At-Fault Driver’s Automobile Insurance Policy Limits in North Carolina

For many victims of an automobile accident, a primary concern is whether the applicable automobile insurance policies are sufficient to cover their injuries. In North Carolina, motorists are only required to purchase an automobile insurance policy with liability limits of $30,000.00 per claimant and $60,000.00 per occurrence. For many personal injury claimants, these limits are insufficient to even cover medical bills, especially when surgery is involved. It is important for an attorney representing a claimant with serious injuries to determine the amount of coverage available, as this has a direct impact on so many aspects of the case. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently refuse to disclose such information until forced to. There are two primary methods to require the insurance company to disclose, and the Raleigh car accident attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist with both. To speak with one of our Raleigh lawyers, call 919.480.8526 or 919.526.0450.

The first way to force an insurance company to disclose its policy limits is to file suit against its insured and serve written discovery requests for the information. The insurance company, who will hire an attorney for its insured, will be forced to respond to the requests or face sanction by the court. This does require initiating a lawsuit, though, which many claimants wish to avoid.

The second method to force an insurance company to provide their policy limits is by following the procedure set forth in N.C.G.S. § 58-3-3. This requires that an insurer of a nonfleet private passenger vehicle provide the injured party the limits of coverage if the injured party provides the following:

(1) A written release for  the insurer to obtain the injured party’s medical records for the three years prior to the date on which the claim arose, as well as, all medical records pertaining to the claimed injury;

(2) Written consent to participate in mediation prior to the filing of a lawsuit; and

(3) A copy of the accident report and a description of the accident from the claimant.

After these materials have been provided, the insurer has 30 days to provide the insurance policy limits. Important to note is that automobile insurers frequently do not actually utilize your consent to participate in pre-filing mediation. They know that most automobile accident cases will be filed in Superior Court and, in North Carolina, mediation is required in Superior Court. Allowing the case to be filed, and then mediating, gives them the added advantage of being able to depose the injured party under oath.

If you are interested in representation in your automobile accident personal injury case, contact the Raleigh law firm of Maginnis Law at 919.480.8526 or 919.526.0450. Our civil litigation attorneys regularly represent clients from in and around the Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Fayetteville, Sanford, and Wilson. We take all auto cases on a contingency basis and provide free consultations and evaluations. If you would like to submit a confidential email inquiry regarding your case, please visit our contact page.