If the Person Who Hit Me and My Car Doesn’t Have Insurance, Who Will Pay for My Medical Bills?

You’re on your way home from work, driving on I-270, when you suddenly remember that your wife asked you to pick up milk. You stop at the Harris Teeter and get it, but as you’re leaving the lot, an 18-year-old driver on his phone plows into the side of your car, leaving you with a fractured arm. To make matters worse, when you go to ask for their insurance, you find out that they’re uninsured!

So now you’re hurt, and you’re not even sure what the other person is liable for when it comes to insurance coverage. You ask yourself, “How am I going to pay for my upcoming medical bills?” In many cases, when an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you, you’re going to be stuck paying your own medical bills and other costs related to the collision unless you have the right coverage. But what IS the right coverage?

Underinsured vs. Uninsured Motorist Coverage

An uninsured motorist (UM) is a driver without auto insurance. ALL states except New Hampshire and Virginia require drivers to maintain some form of insurance, but the Insurance Research Council has suggested that nearly 13% of all motorists across the nation are driving without any form of coverage.

With that number in mind, how can you make sure that you have the peace of mind when you drive around the Old Line State? (That’s a nickname for Maryland) Part of your insurance coverage in MD, VA & DC is UM coverage. By having UM coverage, you won’t have to pay the full cost of the damage out of your own pockets if you are injured in a collision with an uninsured driver. If the other party was at fault, your UM coverage will step in and compensate you as if they are the other driver’s insurer. Your insurance company will then try to go after the at fault person individually to get the money back the insurance company paid out to you.

On the other hand, an underinsured motorist (UIM) is someone who drives without the necessary amount of coverage if they ever get into a collision. Like uninsured motorist coverage, your policy acts like the other party’s insurer if 1) they are at fault for the crash, and 2) their policy limit doesn’t cover the full amount they are liable for.

Currently, 22 jurisdictions require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage and 13 require underinsured motorist coverage. If you live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C., below are the specific UM/UIM coverage laws that apply to you.

 

  • Maryland: Minimum coverage is $30,000 per injured party, with a cap of $60,000 per collision.
  • Virginia: Although you are not obligated to carry automobile insurance in Virginia, state law requires all drivers to have a means of paying for injuries or property damage arising from a collision they are at fault for. The UM/UIM coverage minimum is $25,000 per person or $50,000 per collision.
  • Washington, D.C.: Required coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per collision.

 

When you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is fighting with an insurer (whether it‘s yours or the other driver’s) to get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, the costs of any future care, your lost wages and money for your pain and suffering. We understand your situation, and we would love to have the opportunity to let you know what your options are, and guide you on how to best proceed.   

At the law office of Pérez Halpern LLC, we have years of experience in helping clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are here for you through post-collision complications, including instances where insurance companies refuse to pay UM/UIM benefits to their own policyholders. Don’t wait or hesitate, the time to contact us is today!

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