Have you ever wondered why you need uninsured motorist coverage in the DMV? Surely it’s unnecessary, as state law requires all drivers to buy auto insurance anyway?
While there’s some truth in this statement, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. Read on to learn how uninsured motorist coverage works and how it can protect you in an accident.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage pays for your and your passengers’ medical expenses and damage to your vehicle if you’re hit by a driver without auto liability coverage.
While many states require drivers to carry auto insurance, not everyone abides by the law. Statistics show that some 13% of U.S. motorists drive without adequate coverage.
If you’re ever involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you won’t be able to file a claim against their non-existent insurance. However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can seek compensation from your insurance company instead.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
You can tap into your UM/UIM insurance to cover your medical bills and property damage when:
- The at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance.
- The at-fault driver has insurance, but it’s not enough to cover your losses.
- You were injured in a hit-and-run accident, and the other driver hasn’t been identified.
If you waive your uninsured motorist coverage in the DMV, you won’t be able to file a claim through your carrier. Your only option to seek compensation would be to initiate a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, if they don’t have the means to pay, you won’t be able to collect anything.
Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Washington, D.C., and Maryland?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is required in both Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
Washington, D.C., drivers must carry the following in UM/UIM coverage:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $5,000 per accident for property damage
Maryland law requires drivers to carry the following in UM/UIM coverage:
- $30,000 per person
- $60,000 per accident
- $15,000 for property damage
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer if You’re Hit by an Uninsured Driver
You might think that recovering compensation from your insurance company should be relatively straightforward, but that isn’t always the case.
Insurance carriers look out for their interests, not yours. Instead of your insurance agent, you’ll be dealing with an adjuster whose job is to minimize your payout as much as possible. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to sue their own insurance companies to recover a fair compensation in their UM/UIM claims.
To level the playing field, you need an experienced auto insurance lawyer fighting in your corner. Oftentimes, the presence of an attorney is enough for insurers to agree to a reasonable settlement.
Speak to an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Dealing with auto insurance claims can be complicated in normal circumstances, but it’s even trickier when an uninsured or underinsured driver is involved. At Johnnie Bond Law, we can help you navigate the insurance claims system with confidence and seek fair compensation.
Call (202) 683-6803 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about uninsured motorist coverage in the DMV.