Maryland is not a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. Instead, Maryland follows a traditional fault-based system for car accident claims. In a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance is typically responsible for covering damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Maryland, it’s crucial to receive legal assistance throughout the proceedings. Look for a trusted accident lawyer with a proven track record of success to take on your case and ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Here is what you should know about car accident laws in Maryland and how to file a claim.
Car Insurance Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover potential damages they may cause to others in an accident.
The minimum liability insurance limits in Maryland are:
- $15,000 for property damage
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident if multiple people are injured
If you were injured in a car accident in Maryland, you have the right to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
To do so, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent or at fault for the accident.
No-Fault vs At-Fault State
In no-fault states, usually, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory. Drivers can use the PIP coverage to recover their medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages. The biggest advantage of PIP coverage is that drivers do not have to provide evidence of fault to be compensated.
Regardless of who caused the accident and their percentage of fault, anyone with PIP coverage is instantly compensated to access medical services. While Maryland is not a no-fault state for car insurance, drivers can still choose to purchase additional personal injury protection coverage.
If you don’t have PIP coverage, you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, and only when the case is solved will you gain access to the necessary compensation for your damages.
This is where having PIP insurance is a significant advantage, as you can cover your medical expenses while your case is pending. You must file a PIP application within one year with your insurance company to gain access to the benefits.
Proving Negligence in Maryland
Since compensation is strictly tied to who is at fault for the accident in Maryland, proving negligence is essential. When it comes to negligence laws in Maryland, the state operates under the doctrine called contributory negligence.
The contributory negligence law states that even if you are found one percent at fault for the accident, you will be barred from receiving compensation. Since the laws are so harsh, you should work with a personal injury lawyer to help you prove negligence and defend yourself against accusations of blame so that you do not lose your right to compensation.
To prove negligence in a Maryland car accident, you must gather evidence that shows the other party had a duty of care to you, they breached that duty, and this breach caused you to suffer injuries and other damages.
The duty of care refers to the fact that all drivers must adhere to while driving—namely, respecting traffic signs and speed limits, not driving while under the influence, and exercising reasonable care while behind the wheel.
To establish these factors and prove negligence, you must collect police and medical reports, provide video or photographic evidence of the accident scene, and gather witness statements.
Medical reports are crucial since they showcase the injuries you have suffered due to the car accident. This is why it’s essential to call an ambulance immediately when a car accident occurs. If you have pre-existing medical conditions that were worsened by the car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you prove this and pursue proper compensation.
Collaborating With a Car Accident Attorney
Losing your right to compensation in a car accident in Maryland is easy due to the state’s comparative negligence laws, and their statutes of limitations. Because of this, you need strong evidence to show that the other driver was negligent and ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries and other losses.
A car accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence and even work alongside other professionals, such as accident reconstruction experts or medical professionals. These professionals can give expert testimonies should your case reach the court and help you prove your innocence, the aggravation of your pre-existing medical conditions, or other essential factors caused by the car accident.