What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Accident Insurance in North Carolina?

Driver complaining to uninsured female driver in car accident.

If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in North Carolina, you still might be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. In some instances, your uninsured motorist coverage may apply, or you might be able to file a claim against the other driver’s assets.

The Durham car accident lawyers at Kreger Brodish, LLP, have extensive experience helping people like you get back on their feet after a collision with an uninsured motorist. We’re here to explain your rights and legal options, assist you with understanding your own insurance policy, and help you pursue the money you need to pay your bills and move on.

Our consultations are always free of charge. Call us or reach out to us online now.

What Can You Do If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver in North Carolina, you have a few options to recover compensation for your injuries. These options include:

  • An uninsured motorist claim — If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage through your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained. UM coverage can pay for your medical bills and lost income up to your policy limits.
  • Other insurance policies — If you have health insurance through your employer or an individual policy, this policy may cover some of your injuries and other losses from an accident. However, health insurance will cover only your medical bills, not other losses like your lost wages while recovering from your injuries.
  • A lawsuit against the other driver — Even if the other driver in an accident does not have auto insurance, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, a driver who does not have auto insurance likely does not have many assets you could potentially claim through a lawsuit. That may make it difficult to recover any compensation from the other driver.

Do You Need an Attorney for an Underinsured/Uninsured Driver Claim?

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in North Carolina and have UM coverage, you may think you do not need help from an attorney. However, it is still a good idea to get help from a lawyer before filing a UM claim, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Identifying your options for recovering compensation — A UM claim may not be your only option for recovering compensation for your injuries. A car accident lawyer can discuss your options and identify the best solution for your situation.
  • Dealing with the insurance company — Even though you would file a UM claim with “your” insurance company, there’s still a lot of bureaucracy. Insurance companies make the process challenging to discourage policyholders from filing claims. That saves the company money, which is its primary goal. An attorney could handle communication with the insurance company on your behalf to help you get what you’re owed according to your policy.
  • Maximizing the value of your claim — You may have experienced substantial losses in an uninsured motorist accident, so you want to get as much money as possible when you file a UM claim. Without help from a lawyer, you might have to pay for part or all of your losses.
  • Navigating North Carolina’s liability laws — North Carolina’s negligence laws say that the court can bar you from recovering compensation after an accident if your negligence contributed to the crash even in the slightest degree. These laws can make it easy for the insurance company to deny your claim. A lawyer can help you avoid being held liable for the accident.

What Are North Carolina’s Insurance Laws?

According to the North Carolina DMV, all drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 per individual or $60,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage. Additionally, North Carolina drivers must carry UM coverage equal to their bodily injury coverage limits.

Furthermore, all auto insurance companies operating in North Carolina must notify the DMV if a driver’s insurance policy lapses. When an auto insurance policy lapses, the DMV will send a termination notice to the vehicle’s registered owner. Should the vehicle’s owner not respond, they could face fines, late fees, and the loss of their license plate. The fees for an insurance lapse are:

  • First lapse — $50
  • Second lapse — $100
  • Any subsequent lapses — $150

Finally, the vehicle’s owner could also face a $50 restoration whenever they renew their vehicle’s registration.

Should I File a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver in North Carolina?

If you have been badly injured after an accident with an uninsured driver, it may still be worthwhile to file a claim against them. Your UM insurance may not be enough to cover your expenses, and a lawsuit against the other driver could allow you to recoup some compensation for your losses.

Before filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver, it’s good to talk to a lawyer. An experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer can help you understand your options and determine whether filing a lawsuit is the best course of action. If filing a lawsuit could help you recover the money you need to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other costs, then having an attorney on your side will be crucial.

It’s important to note that not every lawyer will have the skills and experience to handle your lawsuit. Before hiring a lawyer to represent you, be sure to ask them if they prepare cases for trial and are ready to litigate your case if necessary.

Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today

Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in North Carolina can be frustrating. You followed the law and paid for your insurance policy to protect yourself and others, while they ignored the law and now are unable to pay for the injuries and damage they’ve caused.

Settle for more by hiring an experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyer from Kreger Brodish, LLP. Contact us now for a free consultation.