Do I Pay A Deductible If I'm Not At Fault

Do I Pay A Deductible If I’m Not At Fault?

If you’re in a car accident in North Carolina, you may have to pay a deductible, even if the accident is not your fault. The primary reason for this is that the other driver’s insurance company will want time to investigate the claim, and you simply want to get your car fixed. Therefore, the quickest option for you is to put in a claim through your insurance company to have the car repaired without waiting. As a result, you pay the deductible associated with your policy.

Getting Reimbursed For Your Deductible

While you may pay a deductible if you’re not at fault, there’s a chance you will be reimbursed. After your insurance company repairs your vehicle and you pay your deductible, you can expect your insurance company to pursue reimbursement. Your insurance company will be reimbursed by the at fault driver’s insurance. Lastly, your insurance company should reimburse your deductible to you when they get paid. It is noteworthy that if you wait until the at fault driver’s insurance completes their investigation, you could be without a vehicle for several weeks. As a result, most drivers choose to move forward with a claim against their own insurance.

Why Does The Claim Need To Be Investigated?

We recently wrote an article about why an insurance company is investigating your claim. First, the insurance company has  duty to their driver to make sure you were not at fault. Second, in North Carolina, Contributory Negligence can prevent recovery.  This means, the insurance company is investigating whether you contributed to the accident. Lastly, the insurance company takes a statement from their driver regarding what happened. If the police report is inconclusive, and if each driver tells a different story, you may be in for a fight. It’s a good time to consider hiring a North Carolina personal injury lawyer.

Is My Personal Injury Claim Handled By My Car Insurance Company?

No. Your personal injury claim is a claim against the other driver. Therefore, their insurance company will be pursued by your injury attorney, if you choose to hire one. Consequently, you can expect an investigation much like the one mentioned above. As a result, you the other driver’s insurance company may want to take your statement. We highly recommend against giving a statement to the insurance company. First, everything you say will be recorded (and used against you). Second, the insurance company will not share their driver’s statement regarding the accident, so why should you give a statement? Lastly, if a lawsuit is filed, both drivers will give testimony by way of a deposition. Until then, negotiations can move forward without statements being given. Additionally, if you’ve been in a slip and fall or a grocery store slip and fall, it’s even more important not to give a statement.

Do I Have To Pay My Personal Injury Lawyer?

Our firm is like most personal injury law firms. We work on your case for free. If we are unable to get a settlement for you, you owe us nothing. Likewise, if we do reach a settlement, you owe us a fee. Our standard fee is one third (33%) of your settlement or jury verdict. If you’d like to discuss working with a personal injury lawyer, please call us at 704.749.7747. You can also simply click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and you will speak with a lawyer today. You can also read more at the car insurance claims FAQ by dmv.org.

Why Is The Insurance Company Investigating My Claim?

If you’ve had a recent car accident and are trying to get your property damage addressed, you may be feeling some frustration. We talk to clients every day who tell us that while the car accident was not their fault—and the police report clearly shows that—the insurance company is delaying repairing their car. The reason given is that “the insurance company is investigating my claim.” If the insurance company is investigating your claim and it’s interrupting your life, we’re here to help.

Are They Allowed To Investigate My Claim?

If the police report clearly shows the accident is not your fault, and if the other driver does not dispute fault, it would seem that the insurance company has no need to be investigating your claim. That being said, they are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to investigate the claim. We will always argue over what is a reasonable amount of time. In instances where the other driver is lying about the accident, you may face a tougher battle. Usually, from your perspective, it feels like the insurance company is simply delaying doing a necessary repair.

What Can I Do While The Insurance Company Is Investigating My Claim?

Your main concern is getting your vehicle in operating mode again, or getting a repair done. While the insurance company investigates your claim, you have no way to get to work, or pick up kids from school activities. Typically, the answer to this is to start a property damage claim with your insurance company. This might feel counter-intuitive, because the accident wasn’t your fault. First, you’re correct in feeling this way. Second, you’re right to be skeptical of an insurance company that claims to need more time to investigate an obvious claim. Lastly, your insurance company has seen this countless times and they will step in to help.

Usually, your insurance company will provide you with a rental vehicle, repair your vehicle, or both. You may even have to pay your deductible. In the end, however, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This means that in the end, the other driver’s insurance company pays for the property damage. You should fight hard to not have to pay a deductible, though, this varies from one insurance company to the next.

Should I Get A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Typically, a personal injury lawyer or personal injury law firm will be more interested in your personal injury claim. Each accident claim contains both a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. We always tell clients that we don’t want to charge them for the property damage claim, so we don’t. Instead, when a client hires us to handle their personal injury claim, we offer guidance on how to proceed with getting blue book value for your car, or getting the repair properly done. We are happy to make a phone call or write a letter to the insurance company if they are not performing on the property damage end for the client.

Further Reading

If you’d like to read more articles like this one, please visit the rest of our Personal Injury Blog on this site.

Help! The Insurance Company Is Investigating My Claim!

If an insurance company is investigating your claim and you’d like to speak with a lawyer, we’re here to help. You can call us at 704.749.7747, or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out to you. You’ll speak with a lawyer today, and you’ll understand your rights by the end of the phone call or meeting. We know you have choices, and we hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Charlotte Accident Attorney

When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

The best time to hire a personal injury lawyer is before you start communicating with the insurance company that represents the other driver. Fortunately, hiring a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t cost you anything up front—the lawyer doesn’t get paid until you get paid. As a result, you can get legal protection immediately. The knowledge and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you with the following, which may help you decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer:

Preserving Your Rights

Establishing Fault Of The Other Driver

Arguing Pain And Suffering

Gathering All Medical Records, Bills and Liens

Negotiating Your Lost Wages

Discovering Insurance Coverage

Settling Your Claim For A Fair Amount

How To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury attorney is easy. You simply pick up the phone and call. Personal injury law firms are usually available to hear about your case, and you should be able to speak with an attorney. Once the attorney gathers enough information to understand the situation, they will generally tell you on the first phone call, if they are interested in taking your case.

While there will be some paperwork that has to be completed in person, if we decide to take your case we will send you a link you can use to complete most of the intake necessary for us to start working on your claim. We will then either mail you the remainder to sign, or you can come by the office to sign the remaining paperwork.

Protect Your Rights In Personal Injury

When determining when to hire a personal injury lawyer, some clients do so after making numerous statements to the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim or case. These statements are usually recorded, and can be used against you later. Recorded statements are used to show you have made contradictory claims regarding the facts, or to establish admissions on your part. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will be given a fairly strict set of rules to follow regarding communicating with the parties involved in the claim. Generally, the lawyer prefers you do not communicate directly with anyone other than the personal injury lawyer’s office.

The personal injury lawyer you hire will work hard to establish liability in your case. This usually means establishing the elements of a Negligence claim, so that you can recover damages in a settlement or lawsuit. Each case or claim has a theory of liability. Take your lawyer’s advice not to speak with the insurance company about your claim, and let your personal injury lawyer work to build the case for you.

Further Reading

What Is The Personal Injury Process Like?

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident, call us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. Or, click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out shortly to discuss your case with you. You deserve to know your rights, and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

If you’re considering settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer… don’t. It’s important for you to understand the risks associated with settlement and why hiring a personal injury lawyer is a critical step in getting your medical bills paid and receiving a fair value for your injury. Quite often a potential client will reach out to our office to inquire about whether they should accept an offer made by an insurance adjuster; our answer depends upon a few factors, and yours will too. Our strong advice is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you settle your claim. We have found the end result is better for you and you get the legal protection you need and deserve. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out today.

Completing Treatment Is Key

If you haven’t completed your treatment, you’re not aware of your total damages. The reason for this is that your damages are a combination of your medical costs associated with treatment, and the injury itself. Until your doctor or team of physicians releases you from care, it’s impossible to be certain of the full extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will be happy to settle your claim before treatment is finished. That way, your injuries and medical bills are no longer their responsibility. If you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer and you receive bills after settlement, the insurance company won’t pay them. The same is true for understanding the value of your claim– if you settle before treatment is finished, you’ll be settling for a lower value in almost every case. When settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of accepting less than you deserve. Remember, you can’t go back to the insurance company for more money once you settle and release them.

Understanding Health Insurance Liens

The insurance company may claim that they will handle all of your medical bills. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, your medical providers—including your health insurance company—may have a lien against your settlement proceeds. When settling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of your insurance company refusing to cover future treatment until your lien is paid. Lastly, if the health insurance lien is not paid from settlement proceeds, the health insurance company has rights which may extend as far as placing a lien against your home or other valuables you own. In this FindLaw.com article, the over-reaching arm of health insurance companies is discussed:

“Your health insurance company often has a right to take part of your auto accident settlement, depending on what you agreed to in your health insurance policy. Often, your health insurance company is entitled to recover everything it paid for your medical care, which is called subrogation. The theory behind subrogation is that a person should not have his medical bills paid twice-once by his health insurer, and a second time in the form of a settlement or judgment for damages in an accident liability case. So, rather than having your medical bills paid by the insurance company and getting the equivalent sum to keep from the settlement, you would have to pay the amount you received for your medical expenses in the settlement to your health insurance company.”

Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will ensure that your liens are valid, negotiated, and paid as part of orchestrating your settlement. This result insures you avoid the pitfalls you will encounter when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer.

Reaching A Fair Settlement

Fairness is subjective. Our experience has been that our clients do better with a personal injury lawyer than when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer. One reason is economics. Once you involve a personal injury lawyer with your claim, you have leverage against the insurance company. Instead of asking themselves how much it will cost to make you go away, they instead have to face the prospect of spending thousands of dollars in court against you and your lawyer. In the end, your lawyer fee will most often not out-weigh the increase in settlement offer you receive by hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Peace of Mind

Consider a scenario where the insurance company offers you $2,000.00 in your pocket after paying all medical bills and you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer. Now consider the same scenario where you hire a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to represent you. Suppose the lawyer is able to obtain a $6,000.00 settlement, with the net result being the same—you end up with $2,000.00 in your pocket. The numbers are the same but there’s a difference. With the personal injury lawyer’s involvement, you get peace of mind. You can be sure that:

  • All medical bills/liens are paid unless otherwise agreed upon;
  • You didn’t accept a low offer only to be left wondering if you could have done better;
  • Your health insurance provider will not withhold treatment or come after your assets for repayment;
  • A licensed professional has done all of the work instead of you managing your own claim while trying to move on with your life;

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

We’re here to help. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with an attorney today, or click here to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION today. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

How is pain and suffering calculated in north carolina

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In North Carolina (NC)? Pain and suffering is calculated differently by personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. As a result, often your attorney and the insurance company will argue about the value of your pain and suffering. As you might imagine, the insurance company’s number is always lower than the attorney’s number. This article addresses how pain and suffering is calculated in North Carolina. It attempts to help you understand the value of your personal injury claim. Keep in mind every claim is different, and a personal injury attorney can assist you with establishing your claim and fighting for a fair result.

Liability Is Key To Any Recovery

Before we ask “How is pain and suffering calculated?”, we must first establish that there was responsibility on the party from which you seek reimbursement. In other words, was it their fault? It is a given you had injuries resulting from a car accident or slip and fall. The next step is to prove that the other party was at fault, or responsible. If you fail to prove that, your pain and suffering—in fact your entire recovery—will often be zero.

Proving liability can be challenging. North Carolina makes it more difficult with the Contributory Negligence rule, we have written about on our website. This rule states that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident or injury, you should receive nothing. North Carolina personal injury attorneys spend their days fighting this rule for their clients.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In Different Car Accidents?

Imagine a scenario where two individuals are in two separate car accidents. In Accident #1, the injured party is rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. They suffer a concussion. In Accident #2, the injured party is injured when another driver changes lanes, and the two vehicles collide side-by-side. The injured party suffers a concussion, just like in Accident #1.

In Accident #1, liability is clear. The personal injury attorney and the insurance adjuster may end up arguing over the value of pain and suffering, which is normal. In Accident #2, the attorney and insurance adjuster will also argue over the value of pain and suffering; however, the insurance adjuster will potentially only offer half of what they are offering in Accident #1. Why? Because there is an argument that if the case went in front of a jury, the jury might decide that the insurance company’s client was not at fault. Or, the jury may decide that the injured party was 1% or more responsible, and offer them nothing, based on the rules of Contributory Negligence.

In the instance above, we have identical injuries, yet the pain and suffering calculation for each injured party will likely be different. Here are a few other factors which affect pain and suffering calculations:

Medical Treatment Sought—A failure to seek proper medical treatment immediately after an accident can result in a lower value of your claim, despite legitimate injuries.

Time Of Recovery—If an individual takes an abnormal amount of time to recover, their pain and suffering is arguably higher than someone who recovers quickly.

Age Of The Injured Party—Children may receive higher pain and suffering than adults, to compensate for the emotional content of their experience.

Extenuating Circumstances—Therapy needed for anxiety can change pain and suffering. Also, if the accident caused you to miss your child’s wedding or graduation, this would be considered as well.

One Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

When taken in context with the information above, some attorneys will argue that pain and suffering starts with a calculation based on the medical treatment received. Insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys will then argue about the billed amount of the treatment vs. the actual cost. The reason is that health insurance often pays far less than what the doctor billed. The same is true of Medicaid and Medicare. Lastly, these health providers may have Personal Injury Settlement Liens, and those will need to be addressed with any settlement figure reached.

A Second Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

A method far less popular is to assign a per day amount that pain and suffering is worth. The personal injury attorney takes that amount and applies it to the length of time from the date of the accident until the last date of treatment for the injured party. The concept is to compensate the injured party for the number of days it took for them to return to full health.

Insurance Company Pain And Suffering Calculations

Often, you will find that insurance companies try to ignore the attorney calculations altogether. Instead, they rely on advanced software designed for their industry. That software takes into account your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and many other factors. Importantly, the software will also take into account past jury verdicts in your area. The idea is to offer a settlement reflective of what a jury might give you. The insurance company will want to lower that number however, because by settling with you, they are reducing the risk for you that a jury would give you less.

The Importance Of Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases get complicated very quickly. It’s easy to compromise your rights by giving a recorded statement to the insurance company, or signing a release. A personal injury attorney will not only protect you from these pitfalls, but also help to maximize the value of your claim. You will typically find that the attorney’s fee is far outweighed by the end settlement amount, and by the peace of mind that you are being protected along the long path to recovery.

If you want to know “How is pain and suffering calculated?” or if you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer for your car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

How Much Does An MRI Cost?

According to data released from NerdWallet Health, an MRI costs on average about $2,611.00. Your insurance may pay for some or all of that expense. Any way you look at it though, it’s an expensive procedure. Additionally, you’ll receive a separate charge from the Radiologist to read the MRI. If your physician requests contrast dyes in conjunction with the MRI, the price goes up further.

Is An MRI Important For My Personal Injury Case?

If your doctor recommends one, you should have one done. In any case, an MRI can reveal injuries which an X-ray will not reveal. An MRI of the brain and spinal cord can reveal brain tumors, MS, stroke, and problems with your eyes and ears. An MRI of the bones and joints reveals herniated discs, fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, and arthritis.

Put quite simply, the value of your car accident or slip and fall increases if your injuries increase. In other words, the purpose of a personal injury lawsuit or settlement is to make you whole again. As a result, the primary thing you must prove to the insurance adjuster or to the jury, is that you have suffered an injury which has left you in a worse state than you were in prior to the accident. An MRI, together with a doctor’s medical notes, becomes evidence of those injuries sustained in a car accident or slip and fall accident.

Today you may be wondering how much it will cost, but if your doctor recommends an MRI and you forego getting one, you may find out that your personal injury claim is worth less than full value. Your medical bills are typically paid through your personal injury settlement, especially if they are filed as a personal injury settlement lien.

Next Steps For Car Accident Or Slip And Fall Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. The primary reason of course is to be sure of what treatment you might need—allowing injuries to go untreated can exacerbate them and make them worse. Second, if you do have a personal injury claim, a delay in treatment will serve to lower the value of your personal injury claim or personal injury case.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Need help or advice? That’s why we’re here. Call us today to speak with an attorney. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out to you today. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Protect Yourself From Scary Personal Injury Insurance Adjusters

Happy Halloween! Remember, in the personal injury world, it’s SCARY out there. Personal injury adjusters are not your friend. They are looking for ways to deny or de-value your car accident or slip and fall claim. The following tips can help you protect yourself in a personal injury claim and make sure you get treated fairly by the personal injury adjuster. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, you can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. The call is free and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Seek Treatment Quickly

One thing that scares us is clients who fail to seek treatment, or fail to finish treatment. If you don’t seek treatment soon after your car accident or slip and fall, the assumption is you were not hurt. If you don’t have health insurance, we know the cost makes it difficult to seek treatment. There are several hospitals and Charlotte Chiropractors who will treat you on a lien basis. This means, they will treat you without cost and wait for your personal injury settlement to finalize before they get paid. Additionally, you may have Medical Payments coverage and your personal injury attorney can help you claim it. Lastly, your personal injury attorney can typically negotiate some of your medical bills when settling your claim. This puts more money in your pocket. By seeking treatment early, you:

Establish your injury

Increase the value of your claim

Make a clear connection between the accident and your injury

Finish Your Treatment

Even though you may feel better, it’s important to follow your doctor’s direction. This means completing treatment including follow-up appointments. This insures you are brought back to full health, and also demonstrates the treatment was necessary. When a personal injury client stops treatment halfway through, the insurance adjuster will use that fact to claim the injury was not severe. Or, that the treatment was for the sole purpose of creating  a personal injury claim.

Tell Your Personal Injury Attorney The Truth

Your personal injury attorney is your best ally in a personal injury claim. Anything you tell the attorney is protected under attorney-client privilege. By arming your personal injury attorney with the facts—both good and bad—your attorney can strategize how best to support your personal injury claim with applicable law.

Here are some examples of ‘bad facts’ which can be often be overcome by your personal injury attorney. Again, what’s most important is making sure your personal injury attorney knows all the facts:

Whether you were taking medication at the time of the accident

Whether you had any alcohol the day of the accident

Prior or pre-existing injuries which may be discovered later

Whether you have filed previous personal injury claims

Keep Good Notes

One thing we encourage clients to do when they’ve been in a car accident or a slip and fall accident, is to keep notes about the accident. This should include what you remember about the facts leading up to the accident. It should also include the injuries and pain you’re feeling following the accident. These notes can be brought to the doctor’s office so that you don’t forget to mention them. Your injuries are typically documented by your medical records. If you don’t tell the doctor about the full extent of your injuries, the personal injury insurance adjuster will attempt to discount them. Again, the assumption is if you were really hurting, you would have told your doctor.

Further Reading

Supporting Your Personal Injury Claim

Don’t Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Without An Attorney

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

We firmly believe you’re better off with a personal injury attorney than without. Our experience has been that clients receive more fair treatment from insurance companies when working with an attorney. We can help you navigate working with a personal injury insurance adjuster. We’re happy to discuss your accident at no cost. There’s no pressure to hire us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. The call is free and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Car Accident

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical Payments coverage is coverage you may have on your own auto insurance policy. If you have Medical Payments coverage, it will cover some or all of your medical bills incurred as the result of a car accident. This is true whether the accident was your fault or not. Medical Payments coverage can make all the difference for you as an injured party. First, you may not have health insurance, or may have a high deductible; if so, Medical Payments coverage will pay for bills which your health insurance may not cover. Second, the Medical Payments coverage can supplement any health insurance you do have, and can help you recover co-pays and out of pocket expenses. Lastly, even if the accident is not your fault, you may not be able to recover from the at-fault driver. In that case, the Medical Payments coverage will help absorb some of the financial impact of the accident.

The Reasonableness Factor

The language of your auto insurance policy will govern what your Medical Payments coverage will pay. It’s not always as easy as simply submitting your bills to your insurance carrier. Insurance companies often limit their responsibility to reimburse only those medical treatment expenses they deem to be “Reasonable”. Our experience with handling Medical Payments claims has revealed that insurance companies will often exclude the following from reimbursement:

  • Experimental treatments which are not designed to serve a medical purpose;
  • Acupuncture
  • Purchases of equipment which not primarily designed to serve a medical purpose, such as a home gym for rehabilitation

In addition to the treatment being reasonable, the cost of the treatment must also be reasonable. It is not unusual to receive a response from an insurance carrier indicating they will cover a percentage of a chiropractor’s fees, and a refusal to reimburse for the remainder. Quite often, the insurance company will “red line” the chiropractor’s treatment notes, indicating what the insurance carrier believe to be unreasonable treatment. Similarly, they may red line the chiropractor’s bill in an effort to indicate what they believe to be excessive treatment. If you have questions about chiropractic treatment, our article on Charlotte Chiropractors may help answer those questions.

Fortunately for the injured party, there is a presumption of reasonableness in North Carolina, established in N.C.G.S. Sec. 8-58.1. While an insurance company can rebut this presumption, your personal injury lawyer should be able to persuade them that making full payment on the Medical Payments reimbursement submission is preferable to facing a lawsuit over Medical Payments coverage.

Your Responsibilities

Your insurance policy typically requires some responsibilities or duties which you must uphold. You will be asked to cooperate with any investigation into the claim. You will also be asked to assist the insurer should they request medical records to substantiate the Medical Payments request. You may also be asked to sign a HIPAA release in the event your insurance provider wants to obtain medical records and billing on their own.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were in a car accident, or if you were injured by a vehicle as a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, you may be entitled to Medical Payments coverage. We recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer today. You’ll get your questions answered and we’re happy to help. We can be reached at 704.749.7747 or you can click to request a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION, and we will reach out to you shortly. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

 

Loans Against Personal Injury Claims

We talk with injured individuals every day who ask about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you’re injured in an automobile accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you may think you can’t be compensated for your injuries. Generally, this is not true. This holds true for as well for individuals insured as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle accident victims.

In North Carolina, motorists are required to carry minimum insurance coverage. That coverage requires $30,000 for bodily injury, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all persons in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Lastly, they are also required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is exactly what it sounds like. If someone without insurance injures you in an auto accident, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay for your property damage and bodily injury. Placing a claim with your insurance company in this manner will not affect your insurance rates. If you’re hit by a hit and run driver, you should also be able to access your Uninsured Motorist Coverage—be ready though, your insurance company will want to know plenty of details about the accident and the hit and run driver, before they will provide coverage. The reason is that insurance companies are fearful that drivers make up hit and run stories as a way to create fraudulent claims.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist Coverage plays a different role than Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If your injuries cost more than the coverage the other driver has, you can access your Underinsured Motorist Coverage. However, there’s a catch—your Underinsured Motorist Coverage must be more than the coverage the driver who hit you. Essentially, your policy will get a ‘credit’ for whatever has been paid. Take for example, a situation where the at-fault driver has a policy of $30,000 and you have a policy of $50,000. If you reach a settlement for $30,000 with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you potentially have access to an additional $20,000 from your carrier ($50,000-$30,000).

Stacking Your Coverage

North Carolina has an anti-stacking statute. In states that allow stacking, the purchased coverage can be multiplied by the number of vehicles in the insurance plan. In an insurance plan that has $30,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage, if there are 3 vehicles in the plan, you would have access to $90,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage. North Carolina does not allow this mechanism for determining the amount of Underinsured Motorist Coverage available to you.

Separate Insurance Policies

If you have two separate insurance policies in your household, you may have the ability to ‘stack’ your Underinsured Motorist Coverage and your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Where your damages exceed the coverage of the at-fault party, you can access one or both of your auto insurance plans in order to be fairly compensated for your injuries and lost wages.

Call A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

As you can see, insurance issues are complex. Having a law firm with the experience to understand the coverage available to you and your family is critical. If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about a car accident, call us today at 704.749.7747. Or, click here for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we’ll reach out to you quickly. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.