Charlotte Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Car accident claims can be challenging, even when insurance is in place on all sides. When the driver who was at fault in a collision does not have adequate insurance or does not have insurance at all, an injured person who was not at fault may need to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim in order to gain adequate compensation to cover the losses incurred on account of injury.
What Type Of Auto Insurance Is Required In North Carolina?
By law, vehicles must be insured in order to operate legally on the roadways of North Carolina. The following coverage is required by the state of NC to legally operate a motor vehicle:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: Minimum of $25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage: Minimum of $25,000
Will Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Pay For My Damages?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 10% of all drivers in North Carolina do not carry insurance. That is why it is so vital for drivers to purchase and maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
While every insured driver in North Carolina is afforded the required minimum uninsured motorist coverage, we strongly suggest that drivers consider purchasing coverage above the required limits, which would also include underinsured motorist coverage. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist policy should provide protection for your medical bills and property damages, up to the policy limits. An exception to this is that uninsured motorist coverage does not cover property damage in a hit-and-run collision.
If you are struck by a driver with inadequate coverage to pay your medical bills or property damage, your underinsured motorist coverage should pay the difference between the other driver’s policy limits and the total damages, up to the amount of limits on your underinsured motorist coverage.
In some cases, insurance coverage in the event of a crash with an uninsured driver may come from not only an injured party’s own insurance but also from auto insurance belonging to a relative with whom you live. You may be entitled to uninsured or underinsured motorist compensation even if you were not occupying a vehicle at the time you were injured. Many injured victims are not even fully aware of all the insurance coverage which may be available to them, including insurance policies on which they are not a “named insured.” It is important to consult someone with the expertise to explore all possible options for recovery when you or a family member has been seriously injured due to the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Auto accident cases involving uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are often complex legal situations. Stakes are high if you have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury. Often, victims of uninsured or underinsured motorists will only gain fair compensation for their injuries through arbitration with their own insurance company or other insurance companies with whom they have coverage. An experienced attorney is a valuable ally and source of information for you after a serious car accident.
Will You Need To File A Lawsuit In Order To Recover Compensation?
The vast majority of car accident cases, even uninsured and underinsured cases, are handled before a lawsuit is filed. However, if your uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance carrier does not fairly evaluate your claim for damages it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Once that lawsuit is filed, the injured party generally has the option to choose between continuing the lawsuit or having the claim heard in an arbitration proceeding.
How Long Do You Have To File A Claim?
If you do need to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation for a bodily injury, you will have three (3) years to do so, according to the North Carolina personal injury statute of limitations. Failing to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver within this three-year window will result in you being unable to recover any compensation at all, even from your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. For Wrongful Death cases, the statute of limitations is two (2) years, and thus any lawsuit against the negligent driver must be filed within that two-year window.
However, please understand that you will need to file a claim with your insurance carrier very shortly after an accident occurs. Failing to file a claim with insurance carriers after an accident could result in a claim delay or denial.
Contact a North Carolina Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorney
Talk to one of our lawyers to learn how we can help you after a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist. If you have additional questions after reviewing the information on our website, we invite you to contact Brown Moore & Associates PLLC. to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. To make an appointment with a Charlotte personal injury attorney, call toll free 800-948-0577 or send us an e-mail.