Lawyers for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents in North Carolina
Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic and emotionally challenging experience. Car accidents can be made even more difficult when you find out that the driver who hit you does not carry valid car insurance, or does not have enough car insurance coverage to adequately compensate for your injuries and pain and suffering. Accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers can be challenging when pursuing compensation for your injuries. In these cases, it is important to contact an experienced uninsured driver lawyer to help find all available coverage and seek the compensation you deserve.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina uninsured driver lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111.
There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation. Call 1-800-525-7111 and let an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer at Riddle & Brantley help.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage in North Carolina Car Accident Cases
The North Carolina DMV requires all auto owners to have liability insurance on their auto policies. Additionally, North Carolina law mandates that all cars with NC registration must be covered under North Carolina liability insurance. Unfortunately, North Carolina does not accept other states’ auto insurance policies under state law. This law is to ensure that negligent parties can compensate injured individuals after an accident.
Minimum Limits in North Carolina
North Carolina state law requires drivers to carry the following minimum coverage on their vehicles:
- $30,000 for per person injuries
- $60,000 per accident for personal injury – this means that if you are in a vehicle with 4 other passengers that is hit by an at-fault driver, all 5 victims will have to divide up the $60,000 recovery, with no person receiving more than $30,000 per the minimum per-person bodily injury limit.
- $25,000 for property damage.
You may notice that these minimum limits seem low. Depending on the severity of an accident, $30,000 may not be enough to cover a victim’s medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. In some cases, the injuries sustained by innocent parties are more severe than this minimum coverage allows for, or, even worse, the negligent driver may not have any insurance coverage on his vehicle. Treatment and rehabilitation costs for injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and life-saving surgeries can easily surpass tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, if you are a victim of a serious car accident, you may be able to file under your own auto insurance policy’s uninsured or underinsured coverage if available on your insurance policy.
- Uninsured coverage (UM) is used when the at-fault driver does not have any auto insurance policy
- Underinsured coverage (UIM) is used when damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.
Filing a UM / UIM claim against your own insurance company can be daunting. Many people are surprised to discover that their own insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement. At Riddle and Brantley, we have spent decades working with these types of claims and know how to handle the insurance companies. We can assist you in filing your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim and will fight to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Riddle & Brantley’s car accident attorneys have more than 220 years of combined experience in representing clients in UM/UIM claims across the state of North Carolina. We offer FREE, no-obligation consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.
For a FREE consultation with an experienced uninsured driver attorney serving North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and convenient form below.
There is no obligation and there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
Call 1-800-525-7111 and let one of our experienced uninsured motorist attorneys review your claim today.
How Common Are Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers in North Carolina?
The most recent insurance study published in 2019 shows that 7.4% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured. In North Carolina, uninsured motorist statistics for 2019 are better than the national average, ranking just outside of the top 10 in the nation for the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers. Unfortunately, the percentage of uninsured drivers in North Carolina has gradually increased over the past few years. In 2015, this same study ranked North Carolina 4th in the nation for the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers. As far back as 1989, North Carolina has had one of the highest financial responsibility compliance rates (96.6 percent) and one of the swiftest and most effective enforcement systems in the nation. However, the gradual rise of uninsured drivers in North Carolina means that more car accident victims across our state may find themselves facing an uninsured motorist claim. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are covered against uninsured drivers on your personal auto insurance policy.
Despite this lower percentage of uninsured motorists, North Carolina drivers injured in an accident may still have to file under their underinsured policies in order to pay for all of their medical expenses. When you have suffered serious injuries and are unable to work, you may find that your damages quickly exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits.
This means that even if a driver is in compliance with car insurance laws in North Carolina, your recovery may not pay for all medical bills after a car accident, pain and suffering or other losses after a car crash. The good news is that if you have underinsurance coverage on your auto policy, you may be able to use your own UIM policy to cover additional costs.
“Riddle & Brantley found me all the available money from the insurance companies.”
–B. F., Riddle & Brantley client
Can You “Stack” Insurance Coverage in North Carolina Accident Claims?
Auto accident cases often require identifying other coverages and how to “stack” policies of other coverages for maximum recovery. “Stacking” is a term used to describe combining a person’s multiple insurance policies for greater recovery.
Did You Know? North Carolina law does not limit drivers to draw upon only their own insurance policy in the case of an accident. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to collect insurance money from the policies of anyone related by blood or marriage that lives in your household and has UM/UIM coverage available on his or her vehicle. This means if you live with a spouse, mother, father, sibling, or child with their own insurance policy, your attorney will need to investigate these other household policies to see if they may afford coverage for your accident as well.
Our dedicated North Carolina car accident lawyers work tirelessly to find all available coverage options and often use stacking to recover as much as possible for our clients. Unfortunately, it our attorneys find that all too often, the at-fault driver only has minimum coverage available on their vehicle. The good news is that in many cases, our team of attorneys and accident investigators are able to locate more coverage through household or excess liability policies to help pay for our clients’ damages.
In some cases, our attorneys have even found excess or underinsured coverage of $1,000,000 or more (see disclaimer below). This is exactly what happened when attorney Gene Riddle represented a woman injured in a motorcycle wreck. He found two underinsured policies, one for $50,000 and the other for $1,000,000. He was able to stack them for a combined recovery of $1,050,000.
For a FREE consultation with an experienced underinsured motorist lawyer in North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111.
We will review your claim and advise you on your legal options at no cost to you. If you decide to hire us, you’ll only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Is UM / UIM Coverage Required in North Carolina?
North Carolina law requires all car insurance policies to include uninsured coverage, however, underinsured coverage is not required. If you elect to purchase more than $30,000 in Uninsured Motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you will automatically have potential underinsured motorist coverage available on your policy if needed.
In many cases, our clients have underinsured motorist coverage and don’t even realize it. For example, if your insurance policy lists UM coverage at $100,000, you will have up to $70,000 in underinsured motorist coverage available after taking a credit for liability’s $30,000 coverage, if applicable to your case. So, if you sustain injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or a hit and run driver, you could potentially collect uninsured motorist benefits under your own policy.
The best way to think about UM/UIM coverage is that these policies provide you with insurance against the other driver’s lack of insurance.
Our attorneys strongly advise that you exercise your option to buy more UM/UIM insurance on your policy. UM/UIM coverage is typically an inexpensive addition to your policy premium that can potentially increase your compensation by tens of thousands of dollars in the event that you are seriously injured and facing a limited liability recovery. You and your loved ones will greatly benefit from the small expense of this extra coverage.
“What Happens if an Uninsured (or Underinsured) Driver Hits Me?”
If you have car insurance in North Carolina, you also have uninsured motorist coverage of at least $30,000. This means that if you are hit by an uninsured driver and you have valid insurance on your vehicle, there will be at least $30,000 of potential recovery available, depending on the extent of your injuries. However, the amount you collect from your policy will depend on the type of car crash and the other driver.
Possible scenarios include:
- The at-fault driver had no insurance. In these cases, you may file an uninsured motorist claim and collect compensation for your personal injuries and property damage up to your policy limits. These claims are very similar to a regular claim with the at-fault driver’s provider. Your insurance premium will typically not increase for a UM claim where you did not contribute to the collision.
- The at-fault driver had minimal limits of $30,000. If the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover all of your damages, then you may file an underinsured motorist claim. However, you may only claim the difference between the total amount the at-fault driver’s insurance paid and your policy limits. As a result, you cannot collect more total compensation than your policy limits. As stated above, North Carolina does not require all vehicles to have underinsured policies.
- Hit and run accidents. Insurance claims for hit and run accidents depend on whether law enforcement identifies the driver. If the driver is found, then you may file an insurance claim with his or her provider. In the event the driver has no insurance, then you can file against your own uninsured policy. However, you can only recover compensation for your personal injuries in this kind of case. The insurance company will not cover the property damage.
Suing an Uninsured Driver in North Carolina
The personal injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley have experience representing victims of car accident injuries in UM/UIM claims, including claims for hit and run accidents.
Since 1985, Riddle & Brantley’s uninsured driver attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims of accidents due to others’ negligence (see disclaimer below).
We’re proud of the results we’ve secured for our deserving clients, and we invite you to review our recent case results (see disclaimer below).
In one recent case, we represented a passenger who was injured by an 18-wheeler in a hit and run accident. The impact was so great that it pushed our client’s vehicle off the road. Unfortunately, law enforcement could not identify the defendant truck driver. We continued to vigorously represent our client and successfully pursued an uninsured motorist claim.
“Riddle & Brantley found me all the available money from the insurance companies.”
–D. Howard, Riddle & Brantley client
Call Our Uninsured Driver Accident Lawyers
Even though you have UM/UIM benefits under your own automobile policy, do not expect your insurance carrier to offer up compensation so easily. After all, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They have a vested interest in minimizing the amounts they pay out in claims — even to their own clients. This means that when you file UM/UIM claim with your carrier, they step into the role of the defendant. Therefore, the insurance adjuster will try to minimize your payout in the same way that at-fault driver’s insurance company would. Remember: Insurance adjusters are professionals at negotiating claims, and they are looking out for the company’s interests, not yours.
At Riddle & Brantley, we deal with insurance adjusters all day, every day. We know the tricks they use, and we know how to read your policy to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
For a FREE consultation concerning an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, call our North Carolina car accident lawyers at 1-800-525-7111.
We are proud to serve clients throughout North Carolina from our many convenient locations. If you are unable to come to us, we will come to you. Our team of accident investigators regulary meet with clients across North Carolina to answer their car accident questions and set up consultations with our NC accident attorneys. Our team is available to with you by phone, email, text, or video conference – whatever is most convenient for you.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s talk.
Remember, we work on a contingency basis, so there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.