Delaware Car Accident Law – Bodily Injury Liability Claims Against At-Fault Drivers
All cars registered in the state of Delaware must be insured under a policy that provides the following minimum amounts of coverage:
- $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury liability coverage,
- $10,000 of property damage coverage, and
- $15,000 PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage.
When an auto accident in Delaware occurs, the bodily injury liability coverage will come into play. This coverage protects an at-fault driver when an accident results in physical injuries to other parties. The at-fault party’s insurance policy provides coverage to other injure parties. For instance, Driver A (a Wilmington resident) causes a car accident with Driver B (a Dover resident). If Driver B sustains any physical injuries, Driver A’s bodily injury liability coverage will kick in to provide coverage to Driver B, up to the amount purchased. The minimum amount required is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Many Delaware residents purchase higher coverage amounts, such as $100,000/$300,000 or $300,000/$500,000.
Last June, the minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage was raised from $15,000/$30,000 to $25,000/$50,000, effective December 13, 2017 for all new policies. For existing car insurance policies in Delaware, the new coverage amount takes effect upon renewal. Therefore, for individuals injured in auto accidents after Dec. 13, 2017, whether the new amount applies depends on when the at-fault driver’s policy was purchased or renewed.
The Danger of Settling a Car Accident Claim on Your Own – Not Getting Full Compensation
Some individuals may try to settle a car accident claim on their own, without hiring an experienced car accident lawyer. This is a mistake. Oftentimes, when individuals settle claims on their own, they settle too soon, without the benefit of a proper investigation into the nature and extent of their injuries.
With respect to settling a case, an important factor in determining the value of a Delaware car accident case is the extent of the physical injuries and how they affect the injured individual’s work, family and home life. It is crucial to investigate and present evidence of all injuries and damages.
A Wilmington resident is injured in a car accident on her way to a work event in Dover. She is t-boned at an intersection by another driver. Fault clearly lies with the other driver. She feels serious neck pain and upper back pain immediately after the accident. At the ER, x rays don’t reveal any fractures, and she is instructed to follow up with her family doctor. She does so and begins conservative treatment, pain medication and rest. After two weeks, the pain does not abate and her doctor prescribes physical therapy, which she starts. A few days later, she gets a call from the insurance company for the at-fault driver, asking about her injuries and whether she’d like to settle her claim. She accepts the offer, settles her claim and receives a check. Six weeks pass. She completes the physical therapy, but still has pain that has now worsened. She gets an MRI of her neck and upper back which reveals serious pathology caused by the car accident. Now, she must undergo steroid injections, repeat physical therapy and potentially surgery if the symptoms persist. Because she has already settled her claim against the at-fault driver, she is out of luck. Absent some legal error in the signing of the settlement agreement (which would be rare), she cannot obtain any additional financial recovery for her injuries from the negligent driver.
Had the injured individual hired a lawyer, a comprehensive workup might have included a financial loss summary detailing the need for future medical expenses, as well as any other future financial losses, such as income loss.
This type of situation can and does occur. Don’t be a victim to the tactics of auto insurance companies. You are under no obligation to speak to a representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To best protect your legal rights, speak to a Delaware car accident lawyer.
Car Accident Law Firm – Wilmington, Dover & Newark, FREE CONSULTATIONS
Knepper & Stratton is a Delaware car accident law firm. With offices in Wilmington, Dover and Newark, our lawyers are equipped to handle matters across the state. Our lawyers have over 60 years of combined experience and have recovered over $25 million for our clients. Call for a free case review. (302) 658-1717 (Wilmington, Newark) or (302) 736-5500 (Dover).
*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.
*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.