Maryland’s Insurance Compensation Fault System
When driving in and around the Baltimore area, it’s important to understand that Maryland operates under a “fault” rather than “no fault” system when it comes to determining which party and whose insurance company will compensate the individuals who have suffered either property damage or injuries requiring medical attention following an automobile collision. In Maryland, the driver who is judged to be at fault for causing the accident is the one legally liable to pay for damages and injuries that result from that accident.
3 Ways You Can Seek Compensation for Damages in Maryland
A driver in Maryland who sustains bodily injuries or physical damage to their car or other property in the event of an auto accident can seek compensation to cover those damages in one of three ways rather than relying solely on their own insurance policy to cover damages which happens in the 12 states operating under the “no-fault” system. The driver can file a claim with his own insurance carrier, he can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was deemed to be at-fault for causing the accident, or he can file a claim for damages against the other driver’s insurance provider.
The 20/40/15 Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage
The state of Maryland mandates that its drivers have a minimum of 20/40/15 in liability insurance coverage in order to operate a vehicle legally, meaning that their insurance will cover up to $20,000 per person for bodily injury, $40,000 total per accident, and $15,000 per accident for property damage. Maryland drivers must also carry uninsured motorist coverage, which protects a driver in the event that the other party involved in an accident has no insurance coverage or is not properly insured. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, sometimes referred to as no-fault coverage, is also required in Maryland to cover things like lost wages, medical bills and other expenses incurred due to injuries sustained in an accident. This is a great form of providing more extensive coverage because receiving compensation from PIP does not depend on who caused the accident. Even if you are at fault, you can make a claim to be compensated through your Personal Injury Protection policy.
How to Determine Who is at Fault?
An insurance company uses a variety of factors to determine who is at fault in the event of an automobile accident. This can include police accident reports, statements made by both drivers and other eyewitnesses, evaluation of the accident scene for signs such as skid marks and accident reconstruction reports. Maryland law also allows drivers to receive compensation following an accident from more than one source, so a driver can be compensated up to their coverage limits from his own PIP insurance policy without eliminating his right to file a claim or lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company.