For victims of hit-and-run accidents in Maryland, seeking compensation for injuries may seem hopeless. In many cases, uninsured motorist coverage may be available through an auto insurance policy held by the driver or injured passenger. In a September 13, 2021 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered whether or not an insurance company wrongfully denied the plaintiff’s claim for uninsured motorist benefits.
The plaintiff in the case was riding as a passenger in her daughter’s vehicle when they were rear-ended by a truck. The truck then fled the scene before the driver could be identified. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff and her daughter lived in the same household. The plaintiff’s daughter was insured under a policy that provided uninsured motorist coverage of up to $30,000 per individual. The plaintiff held a separate policy issued by the same insurer, with limits of $300,000 per individual for uninsured motorist coverage.
Because the plaintiff’s medical expenses exceeded the amount of her daughter’s policy limits, the plaintiff sought uninsured motorist benefits under both policies. The insurance company accepted the claim made under her daughter’s policy, but denied the claim made under her own policy. The plaintiff subsequently filed suit against the insurer for breach of the insurance contract. After the circuit court granted summary judgment for the insurer, the plaintiff appealed to the higher court.