Who do you call first immediately after a car accident in Maryland?
Most people who end up hurt in auto wrecks know little about how to make an insurance claim. They probably aren’t aware if Maryland is a no-fault state for car accidents or not. However, this is a critical question when you want to file a claim against a driver who injured you. So today, with the help of Nick Del Pizzo, a Baltimore law firm we are going to inspect, is Maryland a no-fault state for car accidents?
Answering The Question: Is Maryland a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
No-Fault and At-Fault What’s the Difference?
No-fault auto insurance laws require every driver who was involved in a crash to file a claim with their own insurance company. The question of which driver caused the accident is irrelevant. In states with no-fault laws, all drivers must buy personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their auto insurance policies. A Baltimore Lawyer, such as Nick Del Pizzo, may help if you have questions about PIP laws. Under no-fault laws, drivers may still sue for severe injuries and pain and suffering in certain circumstances.
Some no-fault states impose minimum requirements for the days the accident victim spent off work because of the injury to make a claim. No-fault states restrict litigation. They reduce the costs and delays in claims. Pay-outs for accidents are often lower than in at-fault states.
What are No-Fault States?
12 states and Puerto Rico have no-fault insurance laws. Each party, regardless of who is at fault, can collect compensation such as lost wages and medical bills from their own insurers.
No-fault states include Florida, Kansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
However, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are also “choice” states. They allow drivers to choose either an at-fault or a no-fault insurance policy. Drivers who have an at-fault insurance policy can sue the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Most states, including Maryland, use the at-fault system of car insurance. The system is based on tort liability. In many states, insurance companies pay accident claims based on each party’s fault.
The driver who caused the accident, and the injuries, pays damages to the other parties involved in the crash. The at-fault driver’s insurance company indemnifies the culpable driver by paying up to the policy limits on the insurance policy.
When someone who is hurt in a car crash or sustains damage to their car disagrees with the settlement offered by the insurance company, he or she can sue and seek medical expenses, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering. People who are unhappy with the insurance company’s offer usually hire a lawyer to fight the insurance company on their behalf.
Maryland insurance policies often contain personal injury protection (PIP). It’s not required, but insurers must offer it. This will allow motorists to recover money for medical costs up to a certain threshold irrespective of fault.
At-Fault After Car Accidents
Not all at-fault states follow the same system. Many states use comparative negligence. This means you can often still recover money if you are partially to blame for an accident. However, if you were 30 percent to blame, you will probably be awarded less money than if you were 5 percent to blame.
Maryland follows a strict and archaic system called contributory negligence. Drivers who were any degree at fault for the accident that injured them cannot make a claim. If, for example, a jury finds you were even 2% at fault, your injury claim is void. The law goes beyond Maryland car accidents. It also applies to slip and falls or other personal injury claims. Maryland is one of only five states to have this strict law on its books. The others are Alabama, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Relevance of Maryland Not Being No-Fault
The fact Maryland is an at-fault state means people hurt in wrecks have to work hard to make a case against the driver who hurt them. You also have to fight claims you were any degree to blame for your crash. You must fight the other driver’s insurance company rather than making a claim with your own as you would in a no-fault state. Car accident claims are hotly disputed in Maryland. Successful litigants can win big payouts. However, the price of failing to make a case is also high. The unpredictability of the car accident claims process means it’s advisable to talk to a skilled lawyer as soon as possible.
About The Law Offices of Nicholas J Del Pizzo
At The Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo, III P.A. in Baltimore, Maryland, we make ourselves available for our clients when they are facing foreclosure of their home, bankruptcy, personal injury or medical malpractice. When you have a consultation at our law office, you meet with Nick Del Pizzo, a Baltimore lawyer, the founder of our firm. Your case is not passed off to a paralegal or less-experienced associate. You get the personalized attention you need from a local law firm. Whatever your legal need is, we are there for you, seven days a week. Your case becomes our cause, and we will seek the best resolution possible.
Ready to Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Baltimore?
Have you or a loved one been hurt due to someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Nicholas J Del Pizzo. As your personal injury lawyer in Baltimore, you will be working with an experienced and dedicated attorney who recognizes that people have legal needs that simply do not coincide with regular business hours. We will work hard to ensure that you recover fair compensation for your car accident, medical expenses, lost wages, or benefits associated with your injury.