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Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

Know Your Rights. Contact Our Law Firm.

Most states require drivers to carry some level of car insurance. Unfortunately, not all drivers abide by this law. This can pose a major problem when a negligent driver who is uninsured or does not have a sufficient amount of insurance or is underinsured, causes a car accident that injures someone else; there is no source of money to pay for the harm he/she may have caused. Since the at-fault driver cannot pay the injured victim at all or fully through their insurance company and generally has limited or no personal assets, the victim is left to face the financial burden of his/her losses of his/her auto accident, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and  pain and suffering  even though they have done nothing wrong.

If you are a resident of Bethesda, Rockville or the greater areas of Maryland, or Virginia, and you need an experienced car accident attorney, call (301) 251-1286 to schedule a free consultation.

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

The answer is Yes. In order to protect yourself against this potentially disastrous situation, you should purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) on your own auto policy in high limits. Many people choose to save themselves money when they purchase automobile insurance by forgoing UM/UIM coverage, only to find out after being seriously injured in a car accident that they did not have the  "full coverage" to include Uninsured Motorist Coverage and they have no reserves to make up for their losses. Keep in mind that 60% of all bankruptcies occur because people cannot pay medical bills. Review your policy and make sure you have both UM and UIM coverage. The amounts recommended are at least $50,000, if not $100,000, but the more, the better. Some states, such as Maryland, require you to carry this type of insurance. In other states, it is merely optional, but strongly encouraged.

Underinsured Motorists - Minimum Liability Coverage

Each state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. For Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., these minimum amounts break down as follows:


  • $20,000 for bodily injury of one person
  • $40,000 total for bodily injury of multiple people
  • $10,000 for property damage.


  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury of multiple people
  • $20,000 for property damage.

Washington D.C.

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury of multiple people
  • $10,000 for property damage.

Note: Although you may have the minimum requirements listed above, these small amounts  in many cases do not come close to paying for the amount of damage and loss caused. Drivers who are below the legal requirements or simply do not carry enough insurance to cover a significant accident are called underinsured motorists because, unlike uninsured drivers who have no coverage at all, these persons do have some minimal amount of insurance. As a result, and depending on the seriousness of the accident, these drivers can pose just as big of a problem as uninsured motorists because an underinsured driver may not be able to cover all of your losses if you are in a significant collision.

If you have UM/UIM protection, your insurance company should pay you the difference between what the other driver was able to pay you, and the amount of coverage you have under your own auto-policy. So, for example if you have $100,000 in UIM coverage, and the responsible driver only had $25,000 in coverage, you have $75,000 in reserve, which you may seek to recover depending on your loss from your own insurance company. Again, it is wise to get substantial coverage under your own auto policy and such coverage is not costly.

What is enhanced underinsured motorist protection (EUIM)?

As described above, regular underinsured motorist protection covers the difference between the underinsured motorist’s insurance and your UIM policy limit. If you have $100,000 in UIM coverage, and the at-fault driver has $30,000 in liability coverage, then your UIM will only pay up to $70,000 – in other words, you are guaranteed to have up to $100,000 in total coverage.

Enhanced UIM (EUIM) in Maryland allows you to stack the insurance coverage, so you can get the full policy limits from both the underinsured driver’s policy and your own policy. So in the example described above, you would have $130,000 in available coverage: $30,000 from the at-fault driver and $100,000 from your EUIM policy. Depending on the extent of your injuries and the amount of insurance, this can make a difference of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of compensation for your car accident.

Under Maryland law, insurers have been required to offer EUIM in all policies issued since July 2018, but drivers are required to opt into the new coverage in writing. In addition, it’s only available when a new policy is issued, not when renewing an existing policy. We’d be happy to review your policy language and help you understand how much coverage you have available if you’re hit by an underinsured driver.

Problems Recovering Compensation with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Even if you have UM/UIM insurance protection with your own insurance company, it is not always easy to collect the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies, including many times your own, will use any excuse to deny your claim: saying you've made a procedural error in submitting your claim, downplaying your injuries or property damage, and coming up with other justifications not to pay you a fair amount. Also, if you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident, a pedestrian, or are injured by an untraditional vehicle (motor scooter, moped, etc.) the insurance company may claim you have no coverage for that type of accident. These tactics are simply attempts to get you to back down or go away.

If your insurance company is giving you the runaround with an UM/UIM claim, you need to consult with an experienced Maryland auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Stuart Plotnick can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, making sure you receive every benefit you are entitled to. Before you accept any settlement offer from either your insurance company or the other driver's, talk to someone who has your rights and your best interests at heart.

Options for Victims

We know what you're going through because we deal with it everyday, we have fought this fight many times for our clients. Rockville auto accident attorney Stuart L. Plotnick and his legal team at the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of accident victims.

When you have us on your side, we can help you explore all of the legal options available to you. If your insurance policy includes coverage for accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers, we may be able to obtain the money you deserve through your own insurance provider.

Other legal options often exist. That's why it's important to contact our law firm as soon as possible and schedule a free case evaluation. You only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. So the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you get your life back on track.

The Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC - personally invested in your case every step of the way.