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How the Auto Insurance Claims Process Works in Maryland

For most drivers involved in an accident, this may be their first time filing an insurance claim or dealing with injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence. It is important to understand how the claims process works as well as the benefits of retaining a knowledgeable Maryland car accident attorney. Here are a few helpful tips and facts you may not already know.

Documents and Claims Reporting

One of the most important things you can do is call the police and ensure a report is completed, especially if you are injured. The police report will include important details, like contact information for the other party and the name of the responding officer. Any witnesses to the accident will be noted on the police report, along with any injuries reported at the scene.

If you have the opportunity and can do so safely, take your own photos at the scene. This can be helpful in determining liability and negotiating an injury settlement on your behalf.

When reporting the claim, report it to your own carrier and let them file the claim with the other person’s auto carrier. This helps ensure the other party’s insurance does not try to trap you in a recorded statement to make it look like you were the at-fault party.

Liability in Maryland

Maryland falls under the contributory negligence law, which means if you had any fault in the accident, you are barred from recovery. This is why insurance companies work hard to ensure they find any reason to claim that you are a percentage at fault, as well, as it results in no claims payouts for their insured. For example, if you are stopping to make a left turn but you do not have your signal on and a speeding car comes from behind and rams into you, you may be found 10% at fault for not using your blinker. Even if the other party is 90% at fault and you are only 10% at fault, you are barred from any recovery for your injuries and damages.

PIP Insurance

If you carry PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, on your policy, it is no-fault insurance that provides benefits for medical, hospital, and disability coverage up to $2,500 for all reasonable expenses arising from an incident. This coverage extends to you, family members, and non-familial occupants of your vehicle at the time of the accident.

Legal Process

In the event that a settlement is reached between parties, the case will end prior to any official court proceedings. It is important to know what the statute of limitations is for all injury and property damages. Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Pro. §5-101 notes that you have three years to file a cause of action for bodily injury and/or property damage. In the event, you have not reached a settlement before the statute of limitations is up, you can file a lawsuit and the case will proceed with more formal documentation and hearings required. In the event, you have not retained a Maryland personal injury lawyer and the three years expires before reaching a settlement, the insurance company has no obligation to pay you any money for damages. This is why retaining a competent accident attorney in Maryland is crucial to your case.

Contact Us

Contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-804-2312 today to set up a consultation to discuss the merits of your case. Let us navigate the tricky world of insurance and help you obtain the settlement you deserve.