Residents of Delaware who are seriously injured in car or truck accidents often miss time from work. Individuals who suffer fractured or broken bones or those who suffer head injuries may need extensive medical care. In Delaware, PIP covers medical bills, net lost wages, funeral expenses, etc. Therefore, Delaware car accident victims who are insured or otherwise covered under a Delaware car insurance policy, may be eligible to recover their lost wages or salary by making PIP or personal injury protection claims.
Part 1 of this article about PIP claims for lost wages in Delaware discussed two important issues, such as, whose insurance pays for lost wages and how much lost wages can be recovered. Click here for Part 1 of this article series which discusses how PIP claims for lost wages are made in Delaware. Below is a discussion of how lost wages are recovered after PIP exhausts and whether more than one PIP claim may be made.
PIP Claims for Lost Wages in DE – What Happens if PIP Coverage Exhausts?
In serious car or truck accident cases, the PIP coverage limit will exhaust quickly. As discussed in Part 1 of this article, Delaware law requires that all Delaware car insurance policies carry minimum PIP coverage in the amount of $15,000. Many Delaware residents, however, opt for higher PIP coverage amounts.
In serious, catastrophic car accident cases, an ambulance ride, ER visit, hospitalization and surgeries can exhaust a minimum $15,000 PIP coverage limit. In other words, the total amount of the bills presented will exceed $15,000 (the PIP coverage limit). Alternatively, PIP coverage may exhaust within the first 4 to 6 weeks after the accident, before the injured individual discovers they are permanently or partially disabled.
Consequently, car accident victims may obtain fair and reasonable financial compensation for any lost wages which were not covered by PIP. This requires filing a claim or lawsuit against the party(s) who caused the accident. In addition to financial compensation for lost wages, the plaintiff (injured car accident victim) may also obtain financial compensation for medical bills (which exceed PIP) and pain and suffering. Read more about documenting lost wages/salary in a Delaware car accident case.
PIP Claims for Lost Wages in DE – Can Two PIP Policies Apply?
It is important to note that in some situations, an injured individual, such as a passenger or pedestrian, may be able to make two PIP claims. Passengers may be able to make an initial PIP claim under the car insurance policy of the driver of the car they were riding in, and pedestrians would make an initial claim under the car insurance policy of the car which hit them.
A secondary claim may be made if a passenger or pedestrian had their own car insurance policy or was covered under a resident relative’s policy (i.e., mom and dad). However, such secondary claims may only be made if the second PIP policy coverage amount was greater than the initial PIP policy amount.
For example, a driver and his passenger are driving through Wilmington and get hit by a truck. The passenger needs extensive medical treatment. She would make the initial PIP claim under Policy A, the policy of the driver, which carries a $15,000 PIP limit. She lives at home with her mother and is therefore covered under her mother’s policy, which carries a $50,000 PIP limit. In this instance, Delaware car accident law allows the passenger to recover $15,000 under Policy A and then up to $35,000 under Policy B, or the difference between Policy A and Policy B. She would not be able to recover up to $50,000, the PIP coverage limit of Policy B.
Delaware PIP law is very complex. If you were injured in a car accident in the Wilmington or Delaware area, please call our car accident lawyers for a free consultation. (302) 658-1717
- Recovering Lost Wages After a Delaware Car/Truck Accident
- Making a DE PIP Claim for Lost Wages After a Car Accident – What You Need to Know
- DE Car Accident Lawyer – Proving Fault in a Delaware Car Accident Injury Insurance Claim
Wilmington DE Car 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 and truck accidents. Contact our accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658-1717
Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. We also represent residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia who are injured in car or truck accidents while in Delaware. For more information, please contact us.
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