According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 35,000 car accidents in Charlotte in 2019. As the city continues to grow, so do the number of car accidents. In most cases, both drivers will have insurance to pay for the damage of the car crash. However, in other cases, victims face the trouble of dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It is important to know what to do in these situations so that you may recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our Charlotte car accident lawyers have years of experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We will work with the insurance company to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.
North Carolina Auto Insurance Laws
The North Carolina Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act requires all drivers to have liability insurance provided by an insurance company licensed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Liability coverage protects drivers and passengers against injuries and property damage caused by negligent drivers.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in North Carolina
Drivers in North Carolina are also legally required to purchase coverage for uninsured motorists, as well as minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Currently, the minimum liability limit for bodily injury coverage is $30,000 and the minimum limit for property damage coverage is $25,000. An uninsured claim is just what it sounds like. The at-fault driver does not have insurance. An undersinsured claim is one where your damages exceed the amount of coverage the at-fault driver has. If you are involved in a car accident and the at-fault party does not have car insurance or does not have enough car insurance, it is best to file a claim with your own insurance company and let your insurance company subrogate against the responsible party.
Penalties for Driving Uninsured in North Carolina
You should always have car insurance, even if you are only driving for a short period of time. It is the law in North Carolina and it can help protect you in the event of an accident. Driving without insurance in North Carolina can result in criminal prosecution, including fines and loss of driving privileges, as well as subject you to the possibility of being sued.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
If you have uninsured motorist insurance, it will cover injuries you or other passengers have suffered from the automobile accident up to the amount of coverage on your policy. Many people believe they have “full coverage,” but don’t understand what that really means. In North Carolina, “full coverage” technically means you are covered to the extent the law requires, which again, is only $30,000 unless you purchase more than the minimum requirement. You may also be able to get compensated for other losses, such as lost wages and pain and suffering, but it will depend on the amount of your damages compared to the amount of your coverage.
What to Do After a Car Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver in Charlotte
If you are in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can follow the same steps as any other motor vehicle accident.
- Make sure you are safe and that everyone involved in the accident is okay. Then, call 911 immediately and file a police report.
- Get the other driver’s name, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Collect evidence at the scene of the accident. This includes taking pictures of the damage to both cars and any possible injuries, getting contact information from all drivers and witnesses, and writing down what happened as soon as possible.
- Contact an attorney who is experienced in handling car accident claims. They will investigate the accident and get you the compensation you deserve. If the other driver is at fault and does not have car insurance, your lawyer will inform you of other options.
Why You Should Contact a Lawyer Before Speaking with the Insurance Company
An insurance company’s goal is to settle with you for the least possible amount. This means you may not get the compensation you deserve. A car accident lawyer will review your case and help you get the money you need to cover medical bills, property damage, and other losses you are entitled to.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver in North Carolina
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you also have the option to file a lawsuit against that driver. It is important to speak with an attorney who knows the ropes to determine your best course of action and how much money you could realistically recover.
What If I’m Not the Driver?
If you are not driving when the accident occurs, you are generally considered a fault-free passenger. You would have potential coverage not only from the at-fault party’s insurance, but potentially the insurance for the vehicle you were in, the driver of the vehicle you were in (if different than the owner) as well as your own policy. . It is important to have an attorney who understands the interplay among these different policies.
Do You Need an Attorney For an Underinsured/Uninsured Driver Claim?
Yes, an experienced car accident lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal system, file a claim with your insurance company, and get the compensation you deserve. Even though it is your insurance, the insurance company still has the same goal of paying the least amount possible and do not always treat their insureds fairly. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help.
Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Attorney Today
Unfortunately, auto accidents are on the risen as Charlotte grows. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries.
Our auto accident attorneys have experience with all types of personal injury cases, including car accidents. We are not afraid to take on insurance companies to help you obtain fair compensation. We value the attorney-client relationship and will work tirelessly to protect your rights.
Contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor today for your free initial consultation and learn more about what we can do to help you. We will answer your questions and explain all of your legal options.