North Carolina Uninsured Motorist Insurance - Raleigh Injury Lawyer

It is reported that approximately 14% of North Carolina drivers are driving without insurance.  These drivers are called “uninsured motorists.”  With this high percentage of uninsured North Carolina car drivers, there is a statistically good chance that you will be in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

North Carolina has laws to protect victims of accidents involving uninsured drivers.  The most applicable law can be found at N.C.G.S. 20-279.21.  This law requires that every automobile insurance policy provide a type of insurance coverage called “Uninsured Motorist Coverage” at an amount that is at least equal to the amount of liability coverage on the policy (but not more than $1 million).

What does this mean?

This means that if you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, then you should quickly review your own auto insurance policy to see how much Uninsured Motorist coverage you have available.  You can find the amount of Uninsured Motorist coverage by looking at the declarations page of your policy.  The amount of Uninsured Motorist Coverage is sometimes listed as “Combined Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Coverage” or abbreviated as “UM/UIM.”

Uninsured Motorist insurance law is a complex area of the law and every case may be very different depending on the vehicles involved and the insurance policies involved.

For instance, if you were a passenger in a car that was hit by an uninsured driver, you will likely get the benefit of the Uninsured Motorist coverage for the car in which you were riding in addition to the benefits from your own auto policy.

Another unique circumstance involving Uninsured Motorist coverage is a hit-and-run accident.  The standard Uninsured Motorist policy will provide coverage for a hit-and-run accident under certain circumstances.  First, there must have been contact with the hit-and-run vehicle.  Second, the victim of the hit-and-run must report the accident to a police officer, peace officer, or other judicial officer or to the Commissioner of Insurance within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.  The victim must also notify his own insurance company of the accident.

In summary, there are several key points in handling an Uninsured Motorist claim:

1.  You should contact the police as soon as possible but certainly within 24 hours of the accident.

2.  You should quickly notify your insurance company of the accident.

3.  You should notify the insurance company for the car in which you were riding of the accident.

4.  You should notify the insurance company for any cars in your household which are owned by family members.

5.  You must cooperate with the Uninsured Motorist insurance company including making yourself available for a recorded statement about your claim.

If you have questions about a North Carolina accident involving an uninsured motorist, contact the lawyers at Hendren & Malone for a free consultation.

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