Holding Insurance Companies to Their Word
If you were involved in a car accident where the other driver did not have automobile liability insurance, the party responsible for covering damages becomes your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage is a standard feature in every North Carolina automobile insurance policy, and it provides coverage for personal injuries and property damages sustained when the at-fault vehicle has no insurance. The legal team at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. has been helping victims of uninsured motor vehicle accidents for nearly 40 years and has the experience to help you obtain compensation for damages.
Call the legal professionals at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. today by dialing (704) 850-6322. We offer free consultations and do not collect a fee unless we help you reach a settlement.
How to Prove Your Case
Many people believe that by appealing to their own insurance company, they will be fairly treated. This is not always the case. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying a settlement.
In order to establish an uninsured motorist claim, the two things that must be shown are:
- The uninsured driver was at fault in causing the accident, usually proven with a letter from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles identifying the last known insurance company for the vehicle
- The at-fault driver was uninsured at the time of the accident, demonstrated with a letter from the last known insurance company indicating that the vehicle was not insured at the time of the accident
Uninsured motorist accident statistics
According to data available from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were more than 285,000 total vehicle crashes during the latest year across the state. Out of these incidents, 1,470 people lost their lives, and there were more than 125,000 injuries.
Charlotte uninsured motorist accidents often result in severe injuries for victims. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other severe neck or back trauma
- Whiplash injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
These injuries typically result in victims incurring tremendous medical bills. If a victim cannot work while they recover, their financial difficulties will be compounded by a loss of income.
In general, most vehicle accidents are resolved through settlements between insurance carriers. However, if one of the parties involved in a vehicle accident does not have insurance, this can significantly complicate the matter. As far as uninsured crashes are concerned, the Insurance Information Institute shows that North Carolina actually has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers in the country. They say that 6.5% of all drivers in this state are uninsured. While this may seem like a relatively low number, let us put this in another perspective – out of every 100 drivers on the roadway in North Carolina, six or seven of them do not have insurance.
Is uninsured motorist coverage required in North Carolina?
North Carolina is a state that requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This is significant because many states do not require this insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is incredibly beneficial for those who are struck by an uninsured driver and will help cover medical costs and property damage.
In order to operate legally on the roadways in North Carolina, drivers must have the following types of insurance (with corresponding minimum requirements):
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage: $25,000
Can you file a lawsuit against an uninsured motorist in Charlotte?
If you or somebody you care about gets into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you will typically turn to your uninsured motorist coverage to handle the expenses related to the incident. However, if your medical costs and property damages rise above the limits of your insurance policy, you may need to find other ways to cover your costs. It is possible to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who caused your accident. However, it is important to understand that if a driver could not afford to have insurance on their vehicle, it is very likely that they will not be able to pay for any damages that may ultimately be awarded to you if you are successful with a lawsuit.
A Successful Track Record Dealing with Insurance Companies
Even though you will be dealing with your own insurance company, do not assume that damage claims will be paid without a fight. It is possible to demand binding arbitration to avoid any future lawsuit to assess damages. Insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to their insured and must deal with them in good faith, and failing to fulfill this obligation can expose them to liability in excess of their coverage limits.
As the claimant, your responsibility is to cooperate with the insurance company. This can mean providing a recorded statement, undergoing an examination under oath, and furnishing documentation in connection with their claim. Any failure to comply could result in a denial of benefits.