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Liability Coverage

Durham Liability Insurance - The Basics

Liability insurance provides coverage to people involved in a car accident who were not the cause of the collision. The liability insurance of the driver who caused the accident, known as the at-fault driver, should help to cover treatment for the injured parties that were not at-fault.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Essentially, automobile insurance, or liability insurance, protects you from having to potentially pay out-of-pocket for another driver’s damages. In other words, liability insurance helps pay for damages that you cause. Therefore, this coverage will not cover or pay for your own injuries or property damage if you are the at-fault driver. This article will provide an overview of liability insurance in North Carolina.

Is liability coverage required and who does it cover?

North Carolina law requires that you carry liability insurance on all of your registered vehicles. Driving without this insurance can result in a hefty fine and/or suspension of your driver’s license. North Carolina requires all drivers to have insurance in order to ensure that drivers injured by the negligence of another will be able to seek some amount of compensation for their injuries and damages.

Liability insurance policies must cover both property damage and bodily injury. Liability insurance will cover those who are considered “insured drivers.” Essentially, this type of insurance covers the owner of the vehicle, family members, and any person using the vehicle with the owner’s permission. In other words, if a driver with permission is operating your vehicle and acts negligently, causing an accident, your liability insurance will likely cover the damages to the innocent driver (up to the policy limits).

Contact Wallace Pierce Law at (919) 887-7892 to schedule your free consultation today!

What are policy limits and are there any requirements in North Carolina?

Your liability insurance will only pay up to the policy limits. The policy limits are listed in your policy contract and essentially set the maximum amount of money that your insurance provider will pay out. Policy limits are generally separated into three categories also known as “split limits”: maximum bodily injury liability, aggregate or total bodily injury liability, and maximum property damage liability. North Carolina sets a liability minimum that all drivers must carry, known as $30,000/$60,000/$25,000. These are coded in order to represent the listed categories above. The diagram below provides a better illustration.

Maximum Bodily Injury

The maximum bodily injury insurance is the maximum amount that your policy will pay to any one individual injured in an accident. In North Carolina, drivers are required to have a minimum of $30,000 as their maximum bodily injury liability. In other words, the most one individual could recover from an at-fault driver with the minimum policy amount is $30,000.

For example, let’s assume that someone driving your vehicle that is covered under your liability insurance policy causes an accident. The other driver is injured and suffers $45,000 in medical bills. Here, the most the injured driver will be able to receive from your liability insurance will be the $30,000, leaving a $15,000 balance that either you or the injured will likely be responsible for.

Total Bodily Injury

The aggregate or total bodily injury liability is the amount of coverage available for all injured parties combined that were injured in the accident. In other words, payments for all bodily injuries cannot exceed the policy limit amount. In North Carolina, drivers are required to have a minimum of $60,000 as their total bodily injury liability. For further understanding, let’s look at the following hypothetical situation.

Let’s assume that you are driving your vehicle and cause an accident. The other driver and their passenger are both injured. The driver and passenger end up with $45,000 in medical treatment each ($90,000 total). Due to the policy limit being $60,000 total for bodily injury per accident, the insurance company will be responsible for up to $60,000. Therefore, there will be a $30,000 remaining balance that either you or the injured party will be liable for.

Maximum Property Damage

Lastly, the maximum property damage liability is the maximum amount an insurance provider will pay toward property damage. In other words, property damage liability insurance covers payment for damages to a third party’s property that is a result of an accident caused by you or another covered driver. In North Carolina, drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. With this being said, if you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who only carries the minimum limits required by law, you will only be able to recover up to $25,000 for damages to your vehicle or for any personal belongings damaged inside your vehicle. As you can imagine, this can be a real problem when your vehicle is worth much more than the minimum policy requirements. We will go into further detail on what to do in these types of circumstances.

If you need help with your car accident, contact Wallace Pierce Law at (919) 887-7892 to schedule your free consultation today!

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Our top priority is to devise customized legal strategies that are tailored to the unique legal needs of our clients, no matter how simple or complicated their situations, might be.

  • $1,900,000 Wrongful Death

    The at-fault driver failed to reduce speed and collided with our client's vehicle. Our client passed away shortly after the collision.

  • $900,000 Wrongful Death

    Our client was thrown from his motorcycle and was pronounced deceased on the scene.

  • $122,000 Car Accident

    Vehicle made a left-hand turn, failing to yield the right of way.

  • $104,000 Serious Injuries

    Client was a passenger in a vehicle that was driving through an intersection when another vehicle ran a stop sign and t-boned the vehicle our client was in.

  • $104,000 Severe Injury

    We were able to not only receive policy limits for our client but were able to negotiate her medical bills and liens to ensure that she was able to keep a good portion of the settlement.

  • $102,000 Serious Injuries

    Elderly client was a passenger in a vehicle that was t-boned in an intersection where a driver failed to yield the right of way.