When establishing fault after an accident, Maryland uses the contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, the authorities will determine your percentage of blame for a collision. For example, since you have a reasonable duty to protect yourself as well as other people on the road, if you behaved unreasonably at the time of the collision, you will be considered at fault for the crash.
Authorities may decide that you are partially or even fully responsible for your or other people’s injuries. This will be the case even if someone else also contributed to the accident. And if you were attributed a large portion of the blame for the collision, the at-fault driver has the right to file a counterclaim against you.
This claim would state that your own actions contributed to your injuries and therefore reduce the amount of monetary compensation the other driver must pay to you.
In the states with a Pure Contributory Negligence System in place, you are not entitled to collect monetary damages from the at-fault driver if you have contributed toward the accident by at least 1%.
Maryland Is an At-Fault State
Maryland is one of the states that operates on an at-fault basis regarding a car accident, so the person deemed responsible for an auto accident will be expected to pay the injured parties’ medical and property repair bills. For this purpose, Maryland requires that every motorist purchase liability insurance so that they can take responsibility for the affected parties’ expenses.
In Maryland, drivers are required to have liability insurance in the following amounts:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 for one person injured in a crash that the insured person caused. It also provides $30,000 for the survivors of a deceased victim.
- Bodily Injury Liability (multiple victims): $60,000 for two people injured in a crash that the insured person caused. This also applies if someone dies in the crash.
- Property Damage Liability: $15,000 for property damage caused in a car crash that the insured party caused.
Liability insurance does not cover the medical bills or property repair bills of the insured, the driver, or the driver’s passengers. It is only designated to address third-party expenses.
If you caused the accident, even partially, in Maryland, the insurance company does not have the responsibility to pay your medical and car repair bills.
Can You Sue for Damages?
If you caused the accident even by a tiny bit, you would not be able to sue the other at-fault driver for monetary compensation. Therefore, you will be responsible for paying all your medical bills and property repair bills. If your insurance policy covers medical expenses, it may cover your medical bills.
Medical payments insurance covers the medical expenses that occur during a car collision. This insurance covers you, anyone riding in your vehicle, and members of your family if you die in the crash. Your bodily injury liability coverage would not cover your passengers.
If you have collision coverage in your insurance package, it will help you repair or replace your vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
In Maryland, you are required to have uninsured motorist insurance coverage. If the at-fault driver is uninsured, he may want to sue you for that reason, but uninsured motorist coverage protects you against uninsured drivers. Uninsured motorist bodily injury would cover your medical bills while uninsured motorist property damage would cover your car repair bills after a collision with an uninsured motorist.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Sometimes, the at-fault motorist doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all your medical expenses spurred by the crash. Maryland also requires that you purchase underinsured bodily injury insurance coverage just in case the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your medical bills. If this is motivating the at-fault driver to sue you, this type of insurance will provide you with a much-needed safety net.