North Carolina Underinsured Motorist Claim Attorneys
Most North Carolinians know that after a serious automobile collision, they can initiate a claim against the insurance policy of the at-fault driver. In some cases, though, the at-fault driver will not have purchased enough insurance coverage to reimburse the injured party for all of his or her medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Fortunately, many North Carolinians own automobile insurance policies with large limits of Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM” coverage).
Underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that can help protect you when you are injured by a motorist with an insufficient insurance policy. In North Carolina, the minimum liability coverage limit is $30,000.00. This means that even if you have incur damages in excess of $30,000.00, the liable party’s insurance company will only pay at most $30,000.00. Because most negligent drivers don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account to make up the difference, it can be difficult to force the liable party to pay another dime beyond the insurance limits. If you have a large UIM limit, though, it can act as a safety net.
Example of Underinsured Motorist Claim
Assume that a negligent 19 year old causes a bad collision and you incur $35,000.00 in medical expenses and $20,000.00 in lost wages and suffer months of pain and disability. If this teenage driver only has $30,000.00 of liability coverage, that’s going to be all his or her insurance company is responsible to pay. If you have a higher amount of underinsured motorist coverage it will make up the difference. Assume for this example that you have $100,000.00 of UIM coverage. After the negligent driver’s insurance company “tenders” you the $30,000.00 of coverage, you can make a claim against your own policy for the additional expenses and damages not covered by the liable policy. So, for example, if the reasonable value of your claim was $90,000.00 ($35,000.00 for medical expenses; $20,000.00 in lost wages; and $35,000.00 for pain and suffering), you could recover $30,000.00 from the liable party and the other $60,000.00 from your own policy.
In the above example, if your damages had actually been $110,000.00, you would have only been able to recover $30,000.00 from the liable party’s insurance company and $70,000.00 from your own policy. That is, the cap on your own policy is the max that you can recover in this situation from the two insurance policies and your carrier gets a “credit” for the amount of the liability payments.
All too often, the most negligent, reckless drivers are those that have purchased very small insurance policies. In these situations, the attorneys of Maginnis Law can help you recover the full liability limits and then proceed against your own Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Your insurance company will essentially become adverse to you and is likely to look out for its own interests. We can help make sure they treat you fairly.
Call the Raleigh law firm of Maginnis Law to set up a free consultation or use our contact page to send information regarding your case. Our firm offers competitive contingency fee arrangements so that you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recover on your behalf. We represent North Carolinians across the state with UIM claims and will travel to meet with you.