If you find yourself in an automobile accident, you probably want to know how to protect your rights and possibly file a claim in order to recover damages for your suffering. If you are the victim of an automobile accident, you probably want to clarify some issues, and speaking with an attorney is recommended. Call Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. for a consultation.
Delaware is an “at-fault” state. What does that mean?
Delaware is an “at fault” state, also known as “tort liability” state. After an automobile accident, the driver responsible for the wreck is held responsible for the financial burden of the victim. These may include personal injury or vehicle damages. As a victim, you have options. In Delaware, you may turn towards your insurance company and make a claim, or file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You may also go to court and file a lawsuit for personal injury.
What does “modified comparative fault” mean?
Delaware is also a “modified comparative fault” state. This means that, yes, fault is assigned, but if you are at fault in any way, the percentage they deem your fault will be taken out of your damages. If you are ten percent “at fault”, ten percent goes to the other party. If you are found to be fifty percent “at fault”, no one receives damages.
What is Personal Injury Protection?
Delaware also has a form of “no fault” insurance called PIP, or personal injury protection. This does not limit a person from the liability of a lawsuit. It protects them from the financial burden of waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit or settlement. PIP pays the holder’s medical bills and lost wages up to two years, up to your PIP policy limit, or until your insurance company sends you to a doctor that says you no longer need medical treatment.
Is there a time limit to file a lawsuit?
In Delaware, you must file a lawsuit for personal injury within two years of the accident. There is no statute of limitations to filing a claim with your insurance. Most insurers will have this information written in the policy. Claims against the government must be filed very quickly, usually within ninety days. If you are rear-ended by a city bus, you have stricter rules to abide by because courts have an obligation to protect taxpayers’ money, which will ultimately be used to pay any damages.
Do I have to go to court and how long will my case take to resolve?
Cases in Delaware could be settled in months, but there are times when a deeply contested case goes to trial and takes years. You may not necessarily have to go to court. The stronger the case, the less likely you will have to go to trial in order to get compensated. Problems arise when there is a disagreement of who is responsible and at what percentage they are responsible.
What damages are recoverable in Delaware?
There are two categories of recoverable damages. The first category is economic loss. Assuming the accident wasn’t your fault, this includes property damage, wage loss, and any unpaid medical bills. Pain and suffering, or non-economic damages are more complicated damages to pursue. You have the right to recover for your pain and suffering if the automobile accident was not your fault. This doesn’t only mean the pain and suffering that you went through. It also means how your quality of life was affected, how your day-to-day life changed and will change in the future, as a result of the accident. Contact Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. for a consultation.