North Carolina Appellate Court Upholds Denial of Insurance Coverage Where Injured Party Failed to Submit Policy Document into Evidence

Insurance policies are meant to provide us with support when some kind of injury or crisis happens. In some situations, however, claiming the insurance benefits that we are owed can become the most stressful part of putting our lives back together after an accident. The Raleigh car accident lawyers at Maurer Law understand how important it is for you to be treated fairly and to receive the benefits that you deserve when you deserve them. If you were injured in a car accident and have questions about insurance benefits or are involved in a dispute with an insurance company, contact us to learn more about how we can help you protect your rights.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Court of Appeal heard an appeal arising from an accident where a passenger suffered serious injuries in a car accident totaling $30,000 in medical costs. The driver’s insurance company paid him the per-person liability limit of $30,000. He then submitted a claim to his father’s insurer for underinsured motorist coverage. The insurer filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment from the court stating that the passenger was not entitled to benefits because he was not a resident of the father’s home pursuant to the terms of the policy. The trial court eventually ruled in favor of the insurance company, and the passenger appealed.

On review, the appellate court noted that the insurance policy in dispute was never actually admitted into evidence. The passenger even conceded that the auto policy was not admitted into evidence and offered no explanation for this oversight. Without the ability to review the entire document, the court was unable to make findings of whether it defined the term resident and whether the evidence presented proved that the passenger was a resident of his father’s household. Although there was one piece of the language quoted from the policy in the complaint, this was not enough to provide the court with an understanding of the contract and any key context from other language related to the quoted material.

An attorney can assist you with key aspects of your claim, like making sure that you are submitting the right documents into evidence and providing the court with the information it needs to rule on the issues at hand. In the matter above, had the insurance policy been properly admitted into evidence, the passenger may have been able to successfully argue that he qualified as a resident in his father’s household. The court cannot look outside the evidence provided in court, which is why following proper evidence procedures is so critical.

At Maurer Law, we are available to discuss your potential Raleigh car accident claim and how we may be able to assist you. There are many different things to consider when it comes to seeking compensation, and auto insurance policies are one of them. We will build the strongest case possible on your behalf and take care of the daily administration of your claim so that you can focus on relaxing and healing your injuries. Call our office now at 888-258-1087 or contact us online to get started.

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