Sometimes if you keep pressing forward, good things will eventually happen…
When this young man’s family came to me, his family was told by their insurance agent that there was no coverage in North Carolina for hit and run wrecks. Their son was a day student at a local college and had been the victim on a hit-and-run driver, leaving him with some bad injuries.
I had to explain to them — and then the agent! — about North Carolina’s ”contact rule.” It is a harsh law, and it does say that no matter how many disinterested witnesses agree with the victim, unless there is evidence of actual physical contact with the ”phantom” hit and run vehicle, a victim of such a bad hit and run driver cannot recover. Fortunately,after speaking with witnesses and investigating officers and visiting the towing company’s storage yard, we confirmed there WAS an actual “hit” to the son’s car. Thus, we established son’s “uninsured motorist” (UM) coverage was in play.
The living situation of this student was pretty unique. He did not live in a dormitory, but actually split time between his parents, who are separated. It some convincing of their insurers, but the next step was to get his parents’ policies on board. I send North Carolina legal authority, and the adjusters took some recorded statement of the parents, but it became clear that the son was a “family member” of BOTH households, and was qualified for the UM coverage under each of those policies as well.
Then there were some questions of liability. The investigating police officer put down “failure to yield” against the student, but once we obtained more detailed statements from the witnesses, we established both 1)no negligence by the victim, and 2) even if there was there was GROSS negligence on the hit and run driver.
So, in the end, there was the student’s policy limits that were tendered, the mom’s policy limits, and then the dad’s…all of which were and are desperately needed to help this family pay some of its bills. It doesn’t always work like this, but sometimes insurance companies will do the right thing even though they have to be spoon fed and brought kicking and screaming to do it.