North Carolina Uninsured Motorist Lawyer

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According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were 276,026 traffic accidents reported in 2021. Of these crashes, 114,722 people were injured, and 1,783 people were killed right here in North Carolina.

A traffic jam caused by an uninsured motorist accident at an intersection.Any car crash is terrifying and stressful, but most victims of these accidents can count on the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident to pay for their expenses. What happens when the driver responsible for causing the accident does not have insurance?

North Carolina law requires all drivers to have liability automobile insurance. According to Geico Insurance Company, to legally operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina, drivers must carry the following coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: all drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: the minimum legal requirement is $25,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: the minimum amount legally required is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage: the minimum coverage required by law is $25,000.

All of these amounts are the minimum coverage necessary to drive legally in North Carolina.

Many drivers choose to carry more insurance depending on their situation and what meets their needs. Unfortunately, there are also many drivers who choose to drive without any insurance at all or allow their insurance to expire.

Why Is Having a North Carolina Uninsured Motorist Attorney So Important?

In cases where you are dealing with your own insurance company, you may expect them to treat you fairly without much hassle, but that is rarely the case. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing valid claims even when made by their own clients.

Insurance adjusters will make every attempt to minimize your injuries in order to decrease the amount they have to pay. They may also try to put some or all of the blame for the accident onto you.

If you have been injured by an uninsured driver, having a strong legal team on your side will make a huge difference. Your case may feel impossible, but the experienced uninsured motorist lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson know how to get fair compensation for your losses.

In North Carolina, any victim who is found to be only partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries will be deemed ineligible for receiving any compensation under the contributory negligence law. Thankfully, your attorney will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and will make sure that your legal rights are protected.

Having your attorney represent you from the beginning is your best chance of receiving your full compensation.

What Should I Do if I Was Hit By an Uninsured Driver?

The best thing you can do after being hit by an uninsured driver is to contact an uninsured motorist lawyer like the attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson.

There are times when you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company, while some situations may call for a lawsuit against the driver for compensation. We understand that every accident is unique and requires special attention to make sure that you get the best possible outcome.

How Can I Get Compensation After an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist?

Your own insurance coverage will affect your options for compensation when the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured or underinsured.

While uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory on insurance policies in North Carolina, there is no requirement for carrying underinsured motorist coverage. This means that you will likely be able to receive compensation from your own insurance policy under your uninsured motorist coverage; however, whether you can collect any underinsured motorist benefits will depend on your specific policy.

What Is the Difference Between Uninsured Motorist Insurance and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

Uninsured motorist coverage is required by law and comes into play when the driver at fault for the accident does not have liability insurance. Your own insurance policy should cover your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering up to the policy limit.

Underinsured motorist coverage is not required by law. If you have this coverage, your policy will cover your expenses that exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage.

This type of insurance policy is very helpful when the other driver only has the minimum required amount of coverage.

The minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage required in North Carolina is only $30,000 per injured person or $60,000 per accident. The minimum coverage for property damage is $25,000, which is equivalent to the mandatory minimum liability amount.

If the driver who caused the accident has insufficient insurance coverage, and your insurance policy does not include underinsured motorists, you may have to sue the driver personally for any excess damages.

Am I Able to Stack Insurance Coverage in North Carolina?

According to Allstate Insurance Company, stacking insurance means combining coverage limits for multiple vehicles. The coverage limit is the highest amount that the insurance company will pay for a valid claim.

Stacking insurance coverage is permitted in North Carolina. The ability to stack or combine these limits into a higher amount may give you better protection if you have been in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

This means that you are able to file claims with all the uninsured and underinsured motorist policies that you and your family members carry in the same household. So, insurance for vehicles in your household can be combined even if the other vehicle was not included in the accident.

What Should I Do if I Am Injured by an Uninsured Driver?

The first thing you should do after you have been in a motor vehicle collision is to contact the police and alert them to your situation. You will need them to make a report to serve as the official documentation of the accident.

You will need to exchange information with the other driver if possible. It is important that you refrain from saying too much or from engaging in any quarrels with the other driver.

There are a multitude of reasons why people drive without insurance. If you feel unsafe, remain in your vehicle until the police arrive.

Take pictures of everything. You will want to document the following:

  • Location
  • Any damage to the vehicles
  • Your injuries
  • The other car’s license plate
  • Even the other driver
  • Anything else that may seem important

If there are any witnesses willing to give their testimony, get their names and phone numbers along with the details of what they saw. This way, they can be contacted again if needed, and your lawyer will be able to jog their memory of the accident with their own statements.

Be very careful about what you say to anyone about the accident. You never know who may be recording you or how they will use the information.

Do not make any statements for the insurance companies or admit any guilt, even if you feel partially responsible for the accident. There may be details that you are not aware of that went into the true cause of the accident.

Only discuss your concerns with your lawyer because your lawyer will investigate on your behalf, while others will jump at the chance to place the blame onto you.

Remember to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel fine, as adrenaline from the accident may be masking your pain. You may have injuries that will not become apparent until the next day or longer, especially if you hit your head.

Medical records for the event will also serve as an additional record of any injuries you suffered from the accident.

What Can I Claim as Damages for Compensation After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?

Compensation is meant to return the victim to the same financial status that they had before the accident occurred. Some of the damages that you may have received that you should be compensated for include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Estimated Loss of Future Earnings
  • Rehabilitation Costs
  • Prescription Medication
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage

Medical Expenses

You will be fully compensated for all accumulated medical bills along with future medical expenses that you may receive to treat any accident-related injuries. Medical expenses are usually the highest amount of compensation that victims receive.

Lost Wages

After an injury, you may be using up your allotted sick time or disability, but these often pay a reduced rate and might not last long enough for your recovery. You may lose your job entirely.

You should be compensated for these financial losses. The time you spend unable to work while recovering from your injuries is time that you are not earning your regular income.

Estimated Loss of Future Earnings

If you have to work at a reduced capacity or if you become unable to work at all due to the injuries caused by the accident, you can claim your loss of future earnings.

Rehabilitation Costs

Depending on the nature of your injuries, there is a strong possibility that you will require some type of rehabilitation. Physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain management, and psychotherapy are some examples of rehabilitation.

Prescription Medication

The cost of medicines that your doctors prescribe for you because of your accident will be reimbursed. This amount includes the cost of medication you will be required to take long-term as long as it directly results from the accident.

Pain and Suffering

Common injuries such as whiplash and concussions are excruciating, and some injuries can leave noticeable scars. All pain and even emotional damage will receive a value for your compensation.

If your injuries have decreased your quality of life or your enjoyment of life, you will be compensated for this change.

Property Damage

Your vehicle and whatever else you had with you that was damaged during the accident will be added up for the cost of repair, replacement, or any reduction in value.

Do I Have to Go to Court to Get Compensation From an Uninsured Motorist?

There are times when plaintiffs have to go to court to receive a satisfactory compensation amount. However, the majority of cases are settled outside of court through negotiations that lead to fair settlements.

Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and protect your legal rights while advising you on the fairness of any offers you receive. The decision on whether to accept a settlement offer or to continue to court is ultimately yours.

Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters – Let Our North Carolina Uninsured Motorist Law Firm Help You

If you or your loved one have been injured by an uninsured driver in a car accident, call Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters right away at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation. We have over 65 years of combined legal experience to put into the fight to get you the highest possible compensation

There is no financial risk to you because we will not change anything until you have received your settlement or have received a favorable verdict. Call us today so we can get started.