New Pedestrian Accident Case: Maryland Court of Special Appeals

In MAIF v. Baxter, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that Maryland law does not require a car insurer to provide uninsured motorist coverage to an uninsured stranger/pedestrian who is struck by a car driven by a person excluded under the insurer’s policy. Basically, the court found that the Maryland Legislature only required that UM coverage be extended to an “insured.”

For once, MAIF was – albeit accidentally – fighting for the good guys, because the pedestrian’s estate asserted a claim against the Uninsured Division of MAIF. The Plaintiff’s estate was relatively indifferent because the UM limit was $20,000 in either event. So, incredibly, we have MAIF fighting unsuccessfully to create good case law for Maryland accident lawyers.
I have not read the nuances of this case closely enough to find great flaws in the court’s interpretation of Maryland uninsured motorist law (and it does not sound as if reading MAIF’s briefs would be of much help in this regard). But this is just bad law. The woman is an innocent pedestrian walking down the street. There is insurance coverage on the car. That should be enough. (But I understand reasonable people can disagree with this premise.)

One funny thing about the case – and this sounds just like MAIF – is that MAIF asserted for the first time in its reply brief that the insurance policy issued by the insurance company that covered the car (Interstate) should have provided coverage.