Getting injured in a hit-and-run accident is one of the most unfortunate and stressful experiences you may encounter. While you suffer the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries, you may also feel helpless and insecure about if at all you can recover any damages because the at-fault party is not within reach.
Can You Obtain Compensation as a Hit-and-Run Injury Victim?
All hope is not lost if you have suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident in North Carolina. The state law requires all motorists to have valid automobile insurance that will provide some financial protection in situations such as a hit-and-run accident. This coverage is called UM/UIM (uninsured/under-insured motorist), which is a part of the mandatory liability auto insurance policy.
Many drivers are aware they have UM/UIM coverage, but may not know that it also covers injuries suffered in a hit-and-run accident case. In general, this coverage protects you when an at-fault driver who is uninsured or under-insured causes your injuries. But the same coverage will also apply in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault party is unknown and you cannot pursue them for a personal injury claim.
How Much Financial Recovery is Possible in a Hit-and-Run Case?
If the law enforcement fails to locate the at-fault driver, your insurance company may be legally obligated to compensate you for your bodily injuries as well as any property damage. What amount you will recover as compensation will depend on your insurance policy limits. This is often similar to the coverage provided under your liability insurance.
For instance, if your liability insurance policy is for the amount $40,000 / $75,000, the maximum amount that you will be eligible to receive from your insurer is $40,000 per injured person and $75,000 per accident. If you have a UM/UIM coverage of the same amount, you will be able to collect only up to $40,000 for your personal injury claim from that policy.
Maximizing Recovery from Multiple Policies
The law in North Carolina allows hit-and-run accident victims to stack multiple coverage options that may be available under various insurance policies. If you have multiple auto insurance policies, a skilled personal injury attorney can help maximize your compensation from all those policies.
In other words, as a hit-and-run accident victim in NC, you can collect UM/UIM benefits from the car insurance policy which covers the specific vehicle that was involved in your accident.
Secondly, you are also eligible to obtain benefits from your personal auto insurance policy (provided you have a separate policy from the one that covers the involved car).
Thirdly, you are also eligible to obtain benefits from every auto insurance policy that might be held by other family members who were living in the same residence address as you on the date of the accident.
Make Sure You have Strong Legal Representation
When you make use of your UM/UIM policy, it will usually not harm your coverage or increase the auto insurance premiums of your family members. It’s fundamental to understand that although it is your own insurance policy, the insurance company’s adjusters actually represent the hit-and-run driver and will do everything to defend that party and reduce your personal injury claim.
Therefore, it is best in these cases to let an experienced NC hit-and-run accident attorney represent you and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. Once you have a capable attorney by your side, the approach of the insurers will quickly soften and they would be more willing to negotiate a fair settlement.
Consult with a Knowledgeable NC Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
The hit-and-run accident lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton have thorough knowledge and experience of the legal issues involved in these unique cases. We will create a strong legal strategy to help you obtain maximum damages. Call us at 800-752-0042 to schedule a consultation.