Pedestrian Accidents in Delaware
In 2013, there were roughly 400 pedestrian accidents in Delaware, over 25 of which resulted in a fatality. That’s about a 7% fatality rate. In addition, New Castle County accounts for the highest number of pedestrian accidents annually, followed by Sussex and Kent counties.
Just this past month, in January, at least 2 pedestrian accidents in Delaware resulted in fatalities. One happened in Claymont on Naamans Road. The other occurred in Edgemoor on I-495. Both pedestrian accidents involved multiple hits. The pedestrians were initially struck by a vehicle and then struck again by another vehicle.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accident injuries are often severe. This is due to the lack of a barrier between the pedestrian and the vehicle. Second and even third impacts almost always result in fatalities, as in the two most recent pedestrian accident deaths in New Castle County.
If not fatal, pedestrian accidents often result in broken limbs, spinal injuries and head injuries. Complex medical treatment is often necessary. A pedestrian who is hit by a car and suffers a fractured knee may require surgical repair with placement of screws and pins in addition to rehab care and subsequent medical treatment. Medical bills, alone, can easily total $10,000 or $20,000. That’s just medical bills. Delaware residents who sustain serious injuries in pedestrian accidents often have to take weeks, if not months, off from work.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Benefits After a Pedestrian Accident in DE
Striking Vehicle is Registered and Insured Out of State
Delaware is a commuter state. Many residents of neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Maryland work in Delaware, and many visit Delaware for vacation. It’s not uncommon to see out of state plates in some of Delaware’s great beach towns like Rehoboth, Bethany and Dewey. So what happens when a Delaware resident is injured in a pedestrian accident caused by an out of state driver?
Every car registered in the state of Delaware must carry a minimum amount ($15,000) of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits which cover medical bills and lost wages. In addition, Delaware is a no-fault state. This means that even if you’re at fault for causing an accident, you make a PIP claim with your own auto insurance company. The no-fault principle applies for Delaware residents who are injured in pedestrian accidents where the striking vehicle is an out of state vehicle.
See 21 Delaware Code Section 2118(a)(2)(d), which provides:
The coverage required by this paragraph [PIP benefits] shall also be applicable to the named insureds and members of their households for accidents which occur through being injured by an accident with any motor vehicle other than a Delaware insured motor vehicle while a pedestrian or while occupying any registered motor vehicle other than a Delaware registered insured motor vehicle, in any state of the United States, its territories or possessions or Canada. (emphasis added)
So for example, a resident of Wilmington, Delaware who is hit in a crosswalk by a Pennsylvania driver would make a PIP claim under their own car insurance policy.
Stay tuned for more info about pedestrian accidents caused by in-state drivers.
Delaware Pedestrian Auto Accident & Injury Law Firm
Knepper & Stratton is a Delaware law firm specializing in auto accident cases. For a free case review, please contact our Wilmington office at (302) 658-1717. Our firm also has offices in Newark and Dover.
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