| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

North Carolina is not a no-fault state for car accidents. Our state is an “at-fault” state meaning that the insurance company of the driver at fault for the accident is responsible for paying monetary damages to the injured person. It also means that, in a personal injury lawsuit, you have the burden of proving that the other driver was negligent and caused your injuries. This may sound daunting, but is very possible with the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer.

At Ellis Law, we understand what it is like to go through a car accident. Our team knows what you are dealing with, from high medical costs to the physical limitations of your injuries. We help you prove fault, work with insurance companies, and even file a car accident lawsuit when necessary. We are here for you every step of the way.

north carolina no-fault car accident

What Is a No-Fault Car Accident State?

Some states have moved to a no-fault system for handling car accidents. North Carolina is not one of them, but it is important to understand what a no-fault state is. In this system, both drivers in an accident file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of fault. Each driver’s insurance company pays for its own customer’s damages.

Different states have unique rules about how this may affect a personal injury lawsuit, but this is not a concern in our state. 

At-Fault Liability in North Carolina

North Carolina is an at-fault state. The negligent driver that caused the car crash is responsible for damages to both people and property. If you were not at fault for the accident, you should not be responsible for the costs. The other driver and their insurance company should be on the hook for the damages you have suffered, rather than each of you paying your own costs as in a no-fault state.

However, even in at-fault states like this one, some no-fault insurance coverage still protects you. For example, in your car insurance policy you likely have coverage for medical payments and expenses when your car accident claim is pending. This is often referred to as “med pay.” This stop gap coverage is meant to help you pay for damages while you wait for the other party or their insurance company to pay for your damages. 

Car Insurance Requirements Under North Carolina State Law

State law requires that all drivers carry at least the minimum for automobile coverage for any vehicle they drive. However, a new law was recently passed that will increase the amount a driver is required to carry starting January 1, 2025. These minimum coverage amounts include:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per person per incident. Starting in January 2025 this will increase to $50,000.
  • $60,000 for total bodily injury per incident. Starting in January 2025 this will increase to $100,000.
  • $25,000 for property damages. Starting in January 2025 this will increase to $50,000.00.

Insurance companies must pay up to these minimums, but are only required to pay out the amount of coverage the driver pays for. In serious accidents, this could mean that the other driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to pay for your damages. In this case, you must file a claim claim under your Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your own policy, if you have it, or proceed against the other driver’s personal assets to help make up the difference.

What If I Was Partially At Fault for the Accident?

North Carolina utilizes a contributory negligence standard in car accidents. This means that, if a driver was at fault for the accident in any way, they cannot recover compensation in a personal injury claim. This can be a harsh rule, but is often used as more of a scare tactic. 

A defendant in a car accident claim may accuse you of contributing to the accident, even when you share no actual fault. An experienced car accident attorney is familiar with these tactics and how to combat them to protect your rights to compensation.

Get Help With Your Car Accident Case in North Carolina

In an at-fault state like North Carolina, you need an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to prove the other driver was at fault. You want a skilled litigator and negotiator who works hard to protect you.

The experienced team at Ellis Law works hard for car accident victims like you. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.

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