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North Carolina Hit-and-Runs

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North Carolina Hit-and-Runs


Most North Carolinians find that the automobile accident claims process is quite frustrating.  From negotiating with unsympathetic insurance adjusters to dealing with aggressive bill collectors, it is not a pleasant experience.  It can be even more frustrating when you cannot determine the identity of the party that caused the collision. In so-called “hit and run” cases, the driver that has struck your car flees the scene, even though doing so is a crime under North Carolina law.

If you have sustained a personal injury in a North Carolina accident involving a hit and run driver, you may proceed directly against your own automobile insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage (UM).  The uninsured motorist coverage process can be complicated and should be approached with caution. In most situations, you would be best served to speak with a knowledge North Carolina automobile accident attorney prior to proceeding.

Uninsured Motorist coverage is an important source of insurance in cases that involve hit-and-runs. Uninsured motorist coverage can help when the insured owner or driver of the vehicle is involved in a car accident where they are injured by a negligent driver who either doesn’t have insurance coverage or who flees the scene and cannot be identified.

When proceeding against your uninsured motorist coverage, the victim can recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, bills, permanent injury, and permanent scarring. This can be a great source of recovering damages caused by a hit-and-run North Carolina driver. Also, more than one policy may apply, including your own policy, the policy insuring the vehicle you are driving or riding in if not your own, and the policy of any blood relative with whom you reside.

Different Aspects of UM Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is applicable in two primary situations, the first being where you can identify who caused the collision, but that person has unlawfully failed to obtain insurance. The second situation arises when a negligent driver makes contact with your vehicle causing a collision, but you are unable to identify the driver after they flee the scene: a classic hit and run wreck.

One of the more important aspects of UM coverage is that in North Carolina there is a physical contact rule that requires that the other driver causes their vehicle to collide with yours. Cases where the negligent driver does not make contact are generally not covered by Uninsured Motorist coverage. An example would be when a negligent driver veers into your path of travel, but does not strike your vehicle, and you swerve off the road into a collision with a tree. In this situation, North Carolina law does not require your policy to contain coverage.

The primary exception to the physical contact rule involves chain collisions.  Assume that a negligent driver strikes an intermediary vehicle and propels it into your vehicle.  That negligent driver then flees the scene.  Even though technically the negligent driver did not strike your vehicle, North Carolina law still permits a recovery under your Uninsured Motorist coverage.

Representation for North Carolina Hit-and-Runs

The Raleigh car accident attorneys of Maginnis Law represent injured persons against at-fault driver, as well as their own automobile insurance companies in the event of a hit and run accident.

Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard is experienced in handling complex North Carolina hit-and-run cases, and has been involved in important appellate cases involving the parameters of Uninsured Motorist coverage in North Carolina.

All personal injury matters are handled on a contingency basis – this means that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at 919.526.0450. Email inquiries may be sent to info@maginnislaw.com utilizing our contact page. The firm represents clients throughout the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Garner, Holly Springs, and Wake Forest.

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