Whose insurance matters?

In auto accident injury claims in North Carolina it’s not always intuitive which auto insurance policy is “on the risk” as we say. Whose policies matter? When do they matter? In what order? This can all be a bit overwhelming, especially in certain fact patterns. Let’s go over a relatively complex example that will help you understand how it should work out…

Let’s say Alex was driving his car and hit the car being driven and owned by Bob, who was carrying Cathy as a passenger. Cathy has her own auto policy on a vehicle that she left at her home.

Assuming there’s no question as to fault and it’s all on Alex, then the liability policy on Alex’s car is on the risk and can be looked to to pay the property damage and bodily injury claim damages for both Bob and Cathy. If Alex has Medical Payments coverage on his policy then HE can access that portion of his coverage, but Bob and Cathy can’t.

If Bob has Med Pay on his auto policy, then both he AND Cathy can access that in addition to the liability policy of Alex. IF Cathy obtains the limits of Bob’s Med Pay AND she has Med Pay on her own separate policy, she can access that.

If Alex’s liability policy pays out its limits to Bob, and Bob has adequate UIM coverage, he can access that. So can Cathy.

There’s more to this, and we could go on for a while, but this gives you an idea that you probably want to talk to an attorney if you’ve gotten into a mess like this. Call me at 919-929-2992.

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Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
1829 E. Franklin St. - Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(P) 919-929-2992
(F) 919-636-4779

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