Q: Someone rear-ended me, and I just found out that they weren't adequately covered in terms of insurance. Does that mean I
can't recover medical expenses incurred? What are my options?
A: In this instance you would look to your own underinsured coverage for a full recovery. Maryland law requires a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage. If you opted to purchase uninsured/underinsured insurance above that level, you would have the availability of underinsured coverage on your own policy available to you. If the person that hit you lacked insurance all together, you would file an uninsured motorist claim with your own company to cover your losses. You may benefit from a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
A: From your own policy, you first look to your no-fault PIP coverage to apply to your medical expenses. After that, you claim generally against the other driver, and if their limits are inadequate to cover your claim, you then tender an underinsured damage claim to your own company, but only if you have purchased UIM coverage with higher limits than the at-fault driver. Making a UIM claim is a bit complex, as you must first make demand on your carrier before you can accept a policy limits offer from the at-fault insurance company. Consult a lawyer.
A: Sorry you are dealing with this. It is bad enough to be injured in an accident without finding out there are coverage issues.
That is really a two part question. The first part deals with whether you can sue the other driver. If they are at fault, you can and if you take it that far you will be awarded a judgment by the Court.
The second part deals with whether that judgment or settlement gets paid. You can have a judgment for a set amount of money but if you can't get it paid by anyone it does not do you any good. So you look to see what the other driver's insurance limits are first as their insurance company certainly has the money. There are required limits of insurance for vehicles operating in Maryland that may apply. If there is no insurance or limited insurance, then you look to your insurance policy for coverage for this situation. Check what the limits are on your vehicle and your PIP coverage. You can also go after the other driver individually, meaning seeing if they have money or assets to pay off a judgment.
If you are exceeding insurance coverage, it would be advisable to hire an attorney to guide you on your claim as they do get complex.
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