There is no shortage of drivers on Delaware roads and highways, especially from other states, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Car and truck accidents are quite common and often result in very serious injuries. Medical bills may pile up and the victim may be unable to return to work after the accident. Then of course, there is the issue of making an insurance claim with the car insurance company of the negligent driver. Folks from out of state who get into car or truck accidents in Delaware often encounter difficulty dealing with insurance companies. Below are things to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance company after a car accident in Delaware.
1. You have a general duty to cooperate with your own insurance company.
Per your own insurance contract, you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. However, if you’re contacted by the insurance company for the other driver, you are under no obligation to speak to their insurance adjuster or investigator. You certainly do not have to agree to an interview. The truth is that insurance companies adverse to you (i.e., representing the other driver) will attempt to obtain information in an effort to help their case, not yours. Read more about dealing with insurance companies and issues of fault/negligence in a Delaware car accident case.
2. Medical bills will usually be paid by your own insurance company.
If your state is a no-fault insurance state, then you will make a claim for medical benefits under your own car insurance policy. Many folks tend to think that since a car accident was the other driver’s fault, the other driver should have to pay for medical bills. No-fault car insurance coverage means that fault is taken out of the equation when dealing with the issue of getting medical bills paid. The reasoning is that car insurance must be affordable for everyone. If getting medical bills paid is dependent on fault, then insurance premiums would be huge for only some folks. The no-fault scheme takes the question of fault out when it comes to getting medical bills paid.
It is important to note, however, that each state varies in terms of the minimum limits required under a medical benefit or personal injury protection (PIP) policy. For example, Delaware requires a $15,000 limit.
After such benefits are exhausted, the injured party may be able to make a claim against the negligent driver for the remaining bills. Read more about PIP benefits in a Delaware car accident.
3. Your state’s tort threshold may not apply.
If you’ve spoken to the insurance company for the other driver, you may have been told that because you have “limited tort” or “verbal threshold,” you cannot recover for pain and suffering damages because the accident occurred in Delaware. In other words, the tort election you made in your state’s insurance policy will follow you to Delaware. That is just not the case. Whether it’s a car or truck accident, the fact that the accident occurred in Delaware means that Delaware has the most significant relationship to the accident and therefore, Delaware law regarding tort elections will apply.
This means that for many out of state drivers, such as New Jersey or Pennsylvania residents, their tort elections will not follow them to Delaware. See Thornton v. Boswell, a 1995 Delaware court case which found that a New Jersey verbal threshold election did not follow the New Jersey resident in a Delaware car accident. Read more about the case here.
Out of State Residents Injured in Delaware Car Accidents
Residents of other states who are injured in car or truck accidents in Delaware may be able to obtain financial recovery for their pain and suffering, as well as, medical bills and lost wages. It is important to speak to a Delaware car and truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
More from a Delaware car accident lawyer:
- Recovering Medical Bills in a Delaware Car or Truck Accident Case
- Documenting Pain and Suffering from your Delaware Personal Injury Accident
Delaware Car Accident Lawyer Represents Residents of New Jersey – FREE CONSULTATIONS (302) 658.1717
Our lawyers represents residents of other states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland who are injured in car accidents and truck accidents while driving on Delaware’s highways and roads including:
- US 13,
- US 40, and
- Delaware Route 1.
For more information, please contact us.
*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.