Four Decades Of Experienced, Aggressive Representation

Photo of attorneys S. Kent Smith and Stanley W. West in front of office building

What happens when your costs exceed the other driver’s policy?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A single, serious motor vehicle collision might cost more than what you earn in several months. Repairing your vehicle can be incredibly expensive, especially if you want it to look like it hasn’t been through a crash. Some drivers will have to completely replace their vehicle if the insurance company declares it a total loss.

Beyond that, there are injuries to consider. Car crashes can cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries and even brain injuries that require thousands of dollars in medical treatment and could limit someone’s earning potential.

Generally, you should be able to bring a claim against the insurance of the driver who causes the crash. Drivers in North Carolina typically have to have at least $30,000 worth of bodily injury coverage that goes up to $60,000 per crash when more than one person gets hurt. What happens if that’s not enough coverage for your losses?

North Carolina mandates uninsured driver coverage

State law does require that drivers carry uninsured and underinsured driver coverage, usually in the same amounts of liability coverage that they carry for their own protection. You can turn to that coverage when the other driver’s policy doesn’t pay all of your expenses or reimburse you completely for unpaid wages.

Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for your costs not covered by the other driver’s policy. You can potentially claim up to the maximum amount of coverage that you paid for on the policy, which could reduce your personal financial losses after the crash. However, even your own insurance policy will have limitations and could leave expenses unpaid.

When insurance just isn’t enough

A claim against your own policy can substantially reduce what uncovered expenses you have after the crash, but medical bills and lost wages may exceed even that coverage. The more severe injury is, the more important it will be for you to thoroughly explore your options for compensation.

Drivers may also need to consider legal action against the person who caused the crash if there still isn’t adequate compensation for them after making a claim against the other driver’s coverage and their own policy.

Understanding how your own insurance might play a role in protecting you after a serious wreck can help you minimize the long-term financial repercussions of a crash on your life.