Even when you do your best to drive safely, a simple mistake or lapse in attention can lead to a serious car accident. If you are injured as a result, you still suffer losses like any other victim. Therefore, you will probably wonder what, if any, options you have for filing an insurance at-fault claim when you were the person at fault in the collision. After all, Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration requires you to have auto insurance to cover losses due to a crash. The issue of whether you can file a claim is quite complex, so you should trust a Baltimore County, MD auto accident attorney to help you understand your rights.
Maryland is an At-Fault Claim State for Motor Vehicle Crashes
With regards to filing a claim for your losses, it is important to review how fault works in the context of car accidents. The majority of states, including Maryland, apply an “at-fault” approach: The driver who caused the accident must pay for the other motorist’s losses, typically through mandatory auto insurance coverage. If you were injured in an auto crash in an at-fault state, you file a claim with the insurer that provides coverage for the negligent driver. The matter is a third-party claim, since you are not in a direct contractual relationship with the insurance company.
In “no-fault” states, you would file a claim with your own insurer – even if someone else’s negligence caused the car accident. This would be a first-party claim, since you have a contract with the insurance company.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland
Even in an at-fault state, you may still be able to file a claim for compensation regardless of your own negligence. PIP insurance coverage is an option that you can choose to carry under your own insurance policy, for an additional cost. If you opt for PIP, you could obtain compensation for various losses related to your injuries, such as medical bills, rehabilitation, physical therapy, lost wages, and other qualifying damages. There are some limitations on PIP coverage, however:
- ● You can only file a claim up to the amount of your PIP policy; and,
- ● Most PIP policies do not cover pain and suffering or property damage to your vehicle.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Regardless of the fact that you may be able to file a PIP claim with your insurance company, you can still experience challenges dealing with a claims adjuster. Insurers are businesses, so they strive to protect their own financial interests. They do not make profit by paying out on large claims, even those filed by their own insureds.
Talk to a Baltimore County, MD Auto Accidents Lawyer About Your Case
Even when your own negligence is a factor in an auto accident, you may still have options for filing a claim with an insurance company. Discuss them with a legal professional who has experience working with insurers and in-depth knowledge of policy coverages, PIP, and many other types of claims. Please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a consultation today.