- May 17, 2016
- Personal Injury Law
North Carolina state law requires all drivers to carry auto liability insurance. Despite this, thousands of people in our state drive without auto insurance coverage. You may not know what to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. Even if you’ve been hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, you still have some options for seeking an insurance settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can help find sources of money to recover and advise you what to do next.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a required part of all auto insurance policies in North Carolina. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, your best bet for getting your medical bills and other expenses paid is to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.
Many people buy personal injury protection coverage, also called MedPay, as part of their insurance policies. This type of coverage helps with paying car accident medical bills that your health insurance might not cover, like the ambulance or in-home medical device costs. MedPay often significantly reduces the amount that accident victims have to pay out-of-pocket.
Steps to Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Call the police. Under North Carolina state law, you must call the police to report an accident with an uninsured driver. Your insurance company will require a copy of the accident report. They may deny your claim if you do not report the accident.
Take photos. Photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries show the severity of the accident and your damages.
Contact your insurance company. Reporting your accident immediately gets the claim process started. If you were a passenger in another person’s car when the accident occurred, you should get in touch with their claims department as well as your own insurance company.
Accidents with Hit-and-Run Drivers
Victims of hit-and-run accidents, where an at-fault driver flees the scene of a crash, may also be able to file a claim under their own uninsured motorist coverage. Insurance companies often require proof that an accident occurred, which may be difficult. Taking the same steps as above can back up your claim. In addition, talking to any witnesses and getting their contact information could save your hit-and-run accident claim from being denied. Here are our suggestions for what to do if you witness a car accident.
Speak to a Car Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, you may find it difficult to get what you need from your insurance company. They may offer you a settlement amount that is much too low to cover your expenses. You may find that the insurance adjuster handling your case wants you to give a recorded statement about the accident. The company may even ask you to go to arbitration or mediation.
Even though the only parties to your case are you and your own insurer, personal injury attorneys are often helpful to accident victims making uninsured motorist or hit-and-run claims. An attorney can contact your insurance company and the adjuster for you. This allows you to focus on your everyday life and recovering from your accident. It can also insulate you against jeopardizing your uninsured motorist claim by making a mistake in a recorded statement.
Many personal injury attorneys will answer questions about uninsured motorist insurance claims during initial consultations. Most attorneys do not charge for these appointments and will discuss your case with you to help you determine a path forward. You can email or call our Asheville personal injury firm today to schedule an appointment. Our consultations are always free.