The Uninsured Division (UD), which is administered by Maryland Auto, handles claims resulting from accidents in which a Maryland resident sustains injuries due to the actions of an uninsured at-fault driver and no other insurance coverage is available.
Recently, the UD received a case from Baltimore County in which an elementary school-aged child was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike to a neighborhood park. The child sustained skull and nose fractures, a concussion, and other serious injuries.
The vehicle was not insured. The driver stated that he had only owned the vehicle for a week and thought he had time to obtain an insurance policy. He also did not have a valid driver’s license. While he felt terrible about the incident, the driver insisted that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the accident. He stated that the child ran through a stop sign on his bike and passed directly into the path of the car.
The police were called to the scene and completed a report stating that the minor child failed to yield the right of way to traffic since the vehicle did not have a traffic signal or stop sign. The report did not assign fault to the driver of the car.
The victim’s attorney found home security footage of the accident showing the child passing through the stop sign on his bike and in front of the vehicle. However, it also showed that the vehicle was speeding.
After the Uninsured Division representative discussed the case at length with the attorney representing the child, a settlement demand was made for $28,500. The Uninsured Division relayed this information to the driver of the vehicle, who was adamant that he was not at fault. After careful consideration, the demand was denied and the case proceeded to trial.
The judge found the driver to be at fault for the accident due to his excessive speed through the neighborhood. The judge also noted that the driver resided in this neighborhood and should have been aware of the fact that children would be in this area heading to the playground. The judge also determined that the child was too young to understand that he needed to stop at the stop sign.
Now that liability has been determined to rest with the driver, the damages portion of the case will be decided. The Uninsured Division will pay the amount awarded, up to the $30,000 statutory limit. The uninsured driver will then be responsible for repaying the UD.
In this situation, both parties benefit from the involvement of the UD. The child’s medical expenses will be paid up front, helping the family avoid mounting bills. And the driver will be able to repay the Uninsured Division through a payment plan, rather than having to make a one-time payment to the family.
In the end, neither party will be burdened with the bills that could make it impossible for them to move forward from this unfortunate incident.