a monthly premium so the insurance company is there for you when you need it. You hire an experienced personal injury attorney like me to make sure your insurance company keeps up its end of the bargain!