Durham Car Accident Lawyers
Trusted Attorneys to Handle Your Accident Claims Throughout North Carolina
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident, you're likely facing serious concerns about many issues such as your health, finances, and what insurance will cover. North Carolina requires that all registered drivers carry some form of liability insurance coverage, but injury victims are still often left without the insurance coverage they need to fairly compensate them for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At Kornbluth Ginsberg Law Group, P.A., our Durham car accident attorneys have seen firsthand just how devastating these accidents can be for victims. While car accidents are common, many drivers do not anticipate how difficult it can be to recover the relief they need to cover their damages. Our personal injury team has helped numerous clients navigate this process and, both in and outside the courtroom, have secured the compensation they deserve.
We offer legal representation for any of the following types of car accidents:
What Is the Statute of Limitations for NC Car Accidents?
Every state has different laws regarding the time limit in which an individual can file a claim after the date of their injury. The statute of limitations for North Carolina car accidents is three years. This means that if you do not file a claim for your injuries within this time frame, your claim may be barred from any recovery.
North Carolina is an at-fault state, which means that every driver involved in an accident is required to pay for damages they cause as result of an accident. However, unlike most states, North Carolina uses a system known as contributory negligence. Under the law of contributory negligence, if a driver is found by law to have contributed in any way to an accident, that driver is unable to recover any damages. For example, if a drunk driver causes 99 percent of the fault in an accident, but the other driver is found to have been responsible for 10 percent of the accident, the driver who is only responsible for 1 percent of the accident cannot recovery any damages at all. This law of contributory negligence in North Carolina can be harsh and unforgiving to victims of personal injury accidents. Our car accident attorneys in Durham understand that every scenario is different.
In the state of North Carolina, all drivers are required to have liability insurance coverage, but drivers are not required to carry under-insured Motorist (UIM) coverage if they operate a motor vehicle. Liability insurance pays claims when a driver damages someone else’s person or property in an accident. However, UIM coverage pays for claims when an injured driver is injured by the fault of another driver who does not carry a sufficient level of insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured driver. In other words, the injured driver is compensated under their own insurance policy for damages caused by the injured driver. For example, a seriously injured driver may carry $500,000 in UIM coverage and is involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who only carries the minimum of $30,000 in liability insurance coverage. The seriously injured driver may recover up to $500,000 in insurance coverage for his or her injuries. In other words, the injured driver may recover up to $30,000 in liability insurance coverage from the at-fault driver and up to $470,000 in UIM coverage from the injured driver’s own UIM policy. In this example, if the seriously injured driver did not carry any UIM insurance coverage under their own insurance policy, he or she would be limited to recovering only the $30,000 available from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
Additionally, it is also important to recognize that multiple UIM policies may sometimes apply to the same accident in North Carolina. This is known as “stacking” multiple UIM policies together. By consulting an experienced personal injury attorney, an injured victim of a car accident can help ensure that all available UIM insurance policies are located which may apply for coverage of their damages.
Although North Carolina drivers are not required to carry UIM coverage, it is very wise to do so. As indicated by the preceding example, it can avoid disastrously unfair results when at-fault drivers do not carry sufficient liability insurance coverage. UIM coverage is a comparatively inexpensive form of insurance coverage that drivers should consult with their insurance agents about adding to their motor vehicle insurance policies. In situations of severe motor vehicle accidents, the additional insurance coverage through UIM coverage can often provide a huge difference in compensation for injured victims of at fault drivers with limited liability insurance policies.
Unlike underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is required for all drivers in North Carolina. This form of insurance coverage applies when an injured driver is involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not carry at least the minimum level of liability insurance coverage required by North Carolina law. In some situations, drivers may fail to carry liability insurance coverage due to such reasons as having a poor driving record or attempting to avoid the expense of insurance. The minimum levels of UM coverage required in North Carolina are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident when multiple victims are involved.
When Insurance Coverage Isn't Enough
Despite these forms of motor vehicle insurance coverage, injury victims often find themselves in a precarious position in the aftermath of a car wreck in Durham, Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. In serious accidents, they may find that the minimum liability coverage of the other driver does not even cover their medical costs. They may discover that the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance at all. Even when sufficient insurance coverage may be available, injured drivers may face resistance from the involved insurance providers when trying to claim the coverage they need for fair compensation.
If you are facing any of these circumstances following an automobile accident in Durham, Raleigh or throughout North Carolina that wasn't your fault, it may be time to seek legal counsel. At Kornbluth Ginsberg Law Group, P.A., we are well-versed with the challenges car accident victims face when trying to secure appropriate coverage and compensation for their damages. Whether tough negotiation with an insurance company or litigation is required, we are ready to ensure our clients' injuries and hardships receive the complete compensation they deserve.
If you have more questions about car accident laws in North Carolina, contact Kornbluth Ginsberg Law Group, P.A. for trusted advice and a free consultation!