After an accident where personal injury occurs, it can be hard to hear and understand that the other driver at fault is uninsured. With various medical bills, insurance claims, attorneys, and compensation claims, the process can be very long and daunting. After an accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to take your case and provide you with all the necessary information for a case. An experienced attorney will be able to take some stress off of your shoulders and walk you through the process of dealing with being injured by an uninsured driver in NC.
Steps to Take After an Accident
The following are steps you should take after being involved in an accident.
- Pull over. Try to move off of the road and out of the way of more danger if you are able to.
- Call the police. It is important to file an official report, this will be used in your case. Tell the police everything that occurred.
- Check to see if anyone else is injured. Ask or call for an ambulance if you or someone else appears injured.
- Exchange information. It is very important to get the information of anyone involved and/or any witnesses. Information helpful would include full names, addresses, home, work, and cell phone numbers. In addition, at this time insurance information (if available) should also be traded.
- Take notes and pictures. Taking notes and pictures can help you remember clearly when asked to describe what happened, over time you will begin to forget exactly what happened. Pictures can also be useful to show the damage and give an idea to insurance and attorneys on what damage occurred.
- Report the accident to both insurance companies. Once leaving the scene, the accident needs to be reported to both insurance companies, this includes the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and your own. The reason for this is that the at-fault driver might not always report it to their insurance which can cause problems later on.
- Keep a list of expenses. Keeping a list of any and all expenses after the accident can be helpful to a case and your compensation. Expenses such as rental cars, medical bills, prescriptions, lost wages, etc.
- Reach out to an attorney. The decision to hire a personal injury attorney is very wise as they have a lot of experience in this area are able to deal with the complex parts of your case, such as dealing with insurance companies.
For more information on the steps you should take after being involved in a car accident, click here.
North Carolina Insurance Requirements
In the state of North Carolina, all drivers are required to have minimum liability coverage.
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
In addition to minimum liability coverage, Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is also required. In some instances, Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage may also be required depending on your plan and can be important in instances where the other drivers’ policy will not cover all of the damages and losses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist coverage protects you when the driver at fault does not have motor vehicle insurance, you are able to work with your own insurance company to file a claim. This protects drivers in the instance where personal injury and damage is caused by the negligence of other drivers who do not have liability insurance or who have only bought the minimum.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you when you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver whose own insurance coverage is not enough to cover all the damages and losses that were caused by the accident. In other words, this will cover some compensation when the damage amount exceeds the driver’s minimum coverage amounts. As mentioned earlier, some insurance plans will require you to purchase both Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
Driving Without Insurance
While it is illegal to operate a vehicle that does not have valid insurance, The Insurance Information Institute has estimated that approximately 7.4% of drivers in NC do not have auto insurance. Driving without insurance in North Carolina has various penalties and fees that come along with driving an uninsured vehicle.
What Happens Next?
Upon hiring a personal injury attorney, we will look into your case and decide the best legal options. We will keep you informed throughout the whole process and negotiate with insurance companies for you. At Schehr Law, we have the experience and the resources to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you or anyone you know has been injured in an accident by an uninsured driver, it is very important to reach out to a personal injury attorney to help assist with your case. At Schehr Law, we offer free consultations at no out-of-pocket cost on personal injury cases. Please do not hesitate to reach out for more information or with questions you may have.