NC Insurance Coverage Where Other Driver Did Not Have Insurance or Fled the Scene
Nearly all North Carolina automobile insurance policies contain uninsured motorist coverage. It is usually referred to simply as UM coverage. Most folks have the same amount of UM coverage as they have liability coverage. The “Declarations Page” of your automobile insurance policy will tell you precisely how much UM coverage you have. Uninsured motorist coverage provides critical protections in two primary situations. First, it provides bodily injury coverage when you are injured in an automobile collision and there exists no automobile insurance policy providing coverage either for the at-fault driver individually or for the vehicle he or she was operating at the time of the accident. Second, it provides bodily injury coverage when you are struck by a hit-and-run driver.
When you are injured by an uninsured motorist, your UM carrier will essentially step in and handle your claim in a somewhat comparable fashion to how a liability carrier would. So, whereas normally an injured motorist would negotiate a personal injury claim with the carrier for the at-fault driver, if that same person was injured due to the negligence of an uninsured driver, he or she would simply do the same with his or her own automobile insurance carrier. The primary difference is that because UM coverage is first party coverage, meaning you have a contract with the company, they owe a duty of good faith. This means that the underinsured motorist carrier has to fairly evaluate the claim and attempt to settle it for a fair amount, if possible.
However, if you and your uninsured motorist carrier cannot agree on the value of your case, you may file suit against the uninsured driver. At that point, your UM carrier will hire an attorney to defend the case. It will be responsible for any judgment up to the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage, as reflected on your “Declarations Page.” One of the benefits of a UM claim is that pursuant to the terms of most auto policies, you may demand arbitration. Considering the cost and complexity of a jury trial, arbitration is usually a great option. Most uninsured motorist claims either settle or end up in arbitration before a panel of three experienced attorneys.
If you have been struck by an uninsured motorist, or are the victim of a hit-and-run motor vehicle collision, contact the Raleigh uninsured motorist claim attorneys of Maginnis Law. Our Raleigh law firm offers free consultations and case evaluations for all personal injury victims. From our Raleigh office, we handle claims across the state of North Carolina. You may visit our contact page to submit facts regarding your case or for details on how to contact us. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that you do not owe attorneys fees unless we recover a verdict or settlement on your behalf.