If you live in North Carolina, you may know that it has one of the largest system of highways in the country. If you don’t live in the state, you may not have been aware of that fact. It stands to reason that having such an extensive amount of roadway can be dangerous for drivers. With more people on the road, the chances of being involved in a collision are heightened.
There are important legal aspects to consider if you’ve been in an accident in Charlotte or anywhere else in the state. Here are the basics that you need to be aware of. Your personal injury attorney can give you advice that is more specific to your incident.
Auto Insurance Requirements
In the state of North Carolina, you must have minimum liability insurance in order to drive legally. The state minimums are $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. You, of course, can carry more coverage should you choose to do so, but you cannot legally carry less.
A driver is also required to have uninsured motorist coverage. This is to protect you in the event that the person responsible for your accident doesn’t have insurance.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Following up with the insurance companies can be a confusing task. Most people involved in car accidents have claims related to property damage and bodily injury. These are two different claims. It is most common to file a claim against the “at-fault” driver’s insurance company but there are times when your own company may also be involved in the claims process. Those types of claims are common when attempting to resolve property damage issues or cases involving an unknown or uninsured driver. Additionally there may be benefits such as medical payment insurance “med-pay” available to you and your passengers from your own insurance company. An experienced personal injury law firm that handles motor vehicle accidents will be able to assist with making sure that all of the different insurance companies are involved to the extent that they need to be.
Understanding Contributory Negligence
It’s important that you understand contributory negligence if you live in North Carolina as it is one of the few states that still utilizes this type of liability. In general, if you are found to have had any part in the accident, even if it wasn’t totally your fault, you are barred from recovering damages for your property or personal injury. It is common for insurance companies in contributory negligence states to use the defense of contributory negligence to deny auto accident claims. Cases involving this issue can be very difficult and it is a good idea to speak to an attorney about whether or not this issue is relevant to your case. Additionally insurance companies may use recorded statements as a tool to come to the conclusion that another driver contributed to the accident. Consider speaking to an attorney before making any statements to any insurance companies.
Filing a Lawsuit
It is your option, in most cases, to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person(s) you believe to be responsible for your accident. Many times a resolution to someone’s personal injury case can be reached without having to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will be able to best advise you on your options and whether or not a lawsuit may be filed in your case. Every case is different and every case has a different resolution. Do not make any assumptions or guesses about your potential case. Speak to a lawyer to be sure about your options.
If you have been involved in a crash in Charlotte and would like to speak to one of our attorneys about filing a personal injury claim, please call our office. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team for assistance.