Durham Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Although everyone is required to drive with at least the minimum personal liability car insurance in North Carolina, unfortunately, not every driver does. However, when you are injured by another driver who does not have insurance, you are not completely out of luck. In North Carolina, all drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.
Essentially, uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in an accident in which the at-fault driver does not carry liability insurance. Uninsured motorist insurance will cover both bodily injury and property damage. With this being said, the amount that your insurance covers will depend on your policy limits. Wallace Pierce Law is here to help with your uninsured motorist accident.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cover?
Uninsured motorist coverage policies must include bodily injury and property damage. The insurance will cover:
- the owner of the vehicle
- family members
- any person driving the vehicle with the owner’s permission
- all passengers
In other words, if a driver with permission is driving your vehicle and is injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay up to the policy limit for the injuries of the person driving your car.
Furthermore, in order for an individual to be able to use the applicable uninsured motorist coverage, he or she must be able to prove that they are legally entitled to damages from the uninsured at-fault driver. This is important because all defenses that are available to the uninsured driver are also available to the uninsured motorist provider (for example, the defense of contributory negligence). In other words, if you open a claim with your uninsured motorist provider, they can deny your claim if they find that you were even 1 percent at fault for the accident (also known as being contributorily negligent).
How Much Will My Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay?
Generally speaking, your uninsured motorist coverage will mirror your liability insurance policy. In other words, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay up to the policy amount of your liability insurance. For instance, if you have a $30,000/$60,000 liability policy, which is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident, then your uninsured motorist coverage will likely have the same limits. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver and have $40,000 in medical bills, your uninsured motorist coverage will only pay out $30,000 (the maximum per individual limit).
When Can I Use My Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Generally speaking, you may file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage when the cause of the accident is from an “uninsured vehicle.” In North Carolina, an uninsured vehicle is not simply a vehicle without liability insurance. An uninsured vehicle may also be a vehicle that is not insured or a vehicle that is insured but the insurance denies liability. If the insurance company for the at-fault driver has become bankrupt or if the driver of the insured vehicle is not an insured driver under the policy (for example, the at-fault driver was driving a stolen vehicle), we may also consider the vehicle as “uninsured.” Therefore, there are several different instances in which you may be able to open a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage.
Important Note: Although you may open a claim with your uninsured motorist coverage for several different reasons, please be aware that your coverage does not have to accept your claim.
What If I Was Involved in a Hit & Run?
Generally, your uninsured motorist coverage will cover (up to the policy limits) your vehicle and bodily injuries when you or those insured are involved in a hit and run. With that being said, in order to prevent fraudulent claims, North Carolina requires you to do several things before your claim can be valid. Provided below is a list of these requirements:
- The accident must be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours in order for an investigation to take place.
- The uninsured motorist provider must be notified of the claim within a reasonable time after the accident, generally within a few days of the accident.
- The accident must involve a “collision” between two vehicles.
The first two bullet points above are pretty self-explanatory: call the police after the accident and notify your insurance provider soon thereafter. The third bullet point, however, needs some examination. North Carolina has established a “No Contact Rule” for uninsured car accident claims. Essentially, this means that if your vehicle does not make contact with the hit and run vehicle (phantom vehicle), then you do not have an uninsured motorist vehicle coverage claim.
In other words, your uninsured motorist provider can deny your claim. This generally arises when a vehicle is run off the road, making no contact, or when a vehicle hits an object falling off another vehicle. North Carolina courts have continued to rule that, under the facts above, uninsured motorist coverage will not be liable and can therefore be denied.
“When my 4-year old son and I were involved in a terrible head-on collision, I wasn't sure where to turn. Wallace Pierce has been great showing me the way!”- Mary P.
“Richard Dingus is a great attorney! And I think the best, serving in the state of North Carolina. I would recommend him for injury and bodily claim any day.”- Isaac B.
“They were concerned not only about getting our vehicle replaced, but more importantly my kid’s full recovery.”- Coral M.
“I retained this law firm to fight my case. I was completely shocked at the amount I received once the case was won.”- Schjuana S.
“Mr. Pierce gave me practical advice and was very thorough in guiding me through the process. I left with a strong and positive impression of him.”- Audria L.
“Was able to either point me in the right direction or answer any questions I had regarding the accident I was in. Thank you!”- Steven L.
“Great Law Firm, Friendly Staff, Amazing Service. Willing to help you every step of the way.”- Caleb M.
“I could not recommend anyone any higher than I recommend Wallace Pierce Law, they get the job done and they do it quicker and better and keep you informed along the way.”- Debby L.
$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.