In a Charlotte car accident, you are typically entitled to compensatory damages. These damages are available if another at-fault driver caused the crash. You can get the damages by filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can guide you through the process.
If the at-fault driver is insured and has sufficient insurance coverage, getting damages is not that hard. You simply need to show that the other driver was liable and put forth the relevant evidence to substantiate this.
However, things become complicated when the other driver is not insured. Even if the driver is insured but doesn’t carry sufficient coverage to pay for all crash-related damages, you may have a harder time collecting compensation. Here are some legal options that are typically available to Charlotte car accident victims in such a scenario.
Umbrella Insurance Coverage
Most drivers in North Carolina tend to carry only the minimum auto insurance coverage required by the state. As per the North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 20, drivers across the state must carry $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 in total bodily injury liability for all persons involved. In addition, the drivers must also carry $25,000 in property damage liability.
In case an at-fault driver hits your vehicle and causes damages in excess of these limits while carrying only minimum coverage, you can seek damages under umbrella coverage. Umbrella coverage often runs into millions of dollars.
When you file a Charlotte car accident claim, the auto insurance policy of the at-fault driver will first be used to pay for your damages. Once the auto insurance is exhausted, the rest of the damages can be paid through umbrella coverage if it exists.
Insurance Bad Faith
An insurance company is obligated to pay you damages as per the insurance policy. The law prohibits the company from acting in bad faith. Examples of bad faith include rejecting a fair claim or refusing to pay a fair amount of settlement.
When a company exercises bad faith, you may have the option of filing a bad faith lawsuit against the company. If this lawsuit succeeds, you may be able to recover compensatory damages above and beyond the policy limits imposed by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.
In many cases, a driver is uninsured or underinsured when operating a vehicle owned by someone else. For instance, a vehicle owner’s neighbor may borrow the vehicle and cause a crash while operating it. The neighbor who caused the crash may be uninsured but it is still possible to seek damages from the actual owner under vicarious liability.
Similarly, commercial truck drivers carry little auto insurance coverage. However, in an overwhelming number of truck crashes, it is possible to seek compensation from the trucking company by holding the company vicariously liable.
Vicarious liability is immensely useful in situations where the driver carries little to no insurance. The employer or the owner of the vehicle typically has sufficient insurance to cover your losses as a Charlotte car accident victim. So by establishing vicarious liability, you are able to ensure that your losses are covered.
If an uninsured or underinsured driver caused your accident, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the driver. If the at-fault driver has valuable assets that can be used towards paying your damages, a lawsuit is a viable option. For instance, if the driver earns sufficient wages on a regular basis, a court may order a portion of these wages to be garnished and used to pay damages. Similarly, if the driver has a property such as a house, a court may put a lien on it to cover the crash-related losses.
However, if the driver lacks such assets, a lawsuit is an exercise in futility. You may end up expending time and money only to realize that the driver doesn’t have anything to pay you with. This is why it is best to consult a qualified lawyer and do some research on the at-fault party’s assets before deciding to file a lawsuit.
Why Hire a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have suffered a crash in Charlotte, NC, you will need qualified legal assistance. A good lawyer can help you file a claim against the liable party and get fair compensation without wasting any time.
Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we understand that there are situations where the at-fault driver’s immediate insurance may be unable to cover your full damages. Our lawyers are available to help you explore your other options to recoup the full extent of your losses. Get in touch with us today to discuss your Charlotte crash claim with our lawyers.