Auto-related death or personal injury is a constant menace to contemporary man’s everyday existence. Moreover, the driver who makes poor financial decisions is an even more feared threat.
The National Bureau of Casualty Underwriters and the Mutual Insurance Rating Bureau introduced uninsured motorist coverage as an endorsement to their basic family vehicle insurance in December 1956 to lessen the financial hardship of their helpless victim(s). Let’s look at some of these statues.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
In the case of an accident with someone with no motorist insurance, Maryland drivers can get uninsured motorist coverage (UM).
This provides certain safeguards, such as insurance coverage/benefits for a vehicle accident with an uninsured driver.
Similarly, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage covers people involved in an automobile accident with a motorist whose insurance is insufficient to cover the damages sustained due to the incident.
When an individual with UIM coverage gets involved in a car accident with another driver whose maximum insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the losses sustained fully, the insurance provider with which the individual has UIM coverage will pay for the remaining damages up to the appropriate policy limitations.
Statute of Limitations for Underinsured Motorist Claims
Mostly, this law depends on the state you reside. For example, The statute of limitations for underinsured motorist claims in some states has recently changed.
Previously, an uninsured motorist claim was viewed as a contract. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for a contract suit is six years.
The new law establishes a distinct statute of limitations for lawsuits involving uninsured motorists.
The new regulation requires that the underinsured motorist claim be filed within three years of the accrual date. The date of accrual is when the first tortfeasor’s insurance is exhausted.
The four-year Statute of Limitations application for contract claims to Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) is valid. When an insured becomes:
* Being engaged in a car accident;
* wounded as a result of the accident; and
*recognizes or ought to have recognized that the driver or owner of the second vehicle involved in the collision lacks insurance.
How soon should I respond to my UIM claim?
A recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals addressed the subject of UM/UIM claims and when the statute of limitations begins to count. In Shilling v. Nationwide, the Court was asked to determine when the statute of limitations on a UM/UIM claim begins to run:
- When the insurer waives subrogation and accepts a policy limit settlement offer from the at-fault motorist, or
- When the plaintiff signs the release and accepts the settlement offer
According to the Court of Appeals, an underinsured motorist claim has a statute of limitations of:
The prevailing opinion says that when the insured brings a lawsuit against its insurer to recoup underinsured motorist benefits—it begins to run when the insurer rejects the insured’s demand for benefits, thereby violating the insurance contract.
According to the Shilling case, a UM/UIM claim is a contract action and, as such, is subject to the contract statute of limitations three years following the violation.
In the case of UIM, the date of breach is NOT the date of the accident, the date on which the UIM carrier waives subrogation, and the date on which the underlying carrier pays out the compensation. Instead, the UIM carrier “denies” the claim as of that date.
Are There Exceptions to the One-Year Limit?
While personal injury lawsuits have a one-year statute of limitations, a Tennessee court ruling determined that the one-year restriction does not apply when including the uninsured motorist carrier in the lawsuit (Larrystine Bates v. Michael J. Green, Et Al.).
In this 2017 case, the plaintiff-driver sued the defendant-driver within a year. A year and a half later, the plaintiff-driver joined her insurance company and acted as the uninsured motorist carrier.
Regarding the one-year statute of limitations, the insurance company attempted to prevent her from including them in the lawsuit. However, the Court found that the insurance provider may only be held accountable under contract law, as it is not a tortfeasor.
That is, it did not negligently cause the automobile accident and the subsequent injuries to the driver. Therefore, a six-year statute of limitations is applicable under contract law instead of the one-year personal injury statute.
Protection Against Uninsured Motorists
This standard uninsured motorist endorsement is required by law in around 45 states. 2 Generally, arbitration is covered in two parts. 3 The first, which is frequently listed under the headline “Protection against Uninsured Motorists,” offers the following:
- Because of harm to the insured’s body brought on by accident and resulting from the purchase, care, or use of such an uninsured highway vehicle, the company will pay all sums that a vehicle’s driver or owner who doesn’t have insurance must pay the insured or his legal agent compensation as damages; provided, for this coverage, a determination as to whether the insured or such representatives able to pursue damages against the owner or operator of an uninsured roadway under the law.
- Arbitration is described in the second section relating to arbitration, which is typically found under the heading “Conditions.”
Suppose the company and any person filing a claim under this provision cannot agree on whether the person has a legal right to sue the owner or operator of an insured highway vehicle for damages resulting from bodily injury to the insured or on the amount of payment that may be owed under this Part, then, upon written demand from either party.
In that case, the matter or matters on which the person and the company cannot agree shall be settled by the American Arbitration Association’s arbitration rules.
The individual in question and the firm acknowledge that they are each bound by the arbitrator’s decision and will both uphold it.
Consult An Expert
Suppose you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver who either does not possess insurance or cannot be located. This judgment allows you to bring in the uninsured motorist carrier, even if it is more than a year after your accident.
However, you must still bring the first suit against the other motorist before the one-year deadline. So put the knowledgeable lawyers at Bojat Law Group, APC, to work for you immediately after an accident results in injuries to you or a loved one.