One of the most frustrating varieties of Raleigh automobile accidents is the hit-and-run. In these cases, the injured party often cannot identify the at-fault driver and cannot pursue compensation from that person’s insurer. Fortunately, your own automobile insurance policy in North Carolina, your uninsured motorist coverage (UM), will likely provide necessary compensation. Getting your insurance company to pay a reasonable amount under this coverage can be an uphill battle. In most cases, they will treat you no differently than any other adverse claimant. The Raleigh car accident attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist you in recovering fair compensation under your policy. If you were not at fault, your insurance premiums would not increase.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
The standard North Carolina auto policy expressly permits an insured driver to recover against their Uninsured Motorist coverage when they are injured due to a hit-and-run driver. An important caveat is that there must be contact between the two vehicles. Therefore, under existing North Carolina law, you may not recover under your UM coverage if you are forced to swerve off the road to avoid a collision with a drunk driver who has come into your lane. The amount of UM coverage under your policy will at least equal the amount of liability coverage. If you have purchased an automobile insurance policy with maximum liability coverage of $30,000 per claimant and $60,000 per occurrence (the minimum limits in North Carolina), the same limitations will apply to your UM claim unless you have purchased additional coverage. If a hit-and-run driver injuries only you, you can recover up to $30,000 under your UM coverage. However, if you and your entire family are injured, the maximum amount your family will be entitled to is $60,000.
One of the most critical rights in your automobile insurance policy is choosing arbitration to decide the amount you will be awarded under your UM coverage. With most personal injury cases, you either settle with your insurer or have your damages determined by a jury trial. Insurance companies spend millions each year advocating for “tort reform” to protect their pockets and, in the process, convince many potential jurors that most personal injury claimants are exaggerating their injuries. Consequently, jury trials are extremely risky. Arbitration is often a better alternative. It allows three arbitrators (judges) to decide the fair compensation for your injuries. The results are more consistent and are typically more appropriate to the injured party.
Representation for Raleigh Hit and Run Accidents
Maginnis Howard can assist you by negotiating with your insurance company and, if necessary, representing you through the arbitration stage. We can handle automobile accident cases from around the state of North Carolina.
For a free consultation with a Maginnis Howard attorney regarding your Raleigh hit-and-run accident claim, call (919) 526-0450. You may also send confidential email inquiries regarding your coverage and case through our contact page. We typically respond the same day. All consultations are free of charge, and our attorneys work on a contingency basis. Therefore, you pay no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages on your behalf.