For the lucky few, car accidents can result in a couple of phone calls to the insurance company and may take just an hour out of their day. For others, a car accident can be a traumatic, life-altering, and costly event. Depending on certain factors, you may be entitled to compensation following a car accident. However, before compensation can be discussed, the responsibility of the accident must be established.
Who’s at Fault?
Finding out who’s at fault in a car accident is one of the first and most important aspects of determining compensation. North Carolina is an ‘at-fault’ state, meaning the at-fault driver would compensate you after your accident. On the other hand, when it comes to personal injury law, North Carolina practices “pure” contributory negligence. This means that if you are found even one percent at fault, you cannot receive any compensation and must pay for damages on your own.
Who Will Compensate Me?
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you can collect damages from the following parties:
- The at-fault driver.
- Your car insurance company.
- The at-fault driver’s car insurance company.
How Much Will I Receive?
There is no average number or gold standard, as each case is different. The lawyers at Benoit Law Firm, PLLC will go over your case and use factors like evidence and damages, insurance, medical expenses, and wages lost (if applicable) to find an appropriate compensation.
Differing car insurance coverages can affect the amount you are compensated (or the amount you end up having to pay). Drivers in North Carolina are required to have minimum insurance coverages of:
- $25,000 per single person claim for injury or death.
- $60,000 maximum coverage amount per incident.
- $25,000 for claims of property damage.
- Additional coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists.
Uninsured motorist coverage allows you to collect compensation when the at-fault driver has no insurance. This frequently happens in ‘hit-and-run’ scenarios.
Underinsured motorist coverage benefits you when the compensation sought is greater than the amount covered by the at-fault driver. You can collect the remaining amount from your insurance carrier.
North Carolina limits punitive damages to a maximum of $250,000. A car accident settlement rarely reaches this amount, but cases involving an at-fault drunk driver are given an exception.
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