In Maryland, drivers are required to have a motor vehicle insurance policy that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This mandatory coverage protects insured drivers from paying out-of-pocket expenses for their injuries if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by an uninsured or inadequately insured driver. It may also give rise to a claim against a driver’s own insurance company, as in an April 20, 2020 Maryland personal injury case.
The plaintiff in the case was involved in an automobile accident in April of 2011, in which her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle traveling behind her. The plaintiff’s injuries required extensive medical treatment from the date of the accident until July 2014. The driver who caused the accident had an insurance policy with a $20,000 limit per person for bodily injuries, which was not enough to cover the full amount of the plaintiff’s medical expenses. Under the plaintiff’s auto insurance policy, she was covered up to $300,000 per person for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
The plaintiff collected the $20,000 policy limit settlement offer from the other driver’s insurer nearly two years after the accident. She then attempted to collect additional underinsured motorist benefits from her own insurer. The settlement negotiations went on for several years and, with her claim still pending, the plaintiff filed suit against her insurer in September of 2016. The insurance company filed a motion to dismiss, contending that her suit was barred by the three-year statute of limitations.