Do I File a Car Accident Claim with My Insurance, or the Other Driver’s Insurance?

How to File a Car Accident ClaimOne of the most important steps after a car accident is filing a claim with your insurance company. However, if this is your first time being in an accident, you may be confused about whether you need to file the claim with your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not clear-cut because each state, including Maryland, has its own rules and guidelines on whose insurance company to file with depending on the facts and circumstances of your car accident.

Is Maryland an at-fault or no-fault state?

First and foremost, you need to know that Maryland is an at-fault state. This means that if you are involved in a car accident in Maryland and it was not your fault, you can file a claim against the negligent driver who caused your accident. When you file a claim, you will generally file it against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but you will still need to inform your own insurance company of the accident as quickly as possible.

Maryland’s pure contributory fault system

Maryland follows a pure contributory fault system when it comes to car accidents. This means that if it is determined that you were even one percent at fault for the car accident, Maryland does not allow you to recover any compensation for the accident. In order to avoid being barred from seeking compensation, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer who can build a case that proves you are not at fault for the crash or your injuries.

What if the other driver does not have car insurance?

A common problem for Maryland accident victims is finding out that the driver who caused their accident has no coverage or insufficient coverage. If this is the case for you, you will need to check with your own insurance company to ensure that you have underinsured and uninsured motorist (UIM/UM) coverage. This type of coverage is very important to have because if the other party does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your damages or does not have insurance coverage at all, your UIM/UM coverage will likely kick in and take care of most of your damages.

Maryland auto insurance policies provide UM/UIM coverage, so as long as you didn’t waive it, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, but keep in mind that it may not be a simple process. Even if you have been using the same insurance company for years, they will attempt to find ways to reduce the money that they owe you by as much as possible. That is why you need an experienced Maryland attorney who will handle all forms of communication with your insurance company and help you prepare for any complications they may cause.

For 40 years, the car accident attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. have been helping clients with various car accident claims in Maryland. We know how insurance companies work and all the options that we can take to potentially get you the maximum compensation you need and deserve. Our team is happy to lift the burden of guessing off your plate and answer any questions or concerns you have about successfully filing a claim. Simply call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free consultation at one of our many Maryland offices, and we will be in touch to assist you.