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Automobile Insurance in North Carolina

When an automobile accident occurs, numerous types of insurance coverage might be implicated. Understanding each of these types of coverage is very important to ensuring that the insureds and injured persons receive the full coverage and compensation to which they are entitled.

A person whose car is damaged in an accident should look to see if he has "collision" insurance, which will cover the damage to her own car. This insurance applies regardless of fault (i.e. negligence). The owner might also have coverage for the cost of a rental car. This coverage might have a "deductible," which the owner must pay.

If the owner of the damaged vehicle was not at fault in the accident, and if the other driver was at fault, then the owner can pursue a claim under the "liability" portion of the other driver's automobile insurance policy. This will typically consist of the cost of repairing the vehicle (unless it is a "total loss"), plus the cost of a rental vehicle. In appropriate cases, it can also include loss of use of the vehicle. Determining the damages recoverable can be a difficult issue.

A driver or passenger who incurs medical expenses might also be covered by medical payments ("med pay") coverage. This will cover medical expenses of persons in the covered auto, up to a limit. If the driver of the other car was at fault, then these persons also have a claim against the "liability policy" (or policies) covering the driver of the other car.

Finally, for persons who are injured and for whom the liability coverage for the other driver is not sufficient to compensate them for their injuries, they might have a claim for "underinsured" (or uninsured) motorist coverage.

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John Kirby has worked with each of these types of automobile insurance which are often implicated in an automobile accident. Without a complete understanding of these different types of coverage, an injured person could receive less than full compensation for his or her damages and injuries.