| Read Time: 4 minutes
Featured Image Car Accident

Almost 13% of drivers in the United States and 7.4% of drivers in North Carolina do not have car insurance.

If these drivers cause an accident, victims may struggle to get compensation for their damages. For reasons like this, drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage in NC. 

The attorneys at Mehta & McConnell can help if you’ve been in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. We can help you file a claim with your insurer to get compensation for your injuries.  

North Carolina Mandatory Coverage Limits

North Carolina law requires every driver to have liability coverage for their vehicle. Drivers must meet the following coverage limits under this law:

  • Bodily injury for one person—$30,000,
  • Bodily injury for two or more people—$60,000,
  • Property damage—$25,000.

Drivers who don’t have insurance can face fines ranging from $50 to $150 per violation.

What Is UM/UIM Coverage?

If you review your insurance policy, you will see the terms Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM).

These coverages are different, but both help when an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your injuries.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?

UM coverage helps you recover compensation after an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. It applies only if the uninsured driver is the at-fault party of the accident.

State law requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage in NC. Your insurance company will often bundle liability and UM coverage. So, if you purchase $50,000 of liability coverage, you will also get $50,000 of UM coverage. 

How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

UIM coverage helps when you are in an accident with a driver who has insurance but not enough to cover all your damages. UIM bridges this gap, covering costs beyond the other driver’s policy limit. 

UIM coverage is very helpful in North Carolina because many drivers carry only the minimum limit of $30,000. While these drivers meet their legal duty, their policies may not be high enough in a serious car accident. 

How Do I File a Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim?

You must file your UM/UIM claim with your insurer. While the type of compensation you can receive differs between these policies, the process is similar for both claims. 

Contact Law Enforcement

You need to call the police even if you and your passengers feel okay. A law enforcement officer will inspect the crash and create a police report of the incident.

This report includes key details like the date, time, and location of the accident.

Insurance companies will likely deny a claim if you don’t have this police report. Because the police report is objective, insurers use it to determine who is liable for an accident. They also use it to calculate the extent of damages.

Gather Evidence

Collecting thorough evidence can strengthen your insurance claim. Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and anything important.

Get contact details from witnesses so they can give a statement to the insurance company.

Your evidence should show that the crash was the other driver’s fault. If it shows clear liability, your insurance company will be less likely to deny your claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Speak with your insurer as soon as possible about the incident. Failing to notify your insurance company promptly can slow down the claims process. 

Share the police report, your account of the events, and any evidence. The insurer will process your claim and investigate the accident. During this time, an adjuster may request additional information about your vehicle damage or personal injuries. 

Receive a Settlement Offer

Your insurer will process your claim and give you a settlement offer. This offer outlines the compensation the insurance company will provide for your damages. 

Sometimes, the settlement offer will seem reasonable and compensate you fairly. If so, you can accept it. 

However, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible on UM and UIM claims. They will often offer you less than the total cost of your damages. If this happens, don’t accept the settlement offer without speaking with an attorney. 

How an Attorney Can Help

You can challenge your insurance company if it denies your claim or offers a low settlement amount. Working with an attorney during this process will maximize the strength of your claim and potential compensation. 

Personal injury attorneys can assist with every aspect of your insurance claim. This can include:

  • Evidence collection,
  • Calculating damages,
  • Negotiating with your insurer, and 
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Most importantly, your attorney can help relieve stress during this time. They will handle the legal issues so you can focus on recovering from the accident.

What Compensation Can I Receive?

You can receive compensation up to your policy limit. For example, if you have $30,000 of UM coverage, then your total compensation can cover $30,000 of damages. 

Your insurance settlement can cover damages such as: 

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Vehicle repairs.

Keep in mind that UM coverage covers bodily injury and property damage, but UIM coverage only covers bodily injury.

Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Mehta & McConnell is here for you after a car accident with an uninsured driver. Our attorneys understand the nuances of uninsured motorist coverage in NC and can protect your rights when filing a claim.

We have over 35 years of legal experience and have helped clients recover six-figure settlements in auto accident cases. 

Call our office to schedule a consultation. 

Author Photo

Viral Mehta

Viral Mehta is the managing attorney of Mehta & McConnell Injury Lawyers, a Charlotte, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law firm. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, sports, and reading.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars