Lawyers handling Maryland car accident claims and personal injury claims need to be aware that On Friday April 28, 2011 the Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued a new opinion that basically changes what everyone presumed was the law relating to breach of contract claims against the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (also known as MAIF). Prior to the opinoion in Mary Katherine Daughton v. MAIF, the legal community assumed that the statute of limitaitons for bringing a claim against MAIF for the auto liability insurance policy personal injury protection benefits and/or uninsured motorist benefits was 3 years from the date of accident. This opinion changes this. The Court held that MAIF is a State Agency and that therefore a breach of contract action against MAIF must be brought within 1 year. The Court based its reasoning on Maryland statute 12-202 of the State Government Article of the Maryland Code which provides that claims against State Government Agencies must be made within 1 year.
Lawyers and pro se claimants need to be aware of this change in Maryland Law and make sure that suit is filed promptly in any breach of contract case against MAIF for Maryland uninsured motorist benefits or Maryland personal injury protection benefits. A copy of the opinion can be found at BAD OPINION ABOUT CLAIMS AGAINST MAIF IN MARYLAND maif opinion Daughton.pdf
MAIF is basically an insurance company of last resort for drivers who do not qualify for reasonable rates with other auto insurance liability carriers like State Farm, GEICO and Allstate. MAIF policies are typically (but not always) written for minimal limits but do provide for personal injury protection coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. claims for the PIP and UM benefits are brought via a breach of contract cause of action against MAIF.