Every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you take the chance of being involved in a life changing accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could be dealing with severe debilitating injuries and mounting medical bills. For this reason, all responsible drivers obtain liability insurance to prevent them from having to pay out of pocket for the injuries they may have caused during a motor vehicle accident. Life, however, is full of irresponsible people. In Maryland, there are many drivers who ignore the law and their responsibility to obtain proper insurance on their vehicles, even though they run the risk of being cited or held personally liable for injuries caused by their refusal to purchase car insurance. There are also those who simply flee from the scene of an accident in order to avoid responsibility for the injuries that they have caused to an innocent person, whether a pedestrian or another driver.
If a person is involved in a car accident with a driver who leaves the scene of the accident, does not have insurance, or has insurance with coverage that is insufficient to cover the injured person's damages and losses, the only way that there can be compensation for the damages and losses caused to the injured person is if the injured person has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver has no insurance or left the scene of the car accident, then your insurance company must pay for all of your damages pursuant to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of your policy, including damages caused to your vehicle and compensation for your injuries and other losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
In many cases that we handle for our clients, we encounter situations where the other driver has insurance, but the coverage provided by the other driver's insurance is not sufficient to cover our client's injuries and losses. In those circumstances, our client is entitled to additional compensation from his or her insurance company pursuant to our client's own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but only if that coverage is higher than the coverage on the policy of the other driver. For example, if the injured person's damages for his or her personal injury are determined to be $80,000, but the other driver's policy provides for coverage of only $30,000, which by the way is rather common, then the injured person may be entitled to receive up to $50,000 (the difference between $80,000 and $30,000) from his or her own insurance company, but only if the injured person has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of at least $80,000. In this example, if the injured person has only, say, $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then the injured person's recovery from his own insurance company will be limited to $20,000 ($50,000 minus $30,000 received from the other person's insurer).
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will pay for pain and suffering damages as well as lost wages and medical expenses. This is because the uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance contract contains provisions that are supposed to put the injured party in the same position that he or she would have been in had the negligent driver had adequate insurance coverage. An uninsured/underinsured motorist claim is a hybrid, a combination of a personal injury claim and a breach of contract claim. Given its complexity, only an experienced attorney, like the personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, should be retained to make ensure that both aspects of the suit are properly handled.
One important caveat in approaching a claim that does or may involve uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of the injured person's own insurance policy is that because the injured person makes a claim against his or her own insurance company, the injured person's insurance company becomes his or her adversary. Because the injured person will need to deal with his or her own insurance company immediately, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer right away so that all aspects of the case can be handled properly and with the injured person's interest in mind.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident because of another driver's carelessness or negligence, and the driver at fault has inadequate insurance or no insurance at all, it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can successfully handle your case. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients who have sustained property damage or personal injuries in car accidents, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, vehicle rollovers, SUV collisions, semi-tractor crashes, as well as accidents involving insured motorists, uninsured drivers, underinsured parties, drunk drivers, and hit and run drivers. Please call Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 800-654-1949 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation). You can also contact Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen by e-mail.