Advocating For The Injured In Uninsured/Underinsured Accidents
Despite North Carolina laws requiring drivers to carry automobile insurance, thousands of drivers in our state fail to do so. Thousands more carry only the minimum amount of insurance, which simply is not enough to cover the expenses of an injured person. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident with a driver who was uninsured or underinsured, you do have options.
At the Charlotte law firm of DeVore, Acton & Stafford, P.A., we have extensive experience helping injured clients recover compensation after being hurt by an uninsured driver. In these cases, the best option is to seek benefits from your own insurance company. Even though you have faithfully paid premiums for years, however, your insurer may still try to save money by reducing the value of your claim. Our attorneys understand how insurance companies work. We will work hard to ensure that you are treated fairly.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In our state, drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This insurance can provide compensation for medical costs and property damage if the other driver does not have insurance or if you are in a hit-and-run situation. If you were involved in a car accident, truck accident, or drunk driving accident with an uninsured driver, our skilled attorneys will work with your own insurance company to get you the benefits you need.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Although not required by law, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is the most important type of coverage you can have. It is usually very affordable, especially considering the potential benefits it provides.
Here is how it works: Assume you are in an accident with a driver who has $30,000 worth of insurance. You suffer $100,000 in injuries. If you have a UIM policy of $100,000, your own insurance company will pay the remaining $70,000 you need to cover the cost of your injuries.
‘Stacking’ Underinsurance Coverage
North Carolina law allows you to “stack” your UIM coverage. This is an inexpensive way to greatly increase the amount of your insurance coverage. Stacking allows you to collect the UIM coverage limits for multiple vehicles that you own. Let’s modify the above example a bit:
You are injured by someone with $30,000 of insurance. This time, you suffer $300,000 in injuries. You own three cars, and you have purchased $100,000 of UIM coverage for each vehicle, on separate policies. If you choose to stack your coverage, you will be able to collect $100,000 from each vehicle, even the two vehicles that were not involved in the accident. This would give you enough compensation to cover your claim.
The key is that each car must have its own insurance policy. If you have three cars on one policy, then stacking is not available.
Don’t Suffer Alone
If an uninsured or underinsured driver has injured you, it is important that you have a strategic legal representative to handle your case. These situations can get complicated quickly for those unfamiliar with the process. Call 704-594-4227 to learn more about how we can assist you.