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How Car Accident Compensation Works In Delaware

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Hurt In A Car Crash? Find Out How Much Your Injury Claim Is Worth 

Dealing with a serious car accident in Delaware can be confusing. Whether another driver rear-ended you in Wilmington or you’re dealing with a high-speed collision on I-95, there are so many different issues that can come up after your crash. And in many cases, these issues can influence how much money you receive for your accident-related expenses.

This is why it’s critical that you fully understand how the compensation process works for people involved in a collision caused by another driver in Delaware. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay for your accident out of your own pocket, even if the other driver was clearly at fault.

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No. Delaware has what’s known as an at-fault car insurance system. This means, the at-fault party is responsible for paying for all accident-related expenses for all injury victims. This means if another driver caused your collision, their insurance company is normally the one that actually pays for your accident expenses.

What type of car insurance is mandatory in Delaware?

Like most states, Delaware requires all drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility, and most drivers do this by purchasing insurance. The mandatory minimum car insurance requirements for Delaware include:

  • $10,000 per accident for property damage, such as vehicle damage.
  • $25,000 per person for injury-related expenses for car accident injury victims.
  • $50,000 per accident for injury-related expenses for each car accident.
  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for no-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This is compensation for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a collision, regardless of who’s at fault.

What optional car insurance is available in Delaware?

In addition to minimum car insurance requirements, many drivers in Delaware choose to get additional insurance. Common car insurance options in Delaware include:

  • Collision insurance, which provides financial compensation to pay for vehicle repairs due to a collision, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage, which pays for vehicle damage in non-collision incidents, such as natural disaster, theft, vandalism, or hitting an animal.
  • Medical payment insurance, also known as "MedPay" coverage, which provides compensation for medical expenses and funeral expenses due to a collision regardless of fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which compensates drivers involved in a collision with a driver who does not have insurance or is underinsured and unable to pay for the total cost of an accident.

If you have been involved in a collision caused by another driver in Delaware, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will often make a settlement offer soon after your collision. A settlement offer is a one-time payment to settle your case and pay for your accident-related expenses.

Many people are pleased when they receive a settlement offer for their accident. But what they might not realize is such settlement offers often don’t come close to covering all their accident expenses. And if they accept such an offer, that’s it. Their case is settled once and for all. As a result, even if their accident expenses increase in the future, they cannot ask for more money. Instead, they will have to pay for such expenses out of their own pocket.

Insurance companies know this. That’s why they often make lowball settlement offers soon after an accident. They’re hoping you’ll simply accept their offer and go away – leaving you with the responsibility of paying for your future expenses. This is why you should carefully consider any settlement offer before you agree to accept it. Otherwise, you could miss out on getting all the compensation you deserve for all your accident expenses.

How much is my Delaware car accident claim worth?

In short, your accident claim should include all your accident expenses. What you might not realize is just how many expenses you can be compensated for due to your collision. It’s not just short-term expenses immediately after your Delaware car accident. It’s future expenses as well, even if they come up months or years after your accident.

Add all these expenses up and your car accident claim could be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. So how do you know how much your accident is worth? The best way to know is to talk to an attorney with years of experience handling car accident claims in Delaware. They can help you better understand the total financial impact of your collision.

What car accident expenses can I be compensated for in Delaware?

As explained above, you should be financially compensated for all your accident-related expenses. Such expenses may include:

  • Cost of all medical care related to your accident, including future anticipated medical expenses.
  • Money to repair vehicle damage or buy a new car if your vehicle was destroyed in the accident.
  • Replacement income if you need time off from work to recover from your car accident injury.
  • Lost future income if you are unable to return to work or can only work in a reduced capacity due to a permanent disability.

Often, insurance companies have the most to say when it comes to how much money you and other injury victims should receive for your car accident. In theory, these companies should have your best interests at heart. In practice, insurance companies – especially the at-fault driver’s insurance company – care more about their bottom line.

Fortunately, they’re not the only ones who have a say in how much money you should receive for your car accident. You can be involved in these important conversations. And often, the best way to do that is to have an experienced attorney acting on your behalf at the negotiating table. Your lawyer can make sure your car accident claim receives the attention it deserves and that you are compensated fairly for your accident expenses.

How is car accident compensation calculated in Delaware?

In theory, your car accident claim should be based on the total financial impact of your collision. Unfortunately, that’s not how the process always works, especially when insurance companies dictate this process.

Instead of taking into account all of your accident-related expenses, insurance companies often try to only count some of your expenses and leave out many others, especially long-term future expenses, which can include money for follow-up medical treatments, on-going medical care and replacement income if you can only work in a reduced capacity due to a permanent disability sustained in your crash.

Skilled lawyers know this and can demand that such expenses be taken into account when calculating your car accident claim. That’s why it’s important to consult with an attorney right away who understands how the car accident compensation system works in Delaware.

Can I ask for more money for my car crash claim?

Yes. If you believe your car accident claim does not cover all your accident-related expenses, you have the right to ask for more money, especially if you receive a lowball settlement offer or your accident claim is denied.

But asking for more money on your own can be a daunting task. Insurance companies and their attorneys regularly handle such negotiations and fully understand how the compensation system works in Delaware.

Your lawyer can help level the playing field. Instead of insurance companies telling you what to do, you and your attorney can set the agenda and demand full and fair compensation.

Yes. You can file a car accident lawsuit or take legal action if you have been involved in a collision in Delaware. Many times, this is the best way to get the money you deserve, especially if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to cooperate.

However, it’s important to understand that you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. And in Delaware, this deadline to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of your collision, according to Delaware Code Ann. Title 10, §8119.

If you miss this deadline, you could miss out on your only opportunity to obtain the financial compensation you need to pay for your accident. And that’s not fair if you didn’t do anything wrong. Remember, the at-fault party is legally responsible for paying for your collision. Make sure you give yourself every opportunity for success. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Can I get money for pain and suffering for a car accident in Delaware?

Yes. Delaware allows car accident injury victims to file a lawsuit for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. Non-economic damages is a legal term for financial compensation for expenses that don’t have a direct financial impact with a specified dollar amount, such as car repairs or medical bills.

In addition, Delaware does not have any limits or caps on how much money injury victims can obtain for pain and suffering. It’s all about what your attorney can make a strong case for.

What options are available if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

If an uninsured driver causes your Delaware car accident, you may have several different options available for obtaining financial compensation depending on what type of car insurance you have. You can always file a PIP claim with your own insurance company, regardless of fault. And if you have uninsured motorist insurance (UM), then you can also file a UM claim with your insurance company. Your UM coverage essentially stands in for the other driver’s insurance.

The best way to know what options are available to you after a collision caused by an uninsured driver is to talk to an attorney right away. Your lawyer can review your case and explain all the options available to you under Delaware law.

Car accident claims and lawsuits in Delaware often quickly turn into complicated legal cases. And if you don’t have a skilled lawyer on your side, you might not get the money you deserve, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

You only have one opportunity to obtain all the money you deserve for a lifetime’s worth of accident-related expenses. Your Delaware car accident lawyer can demand the maximum financial compensation you’re entitled to under the law and make sure your rights are respected.

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