Insurance Lawyer

What Types of Automobile Insurance Exist

An automobile insurance policy may contain several different types of coverage.  These can include:

Liability Coverage: Liability coverage is coverage that pays out to an injured person when the crash was not the injured person’s fault. It ensures that there is at least a minimum amount of funds available for someone who is hurt by another person’s negligence.  In North Carolina, the minimum liability limits are $30,000 per person injured.  Liability coverage, up to the policy limits of the specific insurance policy at issue, will pay for damages which an injured party is legally entitled to recover when another driver’s negligence caused the crash.

Uninsured Coverage (UM):  Uninsured coverage is coverage that the not-at-fault driver may tap into if he or she is: (a) injured and (b) the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage.  It is important to understand that Uninsured Coverage is an insurance policy purchased by the not-at-fault driver for himself or his family.  For that reason, uninsured coverage is a type of “first-party” insurance coverage.  Believe it or not, a surprising number of drivers are on the road without any automobile insurance and many of them will injure people.  To avoid being a victim of this type of irresponsibility it is very important to obtain a healthy amount of uninsured coverage on your own automobile insurance policy.  It’s also important to note that uninsured coverage is only triggered when there is physical contact between an uninsured vehicle and your vehicle.

Underinsured Coverage (UIM):  Underinsured coverage is another type of “first-party” coverage that is available for purchase on one’s insurance policy.  This type of coverage is triggered when the at-fault driver has purchased insurance limits so low that they don’t cover the amount of harm done to the injured party.  Often, individuals only carry the minimum limits of $30,000 in liability coverage and this can easily fail to cover even the medical bills of a significant car crash.  UIM coverage can only be tapped into once the at-fault driver’s liability policy has fully paid out.  One great advantage of both UM and UIM coverage is that insureds have the option of taking coverage disputes to an arbitration panel rather than the expense and time of a jury trial.  Consult with an experienced Greensboro Car Accident Lawyer for details on why that would be advantageous.

Medical Payments Coverage (“MedPay”):  Medical Payments coverage is another type of “first-party” insurance that is available for purchase on almost all automobile insurance policies.  MedPay typically only pays for a smaller amount of medical bills (usually $1,000-$2,000 per person).  The great thing about MedPay is that if an insured can prove that he or she incurred medical bills in a car wreck, then the insurance company must pay out the amount of the bills (up to the coverage limits) no questions asked about fault!

What Happens After I File an Insurance Claim?

If you are injured in an accident, the injured party can make a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault party to receive compensation. During the claim’s investigation period, insurance companies typically will review the police report of the collision, photographs, medical records, and talk to everyone involved to determine who they believe to be at fault for the wreck. The insurance company then will either admit that their driver was at fault and make an offer, or deny the claim on the basis that there is no coverage or that their driver was not at fault.

In North Carolina, even if a driver is found to be at fault for a wreck, an injured person still may be prevented from recovering damages under the defense of contributory negligence. This is the most common reason for an insurance company to deny a claim for injuries in North Carolina. Contributory negligence basically means that if an injured person is even 1% at fault in causing their injuries, they can recover no damages, no matter how hurt they are. This is a harsh standard which many other states have abandoned, but it still remains the law in North Carolina. If you are injured in a car accident, you should talk to a Greensboro Car Accident attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected and that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Should I Provide The Insurance Company With A Recorded Statement

It is never to your benefit to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company without a lawyer present or without a lawyer’s approval.  These statements can be twisted by opposing lawyers later in the life of your case. They are also used by adjusters to get you to say things that will allow them to deny your claim.  The simple answer is to politely decline to provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company until you have legal representation.