Any accident that results in injuries is challenging. If the other driver is uninsured, it can be even more difficult to move forward.
In North Carolina, everyone is required to carry uninsured motorist coverage in addition to liability insurance. This fact means that you should be able to get compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver from your own insurance company if you are in compliance with the law.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you are dealing with your own insurance company, you don’t need a lawyer. Insurance companies want to settle claims for as little as possible. You can pursue the compensation you deserve after an accident by retaining a Wilmington car accident attorney to guide your uninsured motorist claim. Contact Horton & Mendez to get started.
North Carolina Car Insurance Requirements
North Carolina requires all motorists to carry certain kinds of car insurance that include both liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. UM/UIM goes into effect when the at-fault motorist is not insured or does not carry enough coverage to adequately address the losses caused by the accident in question.
If the at-fault driver does not have coverage, your own insurance policy kicks in to cover your related losses. The minimum coverage requirements in the state are as follows:
- Minimum liability coverage of $30,000 bodily injury per person
- Minimum liability coverage of $60,000 total bodily injury per accident
- Minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for property damage
The same minimums also apply to uninsured motorist coverage.
What Should You Do if the Other Driver is Uninsured?
If you are injured by the negligence of a driver who is uninsured, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights. These include the following:
- Do not wait to obtain the medical attention that you need. Some injuries do not reveal their symptoms to begin with. You should get yourself checked out by a medical professional after any car accident. In addition, seeing a physician will provide you with an official record of your injuries.
- Consult with a lawyer for uninsured motorist accidents as soon as you can. Work closely with your attorney throughout the legal process.
- Remember that just because your claim is going through your own provider does not mean that obtaining fair compensation is going to be an easy process. Your insurance company is just as invested in keeping settlements low as the other insurers would be.
- Take your doctor’s instructions and advice seriously.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Motorist?
If your uninsured motorist coverage does not cover all your related losses, you may be able to sue the uninsured motorist who caused you to be injured. If the at-fault driver has no assets, however, pursuing litigation is unlikely to do you much good.
When a driver chooses not to carry car insurance that they’re required to carry by law, it’s possible that they can’t afford it. However, that’s not necessarily the case. If the motorist in question has assets that could help cover your losses, suing the uninsured motorist directly is an option.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Under North Carolina law, some of the losses you may be able to recover compensation for include:
- Medical bills, including those related to ongoing healthcare concerns
- Lost earnings and lost career opportunities
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage to your car and the contents within it
Why Contact an Attorney?
Many people think they can deal with their insurance company on their own. The reality is that insurance companies regularly take advantage of people who do not retain a lawyer and get them to accept far less compensation than their claims are actually worth.
Some of the specific ways in which a lawyer can help you with an uninsured motorist claim include:
- Gather and compile all the available evidence to demonstrate the other driver’s fault.
- Account for the full extent of your losses.
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. This ensures that you do not do or say anything that the insurance company can use against you.
- Try to negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company.
- Take the matter to arbitration if the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair offer or engage in productive negotiations. In the State of North Carolina, you can’t sue your own insurance provider but must, instead, resolve the matter in arbitration, which is generally binding.
Reach Out to an Experienced Wilmington Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer Today
The Wilmington car accident lawyers at Horton & Mendez recognize the complexities of uninsured motorist claims. We are experienced in helping victims like you obtain favorable resolutions to their claims. Hire one of our skilled lawyers to uphold your rights. Start by completing our online form or calling us today at 910-405-7751.