Many Delaware residents bike or walk to work. This is especially true in New Castle County. While the number of people who walk to work has remained steady over the past decade or so, the number of people who bike to work has steadily increased. On average, a little over 9,600 people walk to work throughout Delaware. That number hasn’t changed much since 2000. On the other hand, the number of people who bike to work has increased by about 50% since 2000. As of 2010, over 700 Delaware residents bike to work each year. Source: 2013 Delaware Department of Transportation, Annual Report
According to the most recent data available from the DelDOT Annual Report for 2012, there were roughly 550 pedestrian and bicycle traffic accidents in Delaware in 2013. That’s about 10 per week.
The good news is that the number of pedestrian accidents in Delaware has decreased. In 2011, there were 427 pedestrian accidents. In 2013, there were 398 pedestrian accidents, 26 of which resulted in fatalities.
Legal Rights for Pedestrian and Bicycle Traffic Accident Injuries
These types of traffic crashes often result in significant injuries. Major head, brain trauma and broken bones are very common. Injury-related temporary or permanent disability often puts families in tough financial positions. For example, someone who suffers head trauma in a bike or pedestrian accident in Wilmington, Delaware and is unable to resume their job duties can quickly go into debt.
Generally, a pedestrian or bicyclist who is injured in a traffic accident has two legal rights: 1. make a claim for PIP (personal injury protection) benefits, and 2. make a claim against the driver who caused the accident.
PIP Benefits for Delaware Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents
Under Delaware PIP laws, individuals who are injured in auto accidents as pedestrians or bicyclists have the legal right to make a PIP claim under the car insurance policy covering the car that hit them (so long as the car is registered/insured in Delaware). PIP benefits provide coverage for medical bills and lost wages, up to the amount purchased, which must be at least $15,000 under state law. When and if PIP benefits are exhausted, i.e., the $15,000 limit is reached, an injured pedestrian or bicyclist can make a claim for additional PIP benefits under their own car insurance policy. However, this only applies if the PIP coverage on their own policy exceeds the PIP coverage of the at-fault driver’s policy.
Here’s an example which explains how this works. You are walking to work in downtown Wilmington and are crossing the street in a designated crosswalk. A driver making a right turn doesn’t see you and hits you. You suffer a broken leg, need surgery and can’t work for 2 months. The at-fault driver has a minimum PIP policy ($15,000). Your medical bills and lost wages exceed the $15,000. You have your own auto insurance policy with a PIP amount of $50,000. Therefore, you are eligible to make a PIP claim, under your own policy for medical bills and lost wages which exceed the initial $15,000 from the at-fault driver’s PIP policy.
Auto Accident Lawsuits for Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents in Delaware
An injured pedestrian or bicyclist also has the legal right to make a claim against the at-fault driver and recover for pain and suffering and financial losses that exceed PIP. This involves filing a car accident lawsuit against the driver.
FREE CONSULTATIONS with our Delaware Car Accident Injury Lawyers: (302) 658-1717
*Disclaimer: This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. 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. Any discussion of results is no guarantee of the same or similar results in current or future cases.
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