If you have been hurt by an underinsured or uninsured driver, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses and property damage, potentially while suffering lost income as a result of your injuries. The seasoned North Carolina car accident attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices, LLP can help.
One of the most frustrating experiences in life is when you do everything right, and you still end up feeling like you are the one being punished. A common example is when you are driving down the road when out of nowhere, a driver slams into your vehicle – but this isn’t just any driver, it is an uninsured driver. Insurance analysts estimate that almost one in eight U.S. motorists is driving uninsured. These negligent drivers aren’t just putting themselves at risk, they are putting your physical and financial future at risk as well.
At DeMayo Law Offices, LLP, we don’t think you should be punished because you had a run-in with a negligent uninsured or underinsured driver. Not only is this behavior reckless, but it is also illegal. Trying to hold the driver or even your own insurance company accountable can be difficult and frustrating. That’s where the legal team at DeMayo Law Offices, LLP comes in.
We strive to help victims of uninsured motorist accidents find the compensation they need to pay for their expenses and losses. Let one of our experienced North Carolina uninsured accident attorneys help you recover the financial reward you deserve. We can review your case and offer legal advice on the most appropriate options for your situation. Contact us today by calling (877) 333-1000 and scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation.
Do You Need an Attorney for an Underinsured/Uninsured Driver Claim?
Yes. An attorney can be vital if you have been injured in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. Uninsured motorist claims can be difficult to untangle. You may be unsure who to turn to for compensation. The process can get frustrating, and many victims end up throwing their hands in the air and eating the cost themselves. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver shouldn’t mean that you have to bear all the physical and financial consequences.
A skilled attorney will be able to analyze the circumstances of your accident and help you determine the best legal option for obtaining compensation for your injuries. Whether it is holding the negligent driver accountable in court or going head to head with your own insurance company, the legal team at DeMayo Law Offices, LLP has what it takes to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
North Carolina Insurance Laws
Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities. Just as the law requires all drivers to pass a driving test in order to obtain a driver’s license, so too does the law require that all drivers obtain auto insurance. The state of North Carolina requires all drivers with a valid license to carry the state minimum continuous liability insurance coverage provided by a licensed in-state insurance company. The minimum insurance coverage is as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability (one person)
- $60,000 for bodily injury liability (two or more people)
- $25,000 for property damage
This basic coverage is meant to pay for the medical bills and property damage that can occur following a car accident. Liability coverage is strictly coverage that applies to the damages incurred by the other driver; liability coverage does not cover your own injuries or property damage. Insurance companies offer plans that can cover your damages as well as the other driver, but costs can vary.
The state of North Carolina also requires that every driver carry uninsured motorist coverage. This can help cover your losses in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. However, as with every policy, it is important to read the fine print. Uninsured motorist coverage is not necessarily the same thing as underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage may be required depending on your plan and can be important to have if you end up being involved in an accident with a motorist whose policy won’t cover all your losses.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in North Carolina
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without proper insurance. North Carolina strictly enforces this policy and can keep tabs on drivers who fail to continuously carry coverage. Insurance companies are actually required to notify the North Carolina Division of Motor vehicles when liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or the coverage has lapsed.
When this happens, the NC Department of Motor Vehicles will send out a termination notification to the vehicle’s registered owner. If the owner does not respond, they may face civil penalties, late fees, interest payments, and the revocation of the vehicle’s license plate. The state will assess the following penalties for failure to maintain proper insurance:
- 1st Insurance Lapse – $50 fee
- 2nd Insurance Lapse – $100 fee
- Subsequent Insurance Lapses – $150 fee
In addition to the above fees, a driver may also face a $50 restoration fee at the time of their vehicle registration renewal period.
Should You Pursue a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver?
If you have been seriously injured, you could be facing significant medical bills for treatment. Just because a driver has been negligent in their duty to carry insurance doesn’t mean you should have to suffer the financial consequences of their poor judgment. There are ways to recover compensation, and a skilled attorney will have the ability to review your case and lay out all of your legal options.
The first option you may be able to pursue is filing an accident claim with your own insurance company. While this seems like an option that you could handle on your own, having an attorney on your side can increase your chances of successfully filing a claim and negotiating for a sum that will cover your medical bills, property damage, and lost income.
North Carolina is a unique state in that it follows what is known as the “contributory negligence” rule. This rule states that anyone who bears even the slightest amount of fault for causing an accident will be barred from receiving any type of financial compensation whatsoever. That means that even if the other driver is 99 percent at fault for an accident, but you are 1 one percent to blame as well, you will not be able to receive compensation. You will only be able to collect if the other driver is 100 percent to blame.
Many drivers find the contributory negligence rule harsh. Not only does this rule guide the courts, but it also guides insurance adjusters as well. That makes it easy for an insurance adjuster to pick apart your claim and deny you the money you need. That’s why it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel immediately following a car accident with an uninsured driver. An experienced attorney can piece together the accident and gather critical evidence that will strengthen and support your case for compensation.
Victims of accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists may also be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. In North Carolina, a victim has three years from the date of the accident to file a suit. This is known as the statute of limitations. Again, it is important for drivers to remember that the contributory negligence rule will apply here as well.
It can be complicated trying to decide what option is right for the circumstances of your particular case. If you have been hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced uninsured motorist attorney with DeMayo Law Offices, LLP immediately. Our legal team can review your case and advise you on your legal options, and which option is best for your situation. Take the guesswork out of getting the compensation you deserve and contact DeMayo Law Offices, LLP to schedule a no-obligation case review today.
How Can DeMayo Law Offices, LLP Help in Uninsured Car Accident Cases?
After an accident with an uninsured driver, it can feel like you are being taken advantage of. Where is the compensation you deserve for your injuries, damaged property, and lost income? Who are you supposed to turn to for a resolution if the other driver has no insurance? The answer is the legal team at DeMayo Law Offices, LLP.
At DeMayo Law Offices, LLP, our attorneys have the experience and the resources to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. We will work with you to gather the facts of your case, investigate your accident, and layout your best legal options. We can advise you through the entire process, negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf, or take a negligent driver or insurance company to court. We are not afraid to get aggressive in order to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact DeMayo Law Offices, LLP today if you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced uninsured accident attorney by calling (877) 333-1000 today.
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