Raleigh Hit and Run Automobile Accident Attorney | North Carolina Uninsured Motorist Insurance Lawyer
March 22, 2012
One of the most frustrating varieties of automobile accident is the hit-and-run. In these cases, the injured party is often unable to ever identify the at-fault driver and, therefore, cannot pursue compensation from that person’s automobile insurance company. Fortunately, if you have purchased your own automobile insurance policy in North Carolina, your uninsured motorists coverage (UM) will likely provide compensation to which you are entitled. Getting your insurance company to actually pay a reasonable amount under this coverage can be an uphill battle, and, in most cases, they will treat you no differently than any other adverse claimant. The Raleigh car accident attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist you in recovering fair compensation under your policy and, if you were not at-fault, your insurance premiums will not increase. To speak with one of our hit-and-run accident lawyers, call the firm at 919.480.8526 or 919.526.0450, or send a confidential email via our contact page.
The standard North Carolina auto policy expressly permits an insured driver to recover against his or her uninsured motorists coverage when he or she is injured as a result of a hit-and-run driver. An important caveat is that there must be contact between the two vehicles. Therefore, under existing North Carolina law, if you are forced to swerve off the road to avoid a collision with a drunk driver who has come into your lane, you may not recover under your UM coverage.
The amount of UM coverage under your policy will at least equal the amount of liability coverage. Therefore, if you have purchased an automobile insurance policy with maximum liability coverage of $30,000.00 per claimant and $60,000.00 per occurrence (the minimum limits in North Carolina), the same limits will apply to your UM claim unless you have purchased additional coverage. This means that if you alone are injured because of a hit-and-run driver, you can recover up to $30,000.00 under your underinsured motorists coverage. If you and your entire family are injured, the maximum amount your family will be entitled to recover from the policy, in the aggregate, is $60,000.00.
One of the most critical rights in your entire automobile insurance policy is your choice to select arbitration to decide the amount you will be awarded under your UM coverage. With most personal injury cases, you either settle with the insurance company or have your damages determined by a jury trial. Insurance companies spend millions of dollars a year advocating for “tort-reform” to protect their pockets and, in the process, convince many potential jurors that most personal injury claimants are exaggerating or lying about their injuries. As a consequence, jury trials are extremely risky. Arbitration is often a better alternative. It allows three arbitrators, essentially judges, to decide fair compensation for your injuries. The results are more consistent and are typically fair to the injured party.
The Raleigh attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist you with your UM coverage claim by negotiating with your insurance company and, if necessary, representing you through the arbitration stage. We are able to handle automobile accident cases from around the state of North Carolina but practice most often represent injured parties in the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Apex, Wake Forest, Morrisville, and Clayton.
For a free consultation with a Maginnis Law attorney regarding your hit-and-run accident claim or any other matter relevant to your uninsured motorist coverage, call 919.480.8526 or 919.526.0450. You may also send confidential email inquiries regarding your coverage and case through our contact page. We typically respond the same day. All consultations are free of charge, and our attorneys’ work on a contingency basis. Therefore, you pay no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages on your behalf.