In many situations, those who are injured in car or truck accidents find themselves facing a mountain of medical bills. Ambulance bills, emergency room/hospital bills, therapy bills, etc. can accumulate quickly. It can be stressful trying to figure out who pays for medical bills after a car, pedestrian or truck accident.
Many Delaware residents who get into car and truck accidents often don’t know that Delaware’s car insurance law mandates what is known as PIP or personal injury protection coverage.
Under Delaware law, PIP coverage provides benefits for medical bills as well as lost wages, without regard to fault. In other words, even if an accident was your fault, you make a PIP claim under your own auto insurance policy if you’re injured.
Delaware law requires a minimum of $15,000 of PIP coverage per person, $30,000 per accident. Many people purchase higher limits. Read more about PIP coverage in Delaware.
Recovering Past Medical Expenses in a Delaware Car/Truck Accident Lawsuit
Like with past lost wages, medical expenses are usually paid under a Delaware PIP policy. Read more about recovering lost wages after a DE car/truck accident here. For those who suffer serious injuries, any medical expenses which exceed the PIP limits or occur more than two (2) years after the accident may be recovered in a car/truck accident lawsuit against the negligent driver.
For example, in a case where a car or truck accident results in serious injuries and the Delaware PIP policy has been exhausted, the injured party can sue the negligent driver and include a claim for medical expenses, such as:
- medical bills that were already paid by private health insurance,
- medical bills which are still due and owed to a medical provider, and
- related medical out of pocket expenses.
Under Delaware law, in this situation, the plaintiff can make a claim for and eventually recover the entire amount of medical bills in excess of PIP, and not just what was paid by health insurance. This is contrary to other states, like Pennsylvania, which only allow an injured plaintiff to claim and recover what the health insurance company actually paid.
Recovering Future Medical Expenses in a Delaware Car/Truck Accident Lawsuit
Medical bills which your doctor deems reasonably likely to be incurred in the future may also be recovered from
the negligent driver with proper expert testimony or with proper proof. These future medical expenses would be recovered from the negligent driver in a subsequent car/truck accident lawsuit.
Under Delaware’s PIP statute, future medical expenses may be paid by the PIP insurance carrier. However, this is the case only if the PIP policy has not been exhausted and “a qualified medical practitioner has, within 2 years from the date of an accident, verified in writing that surgical or dental procedures will be necessary and are presently medically ascertainable but impractical or impossible to perform during the 2-year period after the accident.” See 21 Del. C. 2118(a)(2)3.
In serious injury cases, after PIP coverage is exhausted, the injured party can make a claim directly against the person who caused the accident and seek compensation for future medical expenses, such as:
- future surgeries,
- physical therapy,
- medications, and
Other Miscellaneous Economic Expenses Recoverable in a Delaware Car/Truck Accident Lawsuit
Other economic damage claims may be made in addition to the claims discussed above. For example, child care expenses and costs associated with household help, etc. are some of the kinds of other miscellaneous expenses which a car or truck accident victim may incur as a result of injuries sustained in an accident. Some of these expenses may be recovered under a Delaware PIP policy and/or a negligence lawsuit against the other driver.
Related articles by a Delaware car/truck accident lawyer:
- Delaware No-Fault Car Insurance | Delaware No-Fault Truck Insurance Coverage
- Delaware Personal Injury Protection (PIP) | DE No-Fault Car Insurance Statute
Delaware Car & Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 30 Years of Experience
Since 1982, firm founder, Martin Knepper, has served residents of Delaware in all personal injury matters, including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents. Contact our car and truck accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658.1717
Our lawyers serve residents throughout Delaware, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. For more information, please contact us.
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