What happens if you and your family are involved in a serious accident caused by the negligence a driver who is not insured or does not have adequate insurance to cover your losses? Our North Carolina car accident attorneys have seen this happen far too often in serious injury accidents.
North Carolina Financial Responsibility Laws require motorists to maintain a certain minimum amount of automobile liability insurance coverage. The minimum amounts stipulated are $30,000 bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage coverage (30/60/25). This means that someone carrying minimum limits of automobile liability insurance has coverage to protect others from their negligence, as follows:
• $30,000 maximum for bodily injury to any one person
• $60,000 total maximum for bodily injuries sustained in the accident, regardless of the number of people injured
• $25,000 total for property damage
In 2009, North Carolina law also made it mandatory for individuals to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM). This is coverage on your auto policy that protects you against some driver who has no insurance or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. The statutory minimum coverage for UM is 30/60/25.
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is coverage on your auto policy that applies when your injuries exceed the Bodily Injury limit of the at fault car, AND your Bodily Injury limit is higher than the at fault car. For example, if the person who caused your accident carries minimum liabiity limits ($30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident), but your injuries exceed $30,000, AND your liability limits are higher than the minimum, suchy as $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, you may file under your own UIM coverage for the difference. Coverage limits for UM/UIM benefits can be purchased for up to $1,000,000.
Having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is the best way that families can protect themselves from negligent drivers who elect to operate a motor vehicle with no insurance or simply cannot afford to have anything other than minimum coverage.
If you, a family member or a friend have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or with someone whose liability limits were insufficient to cover your losses, you should seek the advice of an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney. Simply carrying UM/UIM coverage on your policy does not necessarily mean your insurance company will voluntarily pay the benefits to which you are entitled.
Auger & Auger is a personal injury law firm that has devoted its practice to a wide array of personal injury matters, including representing clients who have UM/UIM claims. For over 40 years, the attorneys at Auger & Auger have distinguished themselves among the judiciary and their peers with their extensive background and experience in insurance law.
For your convenience, we have five offices. We have three offices in Charlotte and one each in Greensboro and Raleigh.
Contact us to schedule your appointment for a confidential consultation to discuss your particular case. Our cases are handled on a contingency basis, so that you will never owe our firm any fee unless we make a recovery for you.
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Recently Released Data Confirms Benefits of Safety Restraints For Drivers of All Kinds of Vehicles, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, May 31, 2012