What happens when the at fault party's (tortfeasor) automobile insurance policy limits are not adequate to make the victim whole following treatment from an accident? Maryland insurance laws requires each policy to at a minimum include uninsurance motorist coverage. However, in this situation, the victim's uninsurance coverage will need to exceed the tortfeasor's policy limits in order to make a claim for "under-insurance".
Notwithstanding, to take the policy limits from the insurance company, the victim has to follow some slightly complicated Maryland legal procedure. Under Maryland Insurance Code § 19-511, some procedures must be strictly followed before they can settle a case that allows the victim to continue to pursue their underinsured motorist claim.
Uninsured motorist claims are complicated and therefore, you should hire an attorney to assist you as soon as possible after the accident. It is especially important to be careful when settling with the at fault driver (the tortfeasor) when you will be making an uninsured motorist claim. The proper way to settle with a tortfeasor is set forth in Section 19-511 of the Maryland Code. Basically once the policy limits settlement offer is made, the written offer must be sent to the uninsured motorist carrier by certified mail. The UM carrier will then have 60 days to either consent to the settlement and the signing of a release, or to refuse consent to settle. If they refuse to consent to settle, the uninsured motorist carrier must pay the amount of the proposed settlement to the injured party.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advise. Hence, contact us for a free phone consultation regarding this topic.