When involved in a car wreck, you might assume the other person has insurance to cover damages. (What is it they say about the word assume?)
Next time you’re sitting in traffic, count 10 cars around you. One in nine of those drivers does not have insurance coverage in North Carolina, according to carinsurance.com.
Viewed another way, North Carolina’s roads and highways carried 105 billion vehicle miles of travel in 2012 according to a 2014 NC Chamber Foundation report. That means uninsured drivers drove 9.45 billion miles across North Carolina’s highways.
So how does that affect you?
How Do Uninsured Drivers Hurt You?
Uninsured drivers affect all of us in a lot of ways. First, insurance rates for those of us who do have insurance tick up higher. Secondly if you are involved in a car wreck with an uninsured driver your uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t always protect you.
What Do I Do After an Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver?
Get as Much Information as You Can
Write down the driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and license plate number whether they are insured or uninsured. Take pictures of your car, their car, and the scene of the wreck. It is important to have this information in order to show your side of the story, to have justification and liability on your side.
Call the police
Report the collision to the police, just as you would do in any other crash. Law enforcement officers will record that the motorist didn’t have insurance and cite them for breaking the law. This report will help your insurance claim later on.
Call Your Insurance Company
You must immediately report the accident to your insurance company. Some policies have time limits on when you can make a claim, so make sure to contact them immediately. Check your policy to see if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. (If you don’t have it, we highly advise that you get it.)
If you were at fault for the accident, your insurer should potentially cover your losses based on your collision coverage.
If you were not to blame and the uninsured or underinsured driver was, your insurer should potentially cover the losses based on either your uninsured or underinsured motorist’s coverage. The insurer will pay for your damages by standing in for the person who caused your crash and whose liability insurance should have paid.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance. Uninsured motorist insurance is designed to compensate you up to the policy limits for any injuries or damages that you sustain when the other party has no insurance.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance. Underinsured motorist insurance is designed to cover the difference up to the policy limits when the other party’s insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover the damages.
Other Insurance. Even if you do not have either of these insurance claims, you may still have coverage for your damages. Your collision and medical payments coverage may cover the damages to your car and medical bills. Your health insurance may also be used to cover the cost of medical treatment.
Click here for more ways to try to protect yourself after a car accident.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?
It is important to know that if you were not at fault for the crash and you make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, your insurance rates typically should not rise. This is because an accident caused by another motorist should not count as an accident on your own driving record. Keep in mind there are always exceptions.
In situations like these we strongly urge you to contact a North Carolina car wreck attorney to try to help you obtain the compensation you potentially deserve. Click here for questions to consider asking attorneys before you hire one that suits you.
Why Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin Car Wreck Lawyers?
We have fought this fight for over 3,000 clients for whom we recovered over $100 million* in 2016 alone. Since 1997, over $700 million in gross has been recovered for over 30,000* clients. And these numbers don’t include the $1.25 billion* we helped recover against the U.S. government for 18,400 claimants in a historic class action case.
We’ve done this because we have lots of quality professionals. Nearly 200 staff including over 40 attorneys. Eight of these attorneys are North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in their fields (a distinction less than 4% of the 28,000 NC licensed attorneys can claim**).
North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Evaluate Your Claim For FREE
If you were involved in a North Carolina car wreck and the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, or click here to contact us or call any time at 1-866-900-7078.
*Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin led a team of firms to recover $1.25 billion for African-American farmers from the U. S. government for discrimination.
**Figures from NC State Bar through December 2016.