If you have been injured while riding in a vehicle as a passenger, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney. The legal issues in car accident passenger injury cases are complex. There may be opportunities for compensation that only an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer could identify. Passenger injury cases can be especially complex when they arise from single vehicle accidents.
At Nagle & Associates, P.A., we represent people who have been injured in car accidents and people who have lost loved ones in fatal car crashes. We serve clients from Winston Salem, Raleigh, Charlotte, throughout North Carolina and nationwide. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury while riding as a guest passenger during a motor vehicle collision, we are here to protect and enforce your rights.
Guest Passenger Injuries
Guest passenger injury cases arising from motor vehicle accidents are typically strong cases because the passenger has no opportunity to control the vehicle or contribute to the injuries. Thus, legal liability is typically clear and the only issue is the fair amount of money to be paid to the injury victim.
Legally, we must distinguish passenger cases by considering whether the injured guest passenger is riding in the at-fault vehicle or the non at-fault vehicle.
The At-fault Vehicle
Insurance companies know if you are riding with a friend or loved one who causes an accident, you likely would not want to sue that individual. However, you must convince the insurance company that you will sue to protect your legal rights if necessary. You should not allow the insurance company to underpay your claims simply because you have a relationship with the driver.
In fact, that relationship should motivate the insurance company to pay a more generous settlement, because they can expect positive testimony about your injuries and other damages if trial becomes necessary.
Pushing for maximum payment on your claims against the insurance carrier will not harm the person who was driving the vehicle. Insurance is in place for a reason. Your driver's insurance coverage will pay for your injury claims in full and provide a legal defense at no cost to the driver. Furthermore, there would be no additional increase in the driver's premiums because you push for generous payment for all personal injury claims.
The Non At-fault Vehicle
If you were a passenger in the vehicle that was not at fault, there are many coverage options available to you over and above the liability insurance coverage in the at-fault driver's vehicle. For example, under North Carolina law, you can utilize medical payments coverage for the vehicle you were riding in to pay for medical expenses. You can collect again for these expenses through your claims against the at-fault driver and you would not be obligated to reimburse the medical payments benefits. This allows you to collect two times for medical expenses because your driver was not at fault. Further, using your driver's Medpay coverage would not cause any increase in his or her car insurance premiums.
North Carolina also has a unique law which allows guest passengers to use their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to pay for personal injury claims. Under this law, you can also collect from your own car insurance and also from the policies of other members of your household. This coverage is "stackable," meaning you can draw upon multiple insurance policies to collect full payment for all accident claims. An experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney can help you pursue all avenues of compensation, so that you can secure a generous settlement for all accident claims.
Contact Us • North Carolina Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Winston-Salem and statewide personal injury attorney Carl Nagle is a former insurance adjuster and insurance defense lawyer who knows more about insurance company lowball settlement tactics than most people would ever suspect existed. This knowledge helps our firm's clients get the highest net payment on passenger injury claims and other car, truck and motorcycle accident claims.
For a free consultation, call Nagle & Associates toll free at (800) 411-1583, or contact us by e-mail. We offer FREE no hassle, no obligation consultations with a skilled Winston-Salem passenger injury attorney. We aggressively defend victims who have suffered an injury in an accident due to someone else's negligence in Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, Winston- Salem and throughout North Carolina.