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What Happens when Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

After an auto accident, victims may experience serious injuries that result in costly medical bills. It is important to understand what happens when a victim’s medical needs exceed coverage limits.

Often, the cost of injury treatment is paid by auto insurance after a North Carolina accident. Motorists who are hurt in an accident can obtain compensation for medical bills, as well as other losses, from the insurer of a driver who hurt them. Sometimes, however, there is insufficient insurance coverage because the accident causes serious injuries necessitating very costly treatment.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance indicates that every driver in North Carolina must have $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. This means the the insurance covers up to $30,000 per person but no more than $60,000 per accident, regardless of the number of victims.  If there are more than 2 persons injured, the injured parties will have to split the $60,000 amongst them based on their medical bills or injuries.

Many people purchase more than the minimum coverage because these limits are very low considering the costly injuries a crash can cause. However, there are still situations where injuries exceed available insurance. For example, spinal cord injuries could cost millions.

If medical needs exceed available insurance, the insurer for the driver who caused the accident will still not pay more than policy limits. Victims can turn to their own insurer for some additional coverage.  Most states, including North Carolina law allows driver’s to purchase extra auto insurance call underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured coverage picks up the slack if a victim is hurt by a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to pay for all damages.

Victims can also try to pursue a claim and recover money for medical costs from the driver personally, although victims may have difficulty actually enforcing a judgement depending upon how many assets the driver who caused the crash experienced.

Exploring other alternatives for receiving compensation, such as workers’ compensation claims,  or suing auto manufacturers, can also be worthwhile in appropriate circumstances.

A Charlotte, NC accident lawyer can provide assistance in identifying possible sources of compensation and in pursuing a claim for accident compensation to cover all medical needs.  Call an attorney for help as soon as possible when injuries are serious and costly to treat.

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