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N.J.passenger in a car that was rear-ended.Driver of car I was in is from Fla. Car that hit us from N.C. where acc. occurred

Maggie Valley, NC |

I was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended in North Carolina. I am from New Jersey, the driver of car I was in is from Florida and driver that hit us is from North Carolina. The driver that hit us is underinsured. I was told I could not collect under my car ins. for underinsured motorist and that I could not collect from driver of vehicle I was a passenger in because they were not at fault. I was hospitalized and have severe back injuries???

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Attorney answers 3


you have 3 sources of recovery. first, the at fault driver's liability insurance. second, the underinsurance policy of the car in which you were a passenger should be primary and then your personal underinsurance coverage should apply. it all depends on the particular language of the policies. you should obtain a reputable lawyer as soon as practical. NC law would apply re the accident, probably NJ law re the interpetation of your insurance policy and probably florida law would interpet the insurance policy for the car you were in. i suggest getting a NJ lawyer. word of mouth is the best source, followed by the NJ trial lawyers association or the local county bar association would have a referral list. good luck.


I would differ slightly form the other poster of an answer. I would suggest that you need to retain a North Carolina lawyer. Then, once that lawyer is representing you, they will likely need to consult with a NJ or FL lawyer, but it will be the NC lawyer's responsibility to weave all three potential insurance policies together to determine who is supposed to pay what. At the end of the day, it will be mostly NC law that likely applies to the primary issues of the case, with NJ and FL kicking in to determine some coverage issues.
Your situation is complicated, but not impossible. You just need someone who is experienced at handling coverage issues. Find a lawyer who exclusively does personal injury cases and car wrecks, as opposed to someone who does a little bit of everything.

David Henson
HensonFuerst Attorneys
Offices in Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Boone- North Carolina


First of all, I am very sorry to hear about your accident.

With respect to your question, I agree with the other attorneys who have answered that (1) your situation is slightly complicated but manageable; and (2) that you should speak with a NC-based personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

All too often our office sees situations where injured individuals try to "go it alone" with the insurance companies, and the often get the run-around and can potentially damage their claim. Almost all personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, and after a call with such an attorney you will be in a better position to decide what to do next (even if you don't hire the attorney).

Our office routinely handles these types of claims for out-of-state residents who have been injured in North Carolina. Feel free to give me a call on Monday to discuss. My direct dial phone number is 919.235.3824. If I cannot assist you for any reason, I should be able to put you in touch with an attorney who can. In the meantime, have a good weekend and I hope your injuries don't limit you too much.

-Jay Mills

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