Can you get compensated for lost pay or lost wages due to injuries suffered in a Delaware car accident? There are two ways to seek compensation: 1. file a PIP (personal injury protection) insurance claim for lost wages or 2. file a claim against the at-fault driver.
PIP Claims to Recover Lost Wages – 3 Things to Know
There are three key things to know about PIP claims for lost wages.
First, PIP claims are available without regard to fault. This means that even if you caused the accident, you are eligible for PIP benefits, which also includes medical bills, household help expenses and funeral expenses in cases of death.
Second, in most cases, PIP claims are made with your own car insurance company, not the car insurance company of the at-fault party. However, this doesn’t apply to pedestrians. Injured pedestrians in Delaware can make a PIP claim with the insurance company covering the car or driver who hit them.
To open a PIP claim, you will need to contact your car insurance company, fill out a PIP Application for Benefits and provide supporting documentation including medical documents, employment/pay stubs, etc.
Third, PIP benefits exhaust quickly, especially if the injuries are serious. That’s because the minimum amount of PIP benefits required under Delaware car insurance law is $15,000 per person. $15,000 can go quickly. An emergency room visit with multiple diagnostic tests and/or a surgery can exhaust that amount. Once the PIP amount is exhausted, there is nothing left to pay lost wages. You can prevent this by notifying the PIP claim adjuster that you intend on making a lost wage claim. Most car insurance companies will then hold off on paying medical expenses until your lost wage claim is processed.
Claim (Lawsuit) Against the At-Fault Driver to Recover Lost Pay – 3 Things to Know
Here are three things to know about filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover lost pay.
First, there’s a two year statute of limitations for bringing any legal claims against the at-fault driver. The two year clock starts ticking on the date of the accident.
Second, the claim is filed against the driver, but in the vast majority of cases, compensation comes from the driver’s car insurance company, vis-à-vis Bodily Injury Liability coverage. This coverage is required on every car insurance policy issued in Delaware, and the minimum amount required is $25,000 per person. Many Delaware residents purchase more coverage; $50,000, $100,000 and $250,000 coverage limits are pretty common.
Third, Delaware law allows injured parties in car accident cases to seek financial compensation for pain and suffering as well as any expenses or financial losses that weren’t covered by PIP, such as medical bills and lost wages. Also, Delaware law tends to be favorable for plaintiffs in accident or injury cases including car accident cases.
For instance, Delaware allows victims to make claims for the full amount of medical bills, rather than what was actually paid by private health insurance. If you’re billed $10,000 by a medical provider, but your health insurance company only pays $5,000 for the bill, you can claim the full $10,000 in damages against the at-fault driver. This is Delaware’s collateral source rule. However, to ensure the best outcome, it’s critical to be represented by an experienced car accident lawyer.
Delaware Car Accident Law Firm – Rated as a Best Law Firm by US News & World Report (2017-2019)
Knepper & Stratton is a top rated Delaware law firm and focuses on auto injury cases throughout Delaware. Combined, our lawyers have over 60 years of experience. Contact us now. (302) 658-1717 (Wilmington) or (302) 736-5500 (Dover)
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