Can I Stack Multiple Insurance Claims After My Car Accident?

If you have been the victim in a North Carolina car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Typically, car accident victims file insurance claims with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. What happens when the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance? At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our clients sometimes ask us if they stack insurance claims for one accident. While this is an appealing prospect, car accident victims typically cannot stack multiple car insurance policies on top of each other.

North Carolina is one of the few states that prohibits the stacking of insurance policies. Injured parties can seek to recover the highest insurance amount possible, however. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, we can help. Our skilled attorneys have helped many clients recover compensation through filing insurance claims. Contact our Charlotte personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

North Carolina Residents Must Purchase Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Unfortunately, an uninsured driver causes a collision that results in you being injured. You may have to file a claim with your own insurance company. Most insurance plans include underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance to protect drivers who are injured by uninsured drivers.

North Carolina's Motor Vehicle Safety and Financial Responsibility Act made uninsured and underinsured motorist accident coverage mandatory. All drivers are legally required to purchase underinsured and uninsured motorist policies. Those who do not buy this type of experience face fines. Nobody expects to become injured by the negligent or reckless driving of an uninsured motorist. Thus, many North Carolina residents only pay for the minimum amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance.

What Does “Stacking” Uninsured Motorist Coverage Mean?

Many states allow the injured party to raise the amount of their own uninsured or underinsured motorist payments. This process is called "stacking" uninsured motorist coverage. When a claimant stacks insurance policies, he or she collects on more than one insurance policy to receive complete payment for his or her injuries and property damage. Under this legal theory, drivers are paying for insurance policies for three different cars and should be able to multiply their benefits by the number of vehicles they pay to insure.

If the uninsured or underinsured coverage does not cover the costs, the injured party stacks or multiplies the number of vehicles under the insurance plan. Stacking occurs when a person owns auto insurance policies for two or more cars. The person suffers an injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. He or she collects the full amount of underinsured motorist coverage under his car and under the insurance policies of two other vehicles that he or she owns.

For example, if someone has an uninsured motorist policy that covers up to $50,000 in individual liability damages, and your insurance plan covers three vehicles, you could stack the coverage to receive $150,000 in compensation.

North Carolina’s Anti-Stacking Law

The insurance lobby seeks to prohibit people from stacking insurance claims together. North Carolina is part of a minority of states that explicitly prohibit the stacking of insurance in some cases. A state statute prevents people from multiplying their uninsured motor vehicle limit by the number of cars they have insurance policies for.

The general rule prohibits stacking, but exceptions to the rule exist. North Carolina allows the stacking of uninsured motorist policies when the insured driver owns multiple, separate insurance policies. For example, if the injured party has two different uninsured motorist insurance policies that cover more than one vehicle, he or she may stack those policies together.

Other Compensation Options for Those Injured by an Uninsured Motorist

If your uninsured motorist insurance limit does not cover the costs of your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation elsewhere. North Carolina tort law allows plaintiffs to sue defendants in civil court. Unfortunately, many uninsured motorists do not have the assets to pay you compensation. It is not worth pursuing a lawsuit against a defendant who is insolvent or unable to pay.

In some cases, injured parties may be able to bring a lawsuit against another at-fault person. If the uninsured driver was driving within the scope of his employment, the injured party might be able to file a claim against the employer. Contact our Charlotte personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal case.

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