An hour seldom passes when someone isn’t injured in an auto collision. So the laws that govern car accidents must be stern. Maryland, like all states, has its laws dealing with car accidents designed to protect the rights of its citizens. Knowing of the essential aspects of Maryland car accident law can help you navigate the legal landscape effectively.
The guidance of a car accident lawyer White Marsh has proven valuable for Maryland drivers in many situations. Getting an appointment to explore your legal options is free, and as easy as dialing (410) LAW-YERS. Your claim, case, or curiosity is in good hands with these White Marsh legal professionals. All claims and cases are handled on a contingency basis.
Comparative Fault System
Maryland utilizes a system known as comparative fault. It’s also called “contributory negligence.” It means that when you’re involved in a car accident, state courts will examine the degree of fault of all drivers involved. Even if you were determined to have been partially at fault for the accident, damages may still be awarded to you.
However, if you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may not be eligible for any compensation. The best way to understand how comparative fault affects you when dealing with auto accidents is to consult your insurer and a personal injury attorney with a solid reputation.
Mandatory Auto Insurance
In Maryland, auto insurance is required by law for all motorists. $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 for property damage are the state-mandated minimums. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t amount to much coverage. Thus, to keep from being underinsured drivers should shop for other packages.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Maryland is one of the states that require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for motorists. The purpose of PIP focuses on providing immediate medical coverage and wage loss benefits to accident victims. This coverage is critical for getting timely medical treatment and financial support for both drivers and passengers after a crash happens.
Statute of Limitations
If you’re in Maryland and planning to file a lawsuit after a car accident, you must observe the state’s statute of limitations. Most of the time you have three years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. Missing this deadline is forfeiture of your right to pursue compensation.
In Maryland, reporting car accidents is a matter of civic responsibility. State law mandates that accidents that cause injuries, fatalities, or property damage greater than $1,000 must be reported promptly to the police. This is designed to ensure that incidents are properly documented, which is paramount when filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action.
These reports serve as valuable data for authorities to assess accident trends and enhance traffic safety measures statewide. By promptly reporting accidents, drivers fulfill their roles as responsible motorists but also contribute to the well-being of all road users.
Maryland follows a “fault” system, rather than a “no-fault” system. This means that at-fault drivers’ insurance bears the primary responsibility for covering damages and injuries resulting from collisions. However, as mentioned earlier, PIP can help provide immediate benefits to injured parties regardless of fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Though it isn’t lawful to do so, many drivers in Maryland take to the road with no insurance. Others drive with barely enough insurance to cover their damages, let alone to cover damages someone else might incur.
While not mandated in Maryland, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is highly recommended. This coverage can protect you if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. UM/UIM coverage fills in the coverage gaps present when you collide with a motorist with insufficient coverage.
The Legal Advantage
Understanding Maryland’s car accident laws can provide an unparalleled advantage in the face of these incidents. Protecting your rights while effectively navigating the aftermath of an accident isn’t a given. Whether it’s the comparative fault system, mandatory auto insurance, or PIP coverage, knowing the basics of these laws can be a difference-maker in your experience.
Enlisting the skill and experience of a vetted legal firm is a proven strategy for dealing with the potential negative fallout of auto accidents. When you’re guided by veteran personal injury attorneys who have a record of delivering satisfactory results, that can be the difference between recovering damages or being devastated by a traumatic event.
Source: Parker Pallett Slezak & Russell LLC, MD