In some Maryland car accident cases, the driver who caused the collision is not insured, or does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the entire amount of damages for which they are liable. However, if you have underinsured motorist coverage from your own auto insurer, you may file a claim to recover payment for your remaining medical expenses when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are insufficient. Pursing a claim with an insurance company may be difficult, but you have the option of retaining legal representation at any time. A Maryland car accident attorney can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and attempt to negotiate an acceptable settlement.
In an August 20, 2019 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland reviewed an appeal from a plaintiff that had filed an underinsured motorist claim with his insurance carrier for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision. When his claim was denied, he brought the instant lawsuit against his insurance company. Although he was advised repeatedly by the court to hire counsel, he proceeded as a pro se litigant and represented himself.
In his lawsuit, the plaintiff stated that he suffered serious and permanent physical injuries in a motor vehicle collision that occurred in December of 2009. He also alleged that the costs of his medical treatment and related expenses exceeded the $20,000 policy limits of the other driver’s Maryland insurance policy. The plaintiff therefore sought coverage from the uninsured/underinsured motorist policy he held with his auto insurance company, which had a policy limit of up to $100,000.
Before trial, the insurance company moved to preclude the plaintiff from introducing into evidence medical bills that he had not produced in discovery. The plaintiff, unable to show that he had sent them to the defendant or produce them for the court, moved to continue the trial. The defendant, in turn, moved to dismiss the case. The trial court concluded that dismissal was appropriate based upon the inability of the plaintiff to produce medical records and his failure to identify an expert witness to testify regarding those records, and noted that it had been the third time the trial date had been set. The plaintiff then filed an appeal.
The appeals court found that the grounds for appeal shared a common grievance, which was the denial of his constitutional right to a fair trial. The court, mindful of his status as a pro se litigant, construed his arguments liberally. However, the appeals court ultimately concluded that the trial court had neither erred nor abused its discretion in making its decisions. The court went on to explain that failure to adequately prepare for trial is ordinarily not a ground for continuance, and affirmed the judgment of the lower court.
At Foran & Foran, P.A., we understand that personal injuries can result in financial hardship. Our Maryland car accident attorneys have the experience and dedication to help auto accident victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. We can provide guidance and legal representation in personal injury and negligence cases, including wrongful death actions and medical malpractice suits. Request a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling Foran & Foran at (301) 441-2022 or contacting us online.