Delaware PIP law is very complex, and eligibility depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. Different PIP laws and rules apply depending on the status of the at-fault driver and the status of the injured individual. Was the injured individual a passenger? If so, there is a set of rules which apply for making a PIP claim. What if the injured individual was a pedestrian? There is another set of rules which apply for making a PIP claim (i.e., no-fault). For instance, a DE resident injured in a pedestrian accident in this state caused by an out of state driver would make a PIP claim under their own auto insurance policy. However, if the accident was caused by a driver insured in this state, the rules are different.
Pedestrian Accidents – Striking Vehicle is Registered & Insured in Delaware
Under Delaware law, pedestrians who are injured in auto accidents where the striking car is registered/insured in this state can make a PIP claim with the car insurance company covering the striking vehicle. In addition, in this scenario, an injured pedestrian may be able to make a PIP claim under their own auto insurance policy, if the injured pedestrian’s PIP policy amount exceeds that of the striking vehicle’s policy. This is generally referred to as stacking PIP benefits and is allowed under Delaware law, so long as the terms of the given insurance policy allow stacking. (Gordon v. Nationwide, 2010; DiJiacomo v. Progressive, 2008)
Stacking PIP benefits is often necessary for individuals injured in pedestrian accidents. That’s because pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries. Major medical treatment is often necessary, and individuals often lose time from work.
Here’s an example which explains how PIP works in a pedestrian accident case. A pedestrian accident occurs in downtown Wilmington. The striking vehicle is insured in Delaware with a minimum $15,000 PIP limit. The injured pedestrian’s medical bills and lost wages total $30,000. The injured pedestrian is covered under their own Delaware auto insurance policy which carries a $50,000 PIP limit.
Therefore, the pedestrian can make two PIP claims. First, the pedestrian would make a PIP claim under the insurance policy covering the striking vehicle and would be able to recover the full $15,000. Second, the pedestrian would make a PIP claim under their own car insurance policy. The pedestrian could recover up to $15,000, the difference between the striking vehicle’s PIP limit and the total medical bills/lost wages. See Progressive v. Mohr, a 2012 Delaware Supreme Court case where the court allowed a Delaware resident to obtain $85,000 in PIP benefits under the same scenario (i.e., a pedestrian accident involving a Delaware pedestrian and a car insured in DE).
It’s important to note that had the striking vehicle been an out of state vehicle, the pedestrian’s PIP claim would be limited to their own car insurance policy. The pedestrian wouldn’t be able to make a PIP claim under the out of state vehicle’s insurance policy.
Financial Recovery – Beyond PIP Benefits
In addition, injured pedestrians can file injury lawsuits against at-fault drivers and obtain monetary compensation for any medical bills/lost wages in excess of PIP. In addition, the plaintiff in an injury lawsuit in Delaware can make a claim for pain and suffering. Read more about claims for financial recovery in a Delaware car accident lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accidents in Delaware – Get Legal Help
For a free consultation in a Delaware pedestrian accident case, please call our law firm. Since 1982, firm founder Martin Knepper has been fighting for the rights of those injured in auto accidents. (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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Page last updated: July 12, 2016