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Understanding North Carolina automobile insurance--Part II

Residents of Raleigh and Wake County, North Carolina, might remember one of our previous posts, which talked about the rights of a person with a valid motor vehicle license after having a car accident. The post also talked about the North Carolina Contributory Negligence Law, according to which a driver who is even partially at-fault, will not be able to collect damages in a car accident.

The previous post also talked about how much reimbursement a person can expect to receive from an insurance company to repair a car with accident damage, if it is repairable. This post will discuss how much a driver can expect to receive from an insurance company after a car accident, if a car is totaled and what benefits an insurance carrier may provide if an accident victim is injured.

A vehicle will be considered a total loss by an insurance carrier, if repair costs for a car in a car accident reach or cross 75 percent of the pre-accident actual cash value, or ACV, of the car. In the event a car is totaled in an accident, payment of ACV, which is the local market value of the totaled motor vehicle, is the responsibility of the insurance company. Local market value of a totaled car can be determined either by comparing similar vehicles or by taking dollar estimates from a minimum of two qualified local car dealers.

If a driver has purchased medical payment coverage with vehicle insurance, financial assistance is available from the insurance carrier for bodily injuries resulting from a car accident. This assistance is provided by insurance companies regardless of fault. Bodily injury claims can include doctor bills, medical bills, laboratory fees and lost wages, and it can also include claims for pain and suffering due to the accident.

Source:, "A Consumer's Guide to Automobile Insurance from Your North Carolina Department of Insurance," accessed on March 2, 2015

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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