Uninsured Motorist Coverage
One of the most frequent questions I get as a personal injury lawyer is “how much is my case worth?” One of the things that limits case value is the amount of total liability insurance coverage available. Currently, both Virginia and North Carolina state law only requires a vehicle (driver) to have $30,000 per claimant / $60,000 per accident total payout for all claimants. Obviously, this is a very low amount. I have often seen ER bills above $25,000!
So, what if there is only $30,000 available in liability insurance coverage for the wrongful driver? Virginia and North Carolina require auto insurance companies to offer policyholders the option to purchase underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM coverage protects drivers and their passengers from wrongful motorists who have low auto insurance coverage. When a wrongful motorist does not have enough liability insurance coverage, the UIM carrier must provide additional coverage up to the underinsured motorist (UIM) limits. When a wrongful driver has a judgment above their liability insurance coverage, the UIM carrier pays the excess amount of the judgment up to the UIM limits. Unless waived, the UIM carrier then can subrogate and proceed against the wrongful driver personally for the amounts paid by the underinsured motorist carrier. In both Virginia and North Carolina, there can be multiple underinsured motorist policies that may provide coverage.
A skilled lawyer who knows injury law and insurance law will know where to look to find additional coverage that can make a significant difference in recovery for wrongfully injured persons (plaintiffs), whether it’s excess liability or additional underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages, and how to negotiate the claims to pressure the different insurance companies to pay the full value of a claim. Slaughter & Lupton Law, PLLC has the experience and expertise that you need! Contact us today for a free consultation!