Most North Carolinians find that the automobile accident claims process is quite frustrating. From negotiating with unsympathetic insurance adjusters to dealing with aggressive bill collectors, it is not a pleasant experience. It can be even more frustrating when you cannot determine the party’s identity that caused the collision. Hit-and-runs are a crime in North Carolina that involve a person responsible for a crash fleeing the scene.
Suppose you have sustained a personal injury in a North Carolina accident involving a hit-and-run driver. In that case, you may proceed directly against your automobile insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage (UM). The uninsured motorist coverage process can be complicated and should be cautiously approached. In most situations, you would be best served to speak with a knowledgeable North Carolina automobile accident attorney before proceeding.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
Uninsured Motorist coverage is a crucial insurance source in cases involving hit-and-runs. It can help when the insured owner or driver of the vehicle is involved in a car accident where they are injured by a negligent driver who either doesn’t have insurance coverage or flees the scene and cannot be identified.
When proceeding against uninsured motorist coverage, the victim can recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, bills, permanent injury, and permanent scarring. This can be a great source of recovering damages caused by a hit-and-run North Carolina driver. Also, more than one policy may apply, including your policy, the policy insuring the vehicle you are driving or riding in, if not your own, and the policy of any blood relative with whom you reside.
Different Aspects of UM Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is applicable in two primary situations, the first being where you can identify who caused the collision, but that person has unlawfully failed to obtain insurance. The second situation arises when a negligent driver contacts your vehicle, causing a crash, but you cannot identify the driver after they flee the scene.
Critically, North Carolina has rule that requiring proof that the other driver causes their vehicle to collide with yours. Cases where the negligent driver does not make contact are generally not covered by Uninsured Motorist coverage. For example, a negligent driver veers into your path of travel but does not strike your vehicle, and you swerve off the road into a collision with a tree. In this situation, North Carolina law does not require your policy to contain coverage.
The primary exception to the physical contact rule involves chain collisions. Assume that a negligent driver strikes an intermediary vehicle and propels it into your vehicle. That negligent driver then flees the scene. Even though the negligent driver did not hit your vehicle, North Carolina law still permits a recovery under your policy.
Representation for North Carolina Hit-and-Runs
Our attorneys represent injured persons against the at-fault driver and their own automobile insurance companies hit-and-run accidents.
Maginnis Howard’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, is experienced in handling complex North Carolina hit-and-runs. He has been involved in important appellate cases involving the parameters of Uninsured Motorist coverage in North Carolina.
We handle personal injury matters on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at (919) 526-0450. Visit our contact page to submit a confidential email inquiry. The firm represents clients throughout the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Garner, Holly Springs, and Wake Forest.