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Auto Accident Blog

Exchanging Information Post Motor Vehicle Collision

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

After a motor vehicle accident, the majority of drivers exchange insurance information without issue. However, on occasion, some drivers will refuse to provide their automobile insurance details to the other driver.

Under Maryland law, after an accident, drivers are required to provide their insurance information to the other driver. This information includes the name and address of the insurance carrier, as well as the policy number.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision and the other driver refuses to provide you with their insurance information, you should call the police immediately. It is against Maryland law for drivers to refuse this information.

Have you been injured in an automobile collision? Did the other driver refuse to provide you with his or her insurance information? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

But it wasn't my fault! Why you should be using your health insurance

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A common misconception (and rightfully so) that most clients have is that they should not use their health insurance for medical treatment after they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The reason they feel this way is because the accident was not their fault, so why should they use their health insurance? Shouldn’t the Defendant be paying?

This first order of business is to determine if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your automobile insurance policy. If you need a refresher on PIP coverage, please read my previous blog, “First Party.” Briefly, using your PIP coverage cannot impact your rate, and it can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your case.

If you have PIP and it exhausts OR you do not have PIP insurance, the next link in the chain is YOUR health insurance. It’s important that all of your medical treatment is processed through your health insurance to ensure that your providers are paid for their services and also so you do not have large balances at the conclusion of your case.

Keep in mind that your health insurance will keep track of what it pays related to your case, and your insurer is required by law to be paid back from any settlement or judgment you receive.

Have you been injured in an automobile accident? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a FREE consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Mind The Gap

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A few years ago, I had a client who fell down some steps at his apartment complex and injured his back. The cleaning company had just mopped the floor, but had not gotten around to putting up the wet floor signs yet. He began treating for his back, but then found himself in jail. The client received medical care for his back while in jail, and was released after approximately 2 months. I don't do criminal work, and I don't recall the details of his incarceration, except that it was for something minor. The client completed his care after his release and I was posed with a difficult question. When sending my demand to the cleaning company's insurance company, should I submit the medical records from the jail, or should I allow them to believe there was a gap in treatment?

Insurance adjustors aren't original, we know what defenses they will raise and what they are going to say. If you're injured in a car accident, the insurance adjustor will tell you that you treated too long, that your medical bills are too high, that the injuries you did not have 5 minutes before your car crash are somehow not related to the crash, and if there is a gap in treatment, you clearly were 100% better. In the world of insurance adjusting, there is nothing worse for a plaintiff than a gap in treatment.

So the question is, what constitutes a gap? Generally, it is span of time during active physical therapy or chiropractic care, where you miss appointments or don't seek treatment. It doesn't matter to the insurance company if you had to go out of town for work, if you had a death in the family, if there was snow, or if the provider was booked. If you miss appointments, they will tell you that the only possible conclusion is that you didn't need any more care, and that you are all better. Some benevolent adjustors will consider the circumstances of a gap if it is documented in the medical records, but they are few and far between.

For my client that fell down the wet stairs, it was better that the adjustor heard that my client was in jail than for her to think there was a gap. I was able to negotiate a fair settlement for the client.

Understanding Your Auto Insurance in Maryland

Friday, November 17, 2017

Elizabeth Shura, AttorneyIn most states, including Maryland, automobile insurance is mandatory. There are many different layers of automobile insurance and they can often be difficult to navigate. We have put together a list of the most common options below to help our clients choose what is best for them.

Liability Insurance - Bodily Injury and Property Damage

Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance are mandatory in the state of Maryland. This insurance coverage pays for damage to property or bodily injury to another person when you are at fault for a motor vehicle collision. Maryland has established mandatory minimum policy limits as follows: (1) bodily injury - $30,000 per person/$60,000 per incident and (2) property damage - $15,000 per incident. You can choose to purchase higher policy limits for a higher premium, which will help to protect you from personal liability if you cause a collision.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is also mandatory in the state of Maryland. This insurance will pay for your injuries and property damage, as well as injuries to your passengers, if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision and (1) the at-fault driver is uninsured or (2) the at-fault driver flees the scene of the collision and cannot be identified. The mandatory minimum policy limits are the same as liability insurance - (1) bodily injury - $30,000 per person/$60,000 per incident and (2) property damage - $15,000 per incident. You can also choose to purchase higher policy limits for a higher premium, but the limits must not exceed your limits for liability insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage also includes underinsured motorist coverage, which kicks in when the at-fault driver’s policy limits are less than your uninsured motorist policy limits and do not satisfy your claim. You can recover above the at-fault driver’s policy limits up to your uninsured motorist policy limit.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is insurance coverage that will cover medical expenses and lost wages which result from a motor vehicle collision, regardless of who caused the collision. If you choose to purchase PIP, the standard amount is $2,500 worth of coverage, although you may choose a higher limit. You can decide to waive PIP for yourself and resident relatives (family members who live in your household) over the age of 16, which will result in a lower premium. The PIP waiver will not apply to family members under the age of 16 or passengers who are not resident relatives. You must make a claim for PIP benefits within a year of the collision or your claim will be barred.

Collision Coverage

This is optional insurance coverage that you may purchase, which provides coverage for your property damage if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision. The higher amount of collision coverage you purchase, the higher your premium is. The rate is based on your vehicle, but not just the value. It is complex and looks into the cost of repairing your vehicle, among other factors.

Comprehensive Coverage

This is optional insurance coverage that you may purchase, which provides coverage for property damage caused by something other than an automobile collision (for example, a storm or theft). As with collision coverage, the higher amount of collision coverage you purchase, the higher your premium is.

Although these are the most common types of insurance coverage available in Maryland, there are many more including but not limited to rental coverage and medical payments coverage (only covers medical expenses, not lost wages).

If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision and are seeking representation or have a question about your coverage, please contact Elizabeth Shura, Esq. at 301-670-7030.

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