The chances of being hit by an uninsured driver in North Carolina are higher than ever. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, approximately a quarter million drivers are cited for driving without insurance in North Carolina every year. The actual number of uninsured drivers may be much higher, since not everyone gets caught.
If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you will need to find another way to pay your medical and other expenses. One source is your own coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM).
Your UM/UIM coverage also protects you from drivers who do not have enough insurance to pay for your damages. North Carolina requires drivers to carry minimum liability coverage of $30,000 for one person and $60,000 for all people injured in an accident. If you suffer a serious injury, $30,000 will not go far in paying for your medical bills, lost wages and other losses.
The North Carolina Financial Responsibility Act requires all auto insurance policies in the state to have UM/UIM coverage at least equal to the minimum required liability insurance. Since you carry UM/UIM insurance to protect yourself and your family, you should consider buying more than the minimum.
If you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, it's important to seek legal advice. When you file an UM/UIM claim, your auto insurance company will assume a position that is adversarial to your position. It's goal is to pay you as little as possible or to deny your claim altogether.
A lawyer can also determine if other parties may be responsible for your injuries, such as:
- Auto defects such as an airbag that failed to deploy
- Defective road conditions that may have had had a role in causing the accident
- Untrimmed shrubs or other unsafe property conditions that prevented the other car from seeing you
- A bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the other driver
The law firm of Farris & Farris PA in Wilson, North Carolina, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your rights after a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.