Below is one of the key Maryland PIP statutes. The most important thing you need to know is that there is a one-year statute of limitations on PIP claims in Maryland. Insurance companies save make millions of dollars a year because Marylanders do not make valid no-fault claims within one- year period.
Maryland is specifically not a no-fault state. But PIP insurance is almost mandatory and over 95% of our clients have PIP insurance. So while Maryland is not a no-fault state, PIP insurance is an important part of compensation in motor vehicle accident cases.
- What is PIP insurance and how does it work?
- Our lawyers rarely need to file a PIP lawsuit because the insurance company usually sees the light. But, sometimes, they are so hard-headed they do not. Here is an example PIP lawsuit.
- A video that explains how the Maryland PIP statutes work
§ 19-508. Same - Payment of benefits
- In general. -
- Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, an insurer shall make all payments of the benefits described in § 19-505 [Maryland main PIP statute] of this subtitle periodically as claims for the benefits arise and within 30 days after the insurer receives satisfactory proof of claim.
- A policy that contains the coverage described in § 19-505 of this subtitle may:
- set a period of not less than 12 months after the date of the motor vehicle accident within which the original claim for benefits must be filed with the insurer; and
- provide that if, after a lapse in the period of total disability or in the medical treatment of an injured individual who has received benefits under that coverage, the individual claims additional benefits based on an alleged recurrence of the injury for which the original claim for benefits was made, the insurer may require reasonable medical proof of the alleged recurrence.
- The aggregate benefits payable to an individual under this subsection may not exceed the maximum limits stated in the policy.
- Notice to insured. -
- When an insurer that provides the benefits described in § 19-505 of this subtitle receives written notice from an insured of the occurrence of a motor vehicle accident for which benefits may be available under § 19-505 of this subtitle, the insurer shall notify the insured by mail of the latest date on which a claim may be filed for benefits under § 19-505 of this subtitle as provided in subsection (a)(2)(i) of this section.
- An insurer is not required under paragraph (1) of this subsection to send any notice to the insured as to any first party claim for benefits other than the benefits under § 19-505 of this subtitle.
- Interest on overdue payments. - Payments of benefits that are not made in accordance with this section and that are overdue shall bear simple interest at the rate of 1.5% per month. (Our note: Too many Baltimore car accident lawyers fail to hold insurance companies accountable to pay this interest. Many insurance companies routinely fail to pay covered PIP claims, including claims for medical expenses and lost income, within the thirty-day statutory period
There is only one Maryland appellate opinion that addresses §19-508 and it is not really on point to the issues we are talking about. In Daughton v. MAIF, 98 Md.App. 524 (2011), the insured brought a lawsuit against MAIF (now "Maryland Auto Insurance") for interest payments on a late PIP claim. The plaintiff did not file the claim within one year so he tried to find an implied cause of action under this statute. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals declined to find a private cause of action.
Always keep in mind the purpose of Maryland's PIP law. This is a very pro-victim statute. This law is to get people paid quickly for injuries regardless of who is at fault for the crash. Section 19-508 is specifically aimed at promoting the timely payment of benefits. It provides that “an insurer shall make all payments of the benefits described in §19-505 of this subtitle periodically as claims for the benefits arise and within 30 days after the insurer receives satisfactory proof of claim.” Md. Code Ann., Ins. §9-508(a)(1). You just have to make sure that you or your attorney makes that claim within one year which is required by Maryland law and your insurance contract. (Please do not assume that COVID-19 will change this deadline. File it within a year.)
Subsection (c) adds teeth to the statute, providing that “[p]ayments of benefits that are not made in accordance with this section and that are overdue shall bear simple interest at the rate of 1.5% per month.” Id. §19-508(c). Years ago, there were a number of class action lawsuits filed in Maryland against companies like MAIF and Travelers for failing to pay interest on overdue PIP payments. These PIP suits had mixed results.
The one thing to remember is you really have to fight to get the no-fault money that you deserve. There are not many lawyers in Maryland interested in handling a PIP settlement claim denial or underpayment. So the insurance companies see this as a ripe area to take advantage of you and not pay you the money that you are entitled to get.
It is important when you look at statutes online you consider how current the law is. The law above is current as of the 2020 Maryland legislative session.