Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in North Carolina
After you have been in a motor vehicle collision in North Carolina, you are probably seeking out information about North Carolina auto insurance claim laws. When you are thinking about filing an auto insurance claim, it is extremely important to work with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer. Attorney Harry Albritton of Irons & Irons P.A. can speak with you today about your case. In the meantime, we want to give you some essential information about how filing an auto insurance claim under North Carolina’s auto insurance claims.
NC is a Fault State: Should You File a First-Party or Third-Party Claim?
One of the most important aspects of North Carolina auto insurance claim laws concerns fault. North Carolina, like many other states—although not all states—is what is known as a “fault” state when it comes to filing an auto insurance claim. Accordingly, anyone who gets injured in a traffic crash caused by another party’s negligence generally has one of two options for filing a claim:
- File a first-party claim through your own insurance company; or
- File a third-party claim through the negligent driver’s insurance company.
By filing a first-party claim, you will file a claim with your own insurance and pay your deductible upfront. With a third-party claim, you file through the responsible driver’s insurance company and do not have to pay a deductible. In both types of claims, your lawyer can help negotiate a reasonable settlement. In either situation, your compensation could be inadequate due to insurance limits. However, this situation is more likely when you file a third-party claim if you were not the only person to suffer injuries in the crash.
North Carolina Insurance Law Requirements
Under North Carolina law, all registered vehicles must have liability insurance. The following are the minimum amounts of coverage required:
- $30,000 bodily injury for one person;
- $60,000 bodily for two or more people in a single accident; and
- $25,000 for property damage.
In addition, motorists must have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If an accident results in more than the limits cited above, an injury victim may be unable to obtain full compensation for his or her losses. In such a situation, it may be necessary to file a car accident lawsuit with the help of an attorney.
How Contributory Negligence Can Affect a Car Accident Payout
North Carolina is one of only a few states that follows a pure contributory negligence rule. How can contributory negligence affect a car accident payout? In short, if a claimant or plaintiff is even one percent responsible for the accident, that claimant or plaintiff is barred from recovery. While many states proportion damages so that a plaintiff only pays for their own percentage of fault, North Carolina bars recovery as soon as a plaintiff bears any fault for the collision.
Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about how North Carolina auto insurance claim law will impact your car accident case, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in North Carolina. An advocate at our firm can help. Contact Attorney Albritton with Irons & Irons P.A. to learn more about our services.