Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in North Carolina?

Woman stressed and injured after a car accident

There’s no getting around it – car insurance is simply one of those things in life that is essential but oh-so frustrating to deal with. 

In fact, the cost and complexity that tends to come with automobile insurance often deter some drivers from getting ANY insurance coverage whatsoever. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6% of U.S. drivers – and 7.4% of North Carolina drivers – are uninsured. 

And this percentage becomes even greater in high-population towns like Wilmington, NC. 

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage? 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is insurance that provides protection for you, your passengers, and your vehicle if injured or damaged in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.

This protection not only covers medical bills for everyone in your car, but it also covers any necessary vehicle repairs. 

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Really Necessary in NC?


Uninsured Motorist coverage is mandatory in North Carolina. 

Fortunately, NC-required car insurance policies (with the basic bodily injury and property liability measures) MUST also include UM protections.

Oftentimes, these minimum liability insurance policies include some Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), as well. 

But what about Underinsured Motorist Coverage? Is that required, too?

Yes…at least for some insurance policies.

North Carolina law dictates that car insurance policies with limits greater than the state’s minimum NC insurance standards must include BOTH Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Even if the at-fault party has the lowest tier of liability insurance, their policy may not quite cover the entirety of your medical bills or damages incurred in an accident.

When this happens, your UIM policy should pay for expenses left uncovered by the underinsured driver’s insurance. 

Plus, UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive when compared to other levels of insurance.

How to tell if you have UM and UIM insurance? 

Uncertain whether you have adequate auto insurance coverage?

The first step – touch base with your insurance agent. 

Have more questions about Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage? Contact Robert Armstrong’s office.

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident, it’s essential for you to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you with the complexities of insurance and other aspects of your case.

Get in touch with Robert Armstrong’s office today!

Do your personal injury medical records have red flag? What are they?

Do your personal injury medical records have red flag- - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Unfortunately, when it comes to personal injury claims against insurance companies, insurance companies will always try to offer you less money than you deserve to compensate you for injuries you sustained in a car accident. That’s just the way the insurance business works.

An experienced personal injury attorney like Robert Armstrong will work tirelessly to make the insurance companies pay what they owe, but often there are “red flags”  that insurance companies look for in your medical records as a way to justify paying you less money.

What are some of the red flags that insurance companies will identify?

There are several factors that come into play when insurance companies examine your medical records. Red flags include:

  • Degenerative changes – Degenerative means that your symptoms are chronic and that your condition continues to deteriorate or is irreversible. If your symptoms are degenerative, it will usually show up on tests like MRIs and X-rays. Typically, degenerative conditions are caused simply by the aging process, but degenerative changes could start to appear in your body as early as your 20s, so degenerative characteristics could realistically show up on almost anyone’s imaging tests. Insurance adjusters are quick to point out soft tissue injuries and claim that they are degenerative changes and not the direct result of a car accident. With the help of a good lawyer and the honest testimony of a medical professional, it could be proven that you weren’t having any discomfort or symptoms before the crash, even if there are degenerative signs that show up on your MRI or X-ray.
  • Pre-existing conditions – If you broke your arm in a car accident, and it just so happens that you broke the same arm in a skateboarding accident two years ago, an insurance adjuster could try to link your current pain and aftermath of the injury to your last painful injury. The same could hold true for prior car accidents, slip-and-falls, or any other pre-existing injury. That’s why it’s so important to have the testimony of a doctor or other medical professional.
  • Treatment gaps – If your doctor recommends that you go to physical therapy once a week, and records show that you consistently miss appointments and aren’t following your doctor’s orders, it could be a big red flag for the insurance adjuster. It’s common for crash victims to try to heal on their own without having the inconvenience of seeking medical treatment, but it’s important you don’t do that. Remember that an insurance company will do everything in its power to try to prove that you haven’t been completely honest and forthcoming about your injuries. Don’t give them any leeway.

There are many other red flags that could show up on your medical records, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney you can still get the settlement you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.


Essential Motorcycle Insurance Coverage to Purchase In North Carolina

Essential Motorcycle Insurance Coverage to Purchase In North Carolina Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

If you own a motorcycle in North Carolina, you must have it insured, according to state law.

The minimum coverage you can have on your motorcycle in North Carolina is liability.

What are the mandatory motorcycle insurance coverage requirements in North Carolina?

Here are the mandatory insurance requirements for motorcycles in North Carolina:

  • $30,000 for bodily injuries or death to one person in a single accident.
  • $60,000 for bodily injuries or deaths to more than one person in a single accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage occurring in a single accident.

When you’re shopping for motorcycle insurance, remember that these requirements are the minimum coverage by law. You can add more coverage if you believe you need it.

What are the optional coverage options for motorcycles?

Aside from liability insurance, most insurance companies that write motorcycle policies will offer other types of optional coverage that will give you added protections for damages and injuries you might incur if you are ever in a motorcycle accident. These include:

  • Collision – This will cover damage to your motorcycle if you are in an accident and it is your fault. For damages to your motorcycle after and accident.
  • Comprehensive – This is for any damages to your motorcycle that could happen that are not related to an accident.
  • Medical payments – If you are ever in a motorcycle accident and it is your fault, this type of coverage will help to pay your medical bills if you’re injured. Please note that Medical payments is not an option in North Carolina for motorcycles.
  • Towing and labor – If your motorcycle breaks down on the side of the highway, this type of coverage will make sure you get roadside assistance.
  • UM/UIM – Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage to protect you in the event that the other vehicle that caused the wreck either has NO insurance (UM) or is Underinsured (UIM). In that case you can make a claim on your own policy to get the compensation that you deserve. This is perhaps THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERAGE that a rider can buy. It will protect you!

Even though the state keeps track of whether you have insurance through insurance companies that notify the DMV if there’s a lapse in coverage, you are still required by law to show proof of insurance if asked by law enforcement. All you have to do is keep your current insurance card on you at all times.

What are the penalties if you fail to maintain proper insurance for your motorcycle?

Now that you know what kind of insurance coverage you need, what can happen to  you if you fail to keep proper insurance on your motorcycle?

Well, that depends:

  • First, your insurance company will let the DMV know that you don’t have current insurance.
  • Once that happens, a Form FS 6-7 notice will be sent to you.
  • If you did, in fact, have a lapse in your insurance coverage, you must show proof of your current coverage, pay the fine implemented by the DMV and mail it back to the department within a certain number of days of the date listed on the form.
  • If you fail to do the above, your license plates will likely be suspended for a month.
  • If that happens, you’ll have to wait the 30 days, then go to the DMV and clear things up, while likely paying a heftier fine.

If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.

Why you should have uninsured motorist coverage

uninsured motorists coverage Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Did you know that an estimated one out of every eight drivers on the road are driving without car insurance? In some states, the number is much higher – as many as one out of every four drivers going uninsured.

With those scary statistics, it’s smart – and required in some states – to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy.

Even if you weren’t required to have it, if you don’t carry it then you put yourself at risk for footing the bill if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you. And as we all know, with car damage, physical injuries, lost wages and so many other factors in play, you don’t want to be stuck with the bill.

Which states have the highest number of uninsured motorists?

In 2012, some 29.7 million people drove around the country without car insurance. THe following states had the highest rates of uninsured motorists:

  • Florida: 23.8 percent
  • Mississippi: 22.9 percent
  • New Mexico: 21.6 percent
  • Michigan: 21.0 percent
  • Tennessee: 20.1 percent
  • Alabama: 19.6 percent
  • Rhode Island: 17.0 percent
  • Colorado: 16.2 percent
  • Washington: 16.1 percent
  • Texas: 13.5 percent
  • Oklahoma: 25.9 percent

What kind of insurance requirements exist in North Carolina?

Aside from uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, North Carolina drivers are also required to have the following minimum liability coverage, which will be paid by your insurance company if you are involved in an accident and it’s your fault:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability, per person per accident.
  • $60,000 of bodily injury liability total per accident.

What other insurance options are there in North Carolina?

Aside from the required liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance requirements in North Carolina, most insurance companies offer the following optional coverage as well (note: if you have a car financed or you’re leasing your car, your financial institution will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle):

  • Collision – If you are in a crash and it’s your fault, this coverage means your insurance company will pay for the repairs. That only covers collisions with other moving vehicles.
  • Comprehensive – This will help if you hit a tree, or if someone throws a rock through your window, or other similar types of incidents.
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental car

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney to help with the complexities of insurance and other aspects of your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office for help.


Why you should be careful what you tell insurance adjusters

what not to tell insurance adjusters Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina (1)

Anytime you’re in a vehicle accident that you didn’t cause, it’s very likely that you’ll be hearing from the insurance company of the driver who caused the wreck.

It’s very important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and the less money they give you, the more money they keep. That means the insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you as little money as possible.

That’s why it’s crucial that you don’t say the wrong things to an insurance adjuster when he or she calls.

What should you NOT say to an insurance adjuster?

Here are some of the statements you should avoid when speaking with an insurance adjuster:

  • In my opinion” or “I think” – It’s best not to qualify any statements by guessing. If they ask you a question and you don’t know the answer, then it’s best to not say anything at all. The adjuster might try to rephrase the same question to try to get you to say something wrong. Again, silence is best in that situation.
  • “I’m sorry” -You shouldn’t let those words leave your mouth when speaking to an insurance adjuster. Also, apologizing for any part of the accident could later get twisted to make it seem like you were admitting fault.
  • “I’m fine” or “I’m not injured” – You might just be trying to be nice and/or cooperative. You might feel fine today, but when it comes to a car accident, it can take days or even weeks to get in to see a doctor and know the extent of your injuries. That’s why you should not tell an insurance adjuster that you don’t have any injuries. If you start to feel pain days later, make sure you see a doctor immediately and don’t sign any medical release forms without consulting with an attorney.
  • Never consent to a recorded statement – If you don’t want what you say to be taken out of context, then you should not consent to having the insurance adjuster record your statement.

Why do you need an experienced attorney to handle your car accident case?

Without an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, the insurance company handling your case is more likely to avoid paying what you deserve.

A good attorney can figure out how much money you need, based on the following factors:

  • Medical bills
  • Expenses you paid out of pocket
  • Lost employment wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future loss of quality of life

The first offer an insurance company gives you is likely much lower than what you are entitled to. That’s why it’s so important to contact an experienced car accident attorney.

If you’ve been in a car accident, contact Robert Artmstrong’s office today.