If The Accident Wasn’t Your Fault Why Is Your Insurance Involved?

Baltimore Car Accident Attorney explains your insuranceSo 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!

What happens when a family member causes an accident?

Baltimore Car AccidentWe all have them in our families-bad drivers. Car accidents happen and sometimes our loved ones are to blame. Hopefully, everyone is ok and the only worry is getting the car fixed but car accident injuries are not uncommon. Maybe your wife jams her shoulder or you son’s head bangs against the headrest. The reality of the situation is that the injured passengers have a claim against the negligent driver regardless of whether that person is a family member. The injuries still need to be treated and medical bills will need to be paid. Making injury claims will not increase insurance premiums because an at fault accident claim already exists. In fact, you pay your monthly insurance premium to cover injuries to strangers AND your own passengers. More often than not those passengers are loved ones. Many Maryland insurance policies have personal injury protection coverage which will usually pay $2,500.00 of medical bills and/or lost wages. In addition to the personal injury protection coverage, passengers are entitled to be reimbursed through the liability coverage of the vehicle in which they were passengers. The vehicle driven by mom, dad, grandma, or pop pop. Maybe your husband should have listened to you when you told him to stop texting and driving for the 100th time. The fact of the matter is that auto insurance is a monthly expense, use the benefits. When there is an accident people need to know all of the coverage benefits that are available. The family member whose bad driving injured you has insurance (you might even be the one who pays the premium), so use it!

I recently had a case where a father was driving his son to an appointment in Baltimore. The father made a negligent left turn and the car was t-boned. It was the father’s fault, no question. The car accident caused the son and father’s heads to bang together causing a fractured nose for the son. USAA was the insurance carrier. Personal injury protection covered the majority of the medical bills. In addition, the liability coverage through USAA reimbursed the son for all of the medical bills and any pain and suffering. You pay for insurance so use it when needed. Don’t leave money on the table because insurance companies aren’t going to do you any favors. Make sure if you are injured in an accident you contact an experienced Maryland car accident attorney who can explain all of your options.