In Maine, motorists are required to maintain minimum limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits. These help make up the difference in costs if you are injured by the negligence of another driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. It can also be applied if you are struck by a vehicle, such as a bicyclist/pedestrian/skateboarder, are injured in a hit-and-run or are run off the road by a “phantom” vehicle. The minimum amount of coverage is $50,000 per person and $100,000 per crash.
But even when drivers maintain their benefits, they may still find that insurers are reluctant to pay these costs. Injured parties may need to take their claim to a judge to collect.
That was the situation in the recent Maine Supreme Judicial Court case of Graf v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. According to court records, plaintiff was injured in a Maine auto accident when she was rear-ended by an underinsured motorist. All parties agree the crash was entirely the fault of the other driver, who at the time had a liability motorist policy worth a (statutorily legal) $50,000. Plaintiff claimed UM/UIM coverage and medical payments under two State Farm insurance policies. Continue reading