Delaware Personal Injury Motor Vehicle Accident Law
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The Wilmington, Dover, Newark, Middletown car accident injury lawyers of Knepper & Stratton help individuals throughout Delaware and other states who have been injured in an auto accident in Delaware. Your car accident personal injury case is usually accepted on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless we recover money for you. If you have been injured due to another’s negligent or reckless conduct in a car accident call (302)658-1717 in New Castle County or (302)736-5500 in Kent or Sussex Counties for a Free Initial Consultation.*
Knepper & Stratton – Delaware Car Accident Injury Lawyers (302)658-1717
In Delaware, cases arising out of car and truck accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury cases in our Delaware court system today. This is not surprising, given that every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Delaware these cases are governed by the law of negligence. Generally, people who operate automobiles in Delaware must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” A failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. A person who negligently operates a car in Delaware may be required to pay for harm to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, has the “burden of proof” in court, meaning he or she is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If you have been involved in a car accident in Delaware, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a Delaware car accident personal injury lawyer, such as the Attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, experienced in successfully handling car accident cases in order to best protect your interests.
Fault in Delaware Car Accidents
As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a Delaware car accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly, but not what rule or rules that person violated. Fault issues can be complicated, and an experienced attorney will look to a number of sources, such as police reports, Delaware State traffic laws, and witnesses, to help you determine who was at fault for your accident.
Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- disobeying traffic signs or signals;
- failing to signal while turning;
- driving above the posted speed limit;
- disregarding weather or traffic conditions;
- failing to drive on the right side of the road; and
- driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Delaware, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a Delaware car accident personal injury lawyer, such as the Attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, experienced in successfully handling automobile accident cases in order to best protect your interests.
Causes of Car Accident Injuries in Delaware
A driver may also be liable for an accident due to his or her intentional or reckless conduct. A reckless driver is one who drives unsafely, with “willful and wanton disregard” or “conscious indifference” for the rights of others. A driver could be found reckless, for example, if he or she drives in a threatening or harassing manner out of “road rage” and causes an accident. (Criminal or traffic charges can also stem from such behavior). Road rage is generally defined as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger on another motor vehicle, or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
In 2000, there were a total of 17,663 crashes caused by drivers with these aggressive driving behaviors. According to a recent NHTSA survey, more than 60 percent of drivers consider unsafe driving by others, including speeding, a major personal threat to themselves and their families. About 30 percent of respondents said they felt their safety was threatened in the last month, while 67 percent felt this threat during the last year.
Traffic safety and law enforcement organizations are renewing efforts to identify and penalize aggressive drivers-those who speed, tailgate, zip from lane to lane, flash headlights in frustration, and engage in other dangerous driving practices. NHTSA defines aggressive driving as a progression of unlawful driving actions such as:
- speeding-exceeding the posted limit or driving too fast for conditions;
- improper or excessive lane changing;
- failing to signal intent to turn or move out of a lane of traffic;
- failing to see that movement can be made safely; or
- improper passing-failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Delaware, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a Delaware personal injury lawyer, such as the Attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, experienced in successfully handling automobile accident cases in order to best protect your interests.
Avoiding a Car Accident
If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recommends that you take the following actions:
- Get out of the way: first and foremost, make every attempt to get out of his or her way.
- Put your pride aside: do not challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
- Avoid eye contact: eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
- Avoid gestures: ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- Report serious aggressive driving: you or a passenger may call the police (but, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location).
If you have been involved in a car accident in Delaware, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a Delaware car accident injury lawyer, such as the Attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, experienced in successfully handling car accident cases in order to best protect your interests.
Every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash. Last year alone, over one million people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. An experienced car accident personal injury lawyer who is aware of the laws governing legal responsibility and can help you identify who might be held responsible for your injuries, including people or businesses you may not have considered.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Delaware with a drunk driver, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a Delaware car accident personal injury lawyer who sues drunk drivers for the victims of drunken driving, such as the Attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, experienced in successfully handling car accident cases in order to best protect your interests.
More from the Delaware Car Accident Injury Law Library
- Falling Asleep at the Wheel – Drowsy Driving & Auto Accidents in Delaware (May 20, 2016) Falling asleep at the wheel or drowsy driving is a serious concern on Delaware roadways. Here, our DE auto accident lawyers look at the problem of tired driving.
- Delaware Auto Accident Law – Statute of Limitations for Bad Faith Claims (Failure to Settle) (March 14, 2016) Delaware auto accident law update on the statute of limitations for bad faith claims against insurance companies. The Delaware Supreme Court rules on the statute of limitation for failing to settle a third-party auto claim.
- DUI Auto Accidents in Delaware During the Holiday Months (March 7, 2016) If you’ve been injured in a DUI, traffic accident, what are your legal rights to obtain financial recovery? In this article, DE auto injury lawyer Martin Knepper discusses PIP claims, tort claims and dram shop/social host liability law in Delaware.
- Pedestrian Accidents in Delaware During the Holidays (December 15, 2015) Pedestrians in Delaware need to be extra cautious during the holiday season. Drivers are often distracted, and walking around at night can result in a major pedestrian auto accident. Get safety tips for pedestrian safety this holiday season.
- Delaware’s Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements – Too Little Protection for Auto Accident Injuries (December 14, 2015) Too often, Delaware residents purchase minimum auto insurance coverage such as minimum PIP (personal injury protection) or minimal UIM/UM (underinsured and uninsured) motorist coverage. When a serious traffic accident happens, minimum coverage can wreak financial havoc. Here, our experienced auto injury lawyers discuss the pitfalls of minimum auto insurance coverage policies.
Last updated: May 9, 2016