In the early hours of a week day morning, a retired man from North Carolina crossed the center line and collided with an SUV, first grazing a tractor trailer and then hitting the SUV straight on. Both the man and driver of the SUV died at the scene of the accident. The man was driving the wrong way on Interstate 26, and it is believed that he was confused about several things, including his direction of travel. The driver had been experiencing several health problems prior to the collision and may have left early to go to a doctor’s office.
The sudden death of a loved one leaves family members with a lot of financial strain on top of the natural grieving process. Car accident deaths, like the one described above, can leave family members scrambling to find money for funeral expenses, medical expenses (if the family member was seen by a doctor after the accident, prior to the death), and household bills. Finding compensation that you might be entitled to under your family member’s policy to help relieve some of the financial burdens can become a difficult process. Insurance adjusters may offer a quick settlement to a family member during this vulnerable time, and the full compensation that would be owed under the policy may not be awarded.
In North Carolina, automobile insurance policies offer compensation for bodily injury and property damage under the mandatory coverage. If the person who caused the accident was negligent, then the injured person or the family members of the the deceased can file a claim against the at-fault’s insurance policy. If the at-fault’s party does not have insurance or the coverage available fails to meet the expenses, then the injured or deceased’s policy can possibly be used. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may be available, depending on whether the policy holder kept the mandatory uninsured coverage.
A possible challenge is if the deceased is found to be partially negligent in any way. North Carolina follows the legal concept of contributory negligence, which completely bars recovery if the party seeking damages is negligent in any way. Other states follow a much less severe precedent called comparative negligence. Under that legal theory as long as the party filing suit is 49% or less negligent, they can still recover from the other party. However, the amount of damages may be reduced by the percentage of their own negligence.
Herbert and Arlene Auger are North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys who practice across the State of North Carolina, fighting aggressively for clients who have been injured or had a family member killed as a result of an auto accident. The attorneys of Auger & Auger know how to negotiate with insurance companies and litigate injury and wrongful death cases so your compensation is maximized. If you have been injured in a car accident or have had a family member killed because of an auto collision, then call our office at 888.487.0835 for a free, confidential consultation.
Related Blog Posts:
Pedestrians and Cyclists Are No Match For Any Kind of Vehicle, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 10, 2012
What You Should Know About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 27, 2012