Yes you can make a claim for your injuries. Your wife has no claim for personal injury under these circumstances. I would be happy to explain how you can proceed with this claim. I would suggest you retain an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney.
Jonathan N. Portner, Esquire, Portner & Shure, P.A. Maryland and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response should not be relied upon. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm
If you have PIP coverage on the vehicle, then you both are covered for medical and wage loss up to the limits of the PIP coverage. Without collision coverage, neither of you can recover for the property damage to the car if either of you were at fault for the accident. If neither of you are at fault (meaning, some outside factor like a road hazard caused the tire to blow) then it is possible you have a claim under your comprehensive insurance, or even under your uninsured coverage, depending on the language of your policy and if you purchased those coverages. As a passenger, you have a claim against a negligent driver if her driving caused the accident, even if it is your wife, because the consequences of her negligence would be covered under the liability portion of the auto policy; however, if the car is jointly owned and maintained by you, then a question arises as to whether you are equally responsible for the tire failure (e.g., if you allowed the tire to go bald and failed to replace it--that goes to whether your own failure to maintain your vehicle in a safe operating condition is the actual cause of the accident). If the accident was caused by some other condition (such as running over a hazard on the road which caused the tire to blow) then you both may have a claim under your policy because neither of you were at fault (i.e., it was not an equipment failure that caused the accident), but that may depend on your policy language. Towing expense and rental car reimbursement while the vehicle is being repaired falls under a different coverage portion of your policy, and it depends on whether you paid for this coverage. It is not necessarily tied to the collision coverage. You need to pull out your policy and declarations page and go over it with a personal injury lawyer.
Depending on MD law you may be able to sue your wife for your injuries and collect from the insurance company, however this is the minority rule.
The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.
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