Some states penalize car crash victims for not buying insurance, even limiting their ability to seek compensation for the damages they suffered. Is that the case in Maryland?
Below, our experienced Maryland vehicle accident lawyers discuss this issue in detail. Whether you have insurance or not, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer after an accident to discuss your options. The other driver and his or her insurance company will fight hard to avoid accountability for your damages, and this is very difficult to overcome on your own.
Our firm offers crash victims a free legal consultation with no obligation to take legal action after meeting with one of our licensed lawyers.
Unlike some other states, Maryland does not limit your ability to seek compensation for a crash if you do not have insurance. You did not get into a crash because you lacked insurance. The accident was the result of negligent driving. In many cases, the other driver is entirely at fault, while in other cases the victim bears partial responsibility.
Driving without insurance is negligent because you could have caused a crash and without insurance you might not have the ability to pay for the victim’s damages. That is why drivers who are caught operating a motor vehicle without insurance are likely to receive a traffic citation and a fine.
The standard penalty for driving without insurance is a $1,000 fine along with administrative fees. If you provided false evidence of insurance coverage you could be imprisoned for up to one year and receive five points on your license. Penalties increase for subsequent offenses, so you could spend up to two years in jail for providing false evidence of coverage.
However, while driving without insurance is negligent, it has no bearing on the crash itself. The central issue in a car crash claim is whether another driver is at fault for it.
It is also important to remember that lack of insurance cannot be submitted as evidence in a trial. While most cases are settled before trial, some end up making it to trial. If something cannot be brought up at trial, you should not let it be used against you beforehand. That is why you need an experienced attorney fighting for you.
Maryland has a harsh contributory negligence rule that bars you from seeking any compensation if you are even one percent at fault for a crash. The insurance company for the at-fault driver may claim driving without insurance makes you partially liable for the crash because you should not have been on the road.
However, lack of insurance has nothing to do with the crash. If you were negligent in some way, you would be partially at fault for the accident.
This highlights something crash victims need to remember: never take the insurance company’s word for it. Their goal is to avoid paying out compensation or pay out the smallest amount possible. They are looking for some way to avoid financial responsibility.
If you have questions about something the insurance company told you or you think something they said does not make sense, do not hesitate to give our firm a call to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. We have helped many crash victims and we know how insurance companies try to mislead people.
Not only is it illegal to drive without insurance, it is a financially risky thing to do. Think about it this way: what if you are injured in a crash and the driver flees the scene?
The police might not be able to locate the driver. In this situation, drivers turn to the uninsured motorist coverage in their own policies to cover their damages. If you have no insurance, this is not an option. How are you going to pay your medical bills?
If you were injured in a crash, you should seek treatment right away and call a lawyer. However, you should also buy insurance as soon as possible to protect you in the future.
For more than 30 years, The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl has been advocating for those injured in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. We have helped many victims recover fair compensation for their damages and are ready to help you.
Call today to schedule your free consultation so we can validate your claim. There are no upfront fees or legal obligations, and our attorneys are not paid unless you get paid.
There are no legal obligations or upfront fees. Call 410-907-3957.