Car accidents occur when motorized vehicles such as a cars or SUVs collide with another vehicle or object such as a guardrail, telephone pole or barrier. Many car and automobile accidents occur within the State of Delaware. In 2020, within the State of Delaware, 29,150 traffic crashes resulted in 7,254 people injured and 117 traffic fatalities.  There are a multitude of reasons that car accidents can occur. Accidents can occur due to another driver’s negligence, bad weather conditions, equipment failure, inadequate road signage, dangerous road conditions, etc. Types of traffic accidents include
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Accidents at an intersection
- T-Bone collisions
- Side impact collisions
- Flipping or rolling a vehicle
- Fender benders
- Single Car Accidents
Although there are scenarios where an injury victim can sue a car manufacturer for equipment failure, or a government entity/contractor for a road defect, the most common type of Delaware injury claim is made against the negligent driver that caused the accident.How Do I Know When I Have a Claim Against the Other Driver?
When a car accident is caused by the other driver’s negligence, and you suffer injury, you will have a claim for money damages against the at-fault driver.When Is the Other Driver Is Negligent or At-Fault? What Is Negligence?
- General Negligence
In Delaware every driver must drive like an ordinary and careful person. If a driver does not drive reasonably under the circumstances and causes an accident, they are negligent. A jury decides what is reasonable driving and whether the other driver was at-fault. However, most car accident cases settle before trial and the at-fault party admits liability rather than going through the expense of a trial.
- Violation of Traffic Laws – Negligence Per Se
A driver is also negligent if he or she violates a Delaware traffic law and the traffic violation caused the accident and injury. Violation of a law enacted for the safety of others is known as negligence per se. If a driver violates a traffic law, he or she will likely be found negligent as a matter of law.
Examples of common traffic offenses that establish negligence are:
- Running a stop sign
- Failing to yield at an intersection
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Following too closely
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Failure to stay in the lane
- Careless driving
- Reckless driving
- Inattentive driving
You should call Jason R. Antoine, car accident attorney as soon as possible at (302) 482-4802 to determine whether you have a case. However, you will likely not have a personal injury case if
- you are not hurt at all;
- the accident was your own fault; or
- you are involved in a single car accident
If the other driver was negligent and did not have insurance you still have a case. You can recover from the uninsured/underinsured motorist policy on your vehicle.Who Will Pay for My Injuries?
The other driver will likely not pay a dime out of pocket for your injuries. The other driver’s insurance will pay. Every driver in Delaware is required to carry at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in liability insurance to cover injuries and property damage. These are the minimums required. If you are injured because of the other driver’s negligence you may make a claim against the other driver’s insurance for injuries such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced Quality of Life
- Reduced mobility
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical treatment
- Future pain and suffering
- Future lost wages
If the insurance company does not offer an adequate settlement, your attorney must file a lawsuit and sue the at-fault driver. However, you are suing the other driver in name only. The insurance company will provide a lawyer for the at-fault driver and pay out any verdicts or settlements.Who Will Pay for My Medical Treatment?
In Delaware, if you are injured and need to obtain medical treatment, you do not go through the at-fault driver’s insurance. You will file a PIP application with your own insurance company. Delaware requires that each driver have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance or “no-fault” insurance. PIP insurance covers medical bills or lost wages up to policy limits. Every driver in Delaware is required to have at least $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident of PIP insurance . If you have the minimum, this means your PIP insurance will cover your first $15,000 in medical bills free and clear without co-pays. If you have health insurance and you lost time from work, you can apply PIP to lost wages and use your health insurance for medical treatment.Why Doesn’t the At-Fault Driver Pay for My Medical Treatment?
Because Delaware is a no-fault State and PIP actually makes sense. What if the State didn’t require PIP or no-fault insurance. Pretend you are severely injured in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company won’t accept responsibility, won’t pay for your medical treatment and you don’t have health insurance. PIP protects Delaware citizens against this! No-fault is actually a better system! If your PIP limits are exhausted, you can still go after the other driver’s insurance for outstanding medical bills above PIP.What Types of Injuries Can Occur in Car Accidents?
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Shoulder injuries
- Arm injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Leg, Feet and Ankle injuries
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Whiplash injuries
You have two years from the date the injury was sustained to file a lawsuit . Essentially, in car accident cases, two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t settle your claim or file a lawsuit within that time, your case is lost forever. However, you should reach out to our office right away to investigate your claim. There are many steps we will take well in advance of the statute of limitations expiring including a) investigating the accident; b) filing a demand letter with the insurance company; and c) negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. Some cases can be settled without the added expenses of filing a lawsuit.Contact Us
Contact Jason R. Antoine, Delaware Car accident attorney at (302) 482-4802 if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident within the State of Delaware. Do not sign any forms or make any statements until you speak with my office! I offer free consultations on all injury cases and can walk you through the process step by step. I work on a contingency fee basis on car accidents. This means I do not take any money from you unless you get paid. We also do not charge any fees for litigation expenses.
 Delaware State Police, Delaware’s Annual Traffic Statistical Report (2020)