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Bringing an Uninsured Motorist Claim When You Were in Another Person’s Car

Have you suffered an injury in a North Carolina car accident while driving in another person's car? If so, you may be concerned about how to receive compensation for your injuries. Typically, when an at-fault driver is uninsured, the injured party can file an uninsured motorist claim with his or her own insurance company.

While North Carolina drivers are required to purchase minimum liability coverage, many do not. What happens if the injured party was the driver or passenger in another person's car? In most cases, any person inside the vehicle will be able to file a claim for uninsured motorist compensation with his or her own insurance company.

Attempting to recover after a car accident is stressful enough. Trying to seek compensation from your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company can add stress and additional challenges. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys have a long history of successfully negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. If you have suffered an injury while driving or riding in another person's vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

I Was Driving Another Person’s Car When the Accident Happened

Most car insurance companies insure the car, not the individual driver. The first step in a car accident is to determine whether the insurance policy covering the vehicle will cover the accident. A thorough evaluation of the insurance policy covering the vehicle in the accident is necessary.

The legal doctrine of permissive use is essential in these situations. If you had permission to drive the car, you could still pursue an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company. You will need to prove that you had permission to use the vehicle when the accident occurred from the named insured individual. You must also show that you were using the motor vehicle within the scope of that permission when the accident occurred.

Permission to use the car can be express or implied. You will not need to prove that the car’s owner explicitly stated, “I give you permission to drive my car.” A driver passing you his keys or who knew that the driver frequently drove his or her car is usually enough to prove permissive use.

To file uninsured driver insurance through the owner of the car's insurance policy, you must prove that you did not exceed the scope of the permission to drive. If the car owner told you that you could drive to the restaurant down the street and you drive into the city 40 miles away, you may have exceeded the scope of your permission. If you exceeded the scope of your authorization, the insurance company of the car's owner might deny your claim.

If you used the other person's car for commercial or business purposes, an insurer might bar you from seeking uninsured motorist coverage. For example, if you are using the vehicle to provide ride-sharing services through Uber or Lyft, the owner's insurance policy may bar your insurance claim.

Our Attorneys can Help You Determine the Best Path to Compensation

It might be more beneficial to pursue an insurance claim under the vehicle owner’s policy. Injured car accident victims may be able to seek compensation from the following individuals:

  • Your motor vehicle insurance carrier
  • The other driver’s insurance carrier
  • The other driver in a personal capacity
  • The other driver’s employer
  • The insurance company used by the owner of the car you were driving

If an insurance company denies your uninsured motorist claim, you may be able to receive compensation from other sources. If the at-fault driver was working when the accident occurred, you might be able to bring a lawsuit against his employer. The legal doctrine of vicarious liability makes employers liable for injuries caused by their employees’ negligence.

If You Have Suffered an Injury Caused by an Uninsured Motorist, We can Help

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are familiar with all of the complexities surrounding motor vehicle accident claims. We always thoroughly review our clients’ car accident cases before advising them as to the best path to compensation.

Many of our clients feel relief after meeting with us to discuss their cases. Knowing that skilled Charlotte car accident attorneys are helping you seek compensation can be a huge relief. Contact our Charlotte personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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