Involved in a car accident in Maryland? You need to know that as in every other state in the United States, Maryland has laws pertaining to this and car insurance plays a vital role where every traffic accident is involved. The Maryland auto insurance rule will ensure coverage in case of accidents.
Did you know that Maryland is a Fault Car Accident State?
When there is a car accident, Maryland follows that fault system where the financial responsibilities are concerned. These include physical injuries, lost income, vehicle damage, etc. In other words, the driver is responsible for setting right the losses incurred by the victim of the accident. These losses will be covered by the driver’s insurance based on the policy limits.
In Maryland, when you are a victim of a car accident, you have three remedies and can choose one of it:
- You can file an insurance claim at your own insurance company, assuming that the loss is covered under the policy.
- You can file a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, or
- File a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver.
Car Insurance Requirements in Maryland
The required minimum amounts of liability car insurance coverage in Maryland are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle, and
- $15,000 for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
The insurance liability coverage will help in covering the medical bills, property damage bills, and other costs of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or have their vehicle damaged in a car accident, up to coverage limits as stated here. There is also a possibility that you can carry more coverage to protect you in case of serious accidents that cause severe physical injuries and damage to the vehicle. It is important to note that if the policy limits are exhausted, they have been meeting the liabilities personally. Therefore, the higher insurance limits will ensure that your personal assets are intact in the event the crash is serious.
The liability insurance coverage is not only applicable when you drive the car personally but also when other members of your family or any other person that you have authorized had caused the accident.
Also, take note that the liability coverage will not apply to your own injuries or vehicle damage after a Maryland car accident. You’ll need additional coverage for that if you’re involved in a car accident and no one else’s coverage is applicable to your losses.
For example, collision coverage can pay for repairs to your damaged vehicle after a car accident. And uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can protect you and your passengers if the at-fault driver has no insurance or if you’re the victim of a hit and run.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Maryland? There are certain penalties that the state of Maryland imposes for driving without insurance. When you drive without insurance for the first 30 days, the fine amount would be $150 and for every day beyond that, the fine will be $7 per day.
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the following administrative penalties could also be imposed and these are the fines imposed in addition to fines or any other criminal penalties ordered by a court:
- loss of license plates and vehicle registration privileges
- payment of a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle’s registration
- inability to register any future vehicles or renew a suspended registration until all insurance violations are cleared, and
- confiscation of license plates by an authorized tag recovery agent, once a registration suspension is in effect.
Here are Maryland’s car accident compensation laws, including limits on damages and the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitation: Three years for most personal injury and property damage lawsuits, according to Title 5, Sec. 101 and one year for claims against the government. The section reads: A civil action at law shall be filed within three years from the date it accrues unless another provision of the Code provides a different period of time within which an action shall be commenced.
Limits of Damages: Non-economic damages limited to $ 860,000 as of 10/1/2018; increases by $15,000 every year on October 1, according to MD Cts & Jud Pro Code § 11-108
In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2)(i)Noneconomic damages” means:
(1) In an action for personal injury, pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or another nonpecuniary injury; and
(2) In an action for wrongful death, mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, care, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education, or other noneconomic damages authorized under Title 3, Subtitle 9 of this article.
(ii) “Noneconomic damages” does not include punitive damages.
(3) Primary claimant” means a claimant in an action for the death of a person described under 3-904(d) § of this article.
(4) Secondary claimant” means a claimant in an action for the death of a person described under 3-904(e) § of this article.
(b) Limitation on amount of damages established. –
(1) In any action for damages for personal injury in which the cause of action arises on or after July 1, 1986, an award for noneconomic damages may not exceed $350,000.
(i) Except as provided in paragraph (3)(ii) of this subsection, in any action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death in which the cause of action arises on or after October 1, 1994, an award for noneconomic damages may not exceed $ 500,000.
(ii) The limitation on noneconomic damages provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall increase by $ 15,000 on October 1 of each year beginning on October 1, 1995. The increased amount shall apply to causes of action arising between October 1 of that year and September 30 of the following year, inclusive.
(i) The limitation established under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall apply in a personal injury action to each direct victim of tortious conduct and all persons who claim injury by or through that victim.
(ii) In a wrongful death action in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, an award for noneconomic damages may not exceed 150% of the limitation established under paragraph (2) of this subsection, regardless of the number of claimants or beneficiaries who share in the award.
When involved in a car accident, get in touch with an attorney in Maryland. With an experienced attorney, you can ensure victory.