If you have been injured in a NC Car Accident, you may be trying to obtain the at-fault party's or your own insurance's policy limits. This post discusses ways to obtain insurance policy limits from the insurance company.
Why are insurance policy limits important in my NC Car Accident Injury Case?
After an injury in a car accident, you may have exorbitant medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering. The policy limits that the at-fault driver has controls who will pay for your injury. If you have been injured by another party and they do not have car insurance, you will have to use your own Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. If you are injured by a party that does not have enough insurance (and you carry it on your policy), you may have a claim for Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM).
"North Carolina Motor Vehicle Law requires that Automobile Liability coverage be continuously maintained. The minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all persons in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage (via the NC Department of Insurance). Unless the person that hit you was an out of state resident, they should have at least 30/60/25. However, that may not be enough to pay all your losses.
Obtaining NC Car Insurance Policy Limits
For your own insurance policy, the insurance policy limits should be on the declaration page of your policy or can be obtained by a phone call to your agent.
It can be difficult to obtain policy limits from the at-fault party's insurance. This can be especially true when you were involved in a multiple car accident or a catastrophic accident in which someone was killed.
Occasionally, your own insurance company can tell you the limits on the at-fault party's insurance policy. Insurance companies do not want to pay claims and if they can help you get money from another policy, they will. Simply ask your own insurance's adjuster if they know the policy limits of the at-fault party's insurance.
If the at-fault party's insurance does not want to disclose the policy limits, willingly, you can attempt to request that they disclose them under § 58-3-33. There are issues with 58-3-33: you have to agree to disclose three prior years of medical treatment and also agree to mediation.
The agreement to mediation is not the issue but giving carte blanche access to your medical records is not advisable. Even if your medical records show that you had no preexisting injury, your personal health information that does not involve your injuries should be reviewed before giving this to the insurance company. Unfortunately, a bad insurance adjuster (we have actually heard this) can try to argue that your diabetes caused their insured to T-bone you.
Moreover, insurance companies rarely comply with 58-3-33 which means you gave them access to your protected health information and received nothing in return.
Another way to find out the insurance policy's limits is to file for litigation. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will not provide policy limit information until a lawsuit is filed and formal discovery is requested. Litigation may seem a drastic step to find out this information, but if the insurance will not tell you the policy limits there are bound to be other issues to litigate in the case.
We represent car accident victims in Raleigh, Cary, Fayetteville, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids and surrounding areas in North Carolina. By involving an attorney, we may request the insurance company disclose their policy limits and resort to litigation if necessary. If you have questions about your NC Car Accident Injury case, please call us today or start your free case review now!