Way to Collect From an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist
Approximately one in eight drivers do not have auto insurance. While not having insurance is illegal in most states, this does not prevent people from getting behind the road and driving without it every day.
But what happens when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? Who pays for the damage to your vehicle, and will you be able to receive any payment or reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering? Here is some information on how you may get some of these expenses covered.
Your Auto Policy
In North Carolina, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a required part of your liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for your injuries at times such as this. Your uninsured coverage is usually equal to your individual bodily injury liability limits, but you can purchase higher levels of coverage.
For example, in North Carolina, you must carry $30,000/$60,000/$25,000 worth of liability coverage. These coverage levels mean you have $30,000 per person of bodily injury and up to $60,000 per accident, with $25,000 worth of property damage coverage.
If you are only carrying the minimum coverage, this would mean that you would also have $30,000 of uninsured/underinsured coverage. You could receive coverage from your policy up to this limit.
Your policy may also have medical payment coverage or med pay separate coverage. While this is optional coverage, it is very inexpensive, and most policies usually include it. Med pay is typically an amount that can be accessed directly from your insurance carrier before settling any claims.
The insurance company normally pays this money directly to you to help with other medical costs outside of covered hospital or doctor’s bills. Some of these extra expenses may include:
- Ambulance fees
- Home health
- Transportation costs to and from appointments
Because these funds are paid directly to you, you usually have flexibility in spending since the insurance company typically does not require documentation.
If you carry collision insurance on your vehicle, it may also help you pay some of the expenses involved in the accident. Although collision is normally used when you are at fault, when you are involved with an uninsured driver, this coverage would help you repair your vehicle.
Your Health Insurance
You can use your health insurance policy to pay for any medical care you need following the accident. Your insurance company may ask for details about your accident for subrogation. Subrogation means that although they will pay for your expenses, they have the right to attempt to recover what they payout from the other party.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Although the other vehicle’s driver is uninsured, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit. If they are ordered to pay for your injuries, the court will place a lien against any other assets they may have. The lien will ensure that they will have to settle with you before selling or disposing of the property in other ways.
The court may also order the defendant into a payment plan. While a payment plan will not produce an upfront settlement amount, you may recover your money over time.
Unfortunately, bringing a case against an insured motorist is a difficult task. Knowing that recovery is uncertain, many personal injury attorneys will shy away from these types of cases.
But Carl L. Britt, Jr., will help you pursue your case and get the compensation you deserve. We will investigate if there are any assets to attach and look for other ways the defendant can pay you. Give us a call today for a consultation on your case.