North Carolina Appellate Court Upholds Award of $1 Million Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy in Car Accident Case

One of the most stressful parts of a car accident unfortunately can be dealing with insurance companies that don’t want to honor the terms of their agreements by providing you with the policy limits. Whether it is your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it is important to know whether you are being treated fairly, particularly if your injuries and financial damages are severe. Burton Law Firm prides itself on providing compassionate and responsive legal counsel to North Carolina car accident victims and is prepared to help you assert your right to compensation.

The North Carolina Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion in a case in which the parties disputed whether the victim of a car accident was entitled to a $1 million uninsured motorist policy that his employer maintained. The plaintiff was working as a construction worker and helping another employee back a truck out onto a roadway when he was struck by another car.

The plaintiff received workers’ compensation benefits for the crash through the insurance company, which also provided a workers’ compensation policy to the construction employer. The insurer also maintained a business auto coverage policy for the employer that had a $1 million limit for any situation involving underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. The plaintiff also had a personal auto insurance policy that provided $250,000 for underinsured motorist coverage.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit, seeking the policy limits from the business auto policy. The insurer disputed the plaintiff’s request for underinsured motorist coverage, stating that he was not entitled to the policy limits by law. The plaintiff promptly filed a motion for summary judgment in response, alleging that he was entitled to the policy limits. The lower court ultimately concluded that the insurer was required to pay the plaintiff the $1 million underinsured/uninsured limits, as well as his own $250,000 underinsured/uninsured limits. The insurance company filed an appeal.

The reviewing court agreed with the lower court and rejected the insurance company’s argument that the plaintiff could not be deemed an insured at the time of the crash because he was not physically inside the vehicle when the accident happened. The appellate court cited prior cases dealing with this same factual scenario and stated that the plaintiff was directly engaged in conduct related to the vehicle by helping the driver back up onto the highway. This established a necessary causal relationship between the vehicle and the plaintiff’s injuries, entitling him to the insurance policy limits.

If you were involved in a car accident and have questions about how the insurance policies involved may or may not apply, Attorney Jason M. Burton is prepared to assist you. With clients throughout North Carolina, Mr. Burton understands how complicated and confusing this situation can be and how difficult it can be to get real answers from insurers. He offers a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation, so call today at 1-833-623-0042 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We will not charge any fees if we take your case unless we recover compensation on your behalf.