Serving Maryland and Washington D.C. 301.870.1200

PIP, UIM, and Fault-Based Insurance in Maryland

In an auto accident caused by one driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, the at-fault driver is liable for the victim’s injuries. Generally, victims will not deal with the driver directly, but rather negotiate with an insurance company that will pay the claim under the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage.

In a car accident, there are usually two insurance companies involved: the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the victim’s insurance company. The victim’s insurance company may provide personal injury protection coverage and, if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, may pay out an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy.

Fault Insurance

The negligent driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying a victim’s damages under a fault-based insurance policy if the victim can prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident. Then the insurance company will be responsible for paying the victim’s damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Owners of motor vehicles in Maryland are required to carry a minimum amount of coverage:

  • $30,000 for injuries sustained by a single person;
  • $60,000 total for the injuries of multiple people sustained in single accident; and
  • $15,000 for property damage.

It may be a good idea to carry additional coverage. If a driver is found liable for causing more damage than the policy limits, he or she will be personally responsible for paying the additional damages.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is insurance covering the vehicle the victim was in at the time of the accident. In the case of pedestrian victims, the at-fault driver’s PIP insurance company will be responsible. PIP coverage is not fault-based. It is not required in Maryland.

PIP insurance covers several potential parties:

  • The insured driver;
  • Passengers in the vehicle;
  • Family members living in the insured driver’s household;
  • Permissive users of the vehicle;
  • Guests in the insured car; and
  • Injured pedestrians.

Under PIP coverage, a victim may recover medical bills, lost wages, and other associated expenses. Generally, PIP coverage is in the amount of $2500, but some policies have limits of up to $10,000.

PIP coverage has two main advantages. First, Maryland’s collateral source rule means that a victim can recover twice for the same damages. The victim’s recover under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will not be reduced because the victim also recovered some costs using PIP coverage.

Additionally, PIP insurance recovery is generally quick, and will usually be paid out within about a month of submitting the bill. Thus, victims can pay medical and other bills in the interim between the accident and getting full damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

PIP insurance coverage may be waived, though it is not generally a good idea. However, coverage cannot be waived for passengers aged 16 and under.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Every policy in Maryland must include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UIM coverage is used when other driver is at fault and either does not have insurance or the insurance is not enough to cover the resultant damages. In that case, the victim’s UIM insurer will pay the shortfall.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need an attorney who knows how Maryland’s insurance system works and can obtain the best recovery for you. Please contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Robert R. Castro to schedule a free initial consultation.

Categories: