Uninsured or underinsured Motorist coverage cases are some of the most heavily litigated personal injury car accident claims in Maryland.
There was a trial this summer that exemplified this fact, and it caused quite a lot of internet buzz.
It all started when a bad car accident killed a young woman in Maryland. The insurance company for the driver who caused the accident put up their full policy limits. Unfortunately, it was only $25,000.
So the young woman’s family did what anyone would do – they turned to her own insurance policy to recover the maximum amount she paid for in underinsured motorist insurance coverage. She had a policy providing for $100,000 coverage. Clearly, the life of a young woman is worth at least that much.
But Progressive never offered near the full amount to settle the case. They took it all the way to trial, and tried to claim she was partly responsible, and the jury found against them to the tune of $760,000.
To a reasonable person, it sounds outrageous that an insurer could refuse to pay $100,000 when someone died. As an attorney who handles car accident personal injury cases, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
Your Insurer Will Fight You Hard
I tell my clients to expect a long fight if they sue their own insurer. They are always flabbergasted, because it doesn’t feel right.
That is their own insurance company. Why wouldn’t they pay? Aren’t they on the side of their own customer? Why aren’t they standing by you when you need them?
This particular case is simply a particularly glaring example of the problem. The problem itself is quite common.
The fact is, the insurance company is going to put you through the ringer if you want any money out of them. This is well illustrated in uninsured and underinsured motorist cases like this one.
In these cases, they only pay if the adverse driver would have had to pay under their own insurance policy.
They don’t just swoop in and pay because something bad happened and you need coverage. They have to be forced to pay because the other driver is negligent. In this case, Progressive was using the same defenses the adverse driver would have used if they didn’t settle. It just feels wrong since Progressive was her insurance company, and was fighting her for the policy limits.
But it is 100% legal and happens all the time.
Conclusion & Next Steps
If you have an uninsured motorist claim or underinsured motorist claim, you need to be prepared for a fight with your own insurance company.
That may drive you nuts, but it is true.
Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about car accident cases in Maryland. Click here to see our Free Legal Consumer Guide to Maryland car accident cases and get answers to your questions today. Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself.
Need a Personal Injury lawyer? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need a Maryland attorney for your personal injury case.
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