Call Us Today!

Does Maryland Have a No-Fault System for Car Insurance?

no-fault car insurance

Generally, states have either no fault car insurance, fault auto insurance, or a hybrid of the two. With no-fault insurance, compensation is paid out to injured parties regardless of who is at fault, just like workers’ compensation.

However, most states do not have no-fault auto insurance. Instead, they have a fault system or a hybrid of the two. Maryland bases its car insurance system on the at-fault model. But what does this mean exactly?


Comparing No Fault and Fault Car Insurance


Car accidents are so common that each state requires every driver to carry car insurance. However, how an injury victim seeks compensation differs depending on whether the state is a no-fault or fault insurance state.

No Fault Car Insurance


No-fault car insurance is a streamlined way of providing car accident victims with payouts in a timely fashion. After being hurt in a car accident, the injury victim files a claim with their own auto insurance provider instead of with the insurance company of the other driver. There is no need for the victim to prove that someone else was at fault.

This type of system is desirable because it dispenses with many of the requirements car accident victims typically must fulfill before receiving compensation. Under standard no-fault rules, the victim simply submits a claim to their insurance company and awaits payment.

However, no fault car insurance abridges the compensation a victim can claim after an accident in exchange for not requiring victims to prove fault. In other words, the price for not having to prove fault is a loss of certain compensable damages that are normally available in personal injury cases.

Under no-fault systems, victims may not seek non-economic damages. These damages cover losses like pain and suffering. Also, a victim may only claim a portion of their lost income. That said, most states that use the no-fault insurance system allow victims to pursue full compensation if their injuries are serious enough.

At-Fault Car Insurance


At-fault car insurance, on the other hand, means that the victim of the car accident must seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. This also means that the victim must build a case that shows that the other driver was at fault.

Maryland car accident victims are under at-fault rules. Thus, victims in Maryland may pursue full compensation instead of just the limited payout offered under no fault car insurance schemes.

Maryland Insurance Requirements


Every state has minimum insurance requirements. In Maryland, motor vehicle operators are required to purchase these minimum forms of auto insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $30,000 or more per person
  • Bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage in the amount of $15,000

Failure to carry auto insurance in Maryland can mean fines and problems. For a first offense, you could be looking at a fine of $1,000, plus five points added to your driver’s license and up to a year in jail. For second-time offenders, the penalties are much worse at up to two years in jail and $2,000 in fines, plus five points.

Maryland drivers also must carry proof of insurance while driving. If a police officer stops you, and you do not have proof of insurance, you will likely receive a ticket that requires you to go to court. This is true even if you actually have insurance.

Also, failure to carry insurance can result in various administrative penalties, regardless of whether you got a ticket or not. Some of these penalties include:

  • License and registration loss
  • Up to $2,500 in administrative fees
  • Registration reinstatement fine of $25
  • Confiscation of your license plate
  • Inability to register new vehicles until you clear up current violations

If you are facing these dire consequences, you may suffer a result that costs you more time and money than you can afford. A qualified car accident attorney can explore your best options.

Proving Fault in Maryland Car Accidents


Maryland Car Accidents

Victims of Maryland car accidents must demonstrate that the party who caused their accident was negligent in doing so. This requires the victim’s attorney to identify certain actions the other driver engaged in that was unreasonably dangerous to others.

Common negligent driving actions include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving
  • Excessive speeding
  • Following another vehicle too closely
  • Failure to yield
  • Operating an unsafe vehicle
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Road rage

Once your personal injury attorney shows that your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, they must also prove that you suffered compensable losses.

In at-fault states, you can pursue full compensation based on all of the compensable losses available to typical personal injury victims. They include:

  • Medical treatment and care expenses
  • Lost wages or income from missed work
  • Costs related to home or vehicle modifications
  • Travel costs for trips to the doctor or hospital
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Solatium

If the driver who harmed you was engaged in actions that were grossly negligent, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages punish and deter bad behavior and are paid to the victim on top of their compensatory damages. But they are rare after Maryland car accidents.

Statute of Limitations


Keep in mind that there is a deadline for taking legal action for your losses. Known as a statute of limitations, it requires victims of Maryland car accidents to file a lawsuit for compensation within three years of the car accident.

Failure to do so can leave you with no compensation. However, there are some exceptions to the rule that you might qualify for. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case to determine whether your case is still valid.

Protecting Victims of Maryland Car Accidents


Injured in a car crash in Maryland? You may be eligible for compensation. The seasoned team at The Joel Bieber Firm protects the rights of injury victims in Maryland and will fight hard to secure the money you deserve. To speak with a skilled car accident lawyer, contact us today.

Interesting Reads:

Fault In Road Debris Accident

What Happens When Auto Accident Claims Exceed Policy Limits

Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the Legal Differences Between Licensees, Invitees, and Trespassers