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When an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a wreck

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

North Carolina imposes numerous obligations on those who wish to drive. Operating a vehicle is a privilege, not necessarily a right. The state requires that people obtain a driver’s license and register their vehicles. Drivers typically need to have proof of liability insurance to register their vehicles. They also need to present insurance documentation during traffic stops and after car crashes.

Despite those rules, not everyone involved in a collision receives the support that they require from a car insurance policy. Many crashes involve drivers who are either underinsured or uninsured. What do people generally need to know about such collisions?

Insurance protects drivers from liability

People often fail to understand the true function of car insurance. They view it as a burden rather than a form of personal protection, or they think of it as protection for others, not themselves. The average individual wants to keep their insurance costs as low as possible. Many drivers in North Carolina are underinsured, which means that their policies don’t provide enough coverage based on the likely costs a crash may produce. The state requires $25,000 in property damage coverage. That may be insufficient if someone needs to replace a vehicle.

More importantly, the requirements for bodily injury coverage are relatively low. In crashes where one person gets hurt, a driver might have $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage if they only comply with state law. Bare bones policies provide $60,000 of protection if a crash injures two or more people. If a driver only has the minimum coverage required by the law or if they do not currently have insurance on their vehicle, then they are potentially personally liable for the losses generated in the wreck.

The people affected by a wreck may need to file a lawsuit

The realization that the person to blame for a crash doesn’t have insurance or has bad insurance coverage is a frightening one. Thankfully, the law in North Carolina allows people to pursue personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against those who have caused collisions without adequate financial protection.

Holding uninsured and underinsured drivers accountable for serious car crashes may require litigation in civil court. People who take legal action can defray their own losses while generating consequences for the party who was irresponsible about their driving-related liability.