Call the Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers of Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents (FAQ’s)
I have been in a motor vehicle accident. Should I go to a doctor?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should see a doctor right away. First, you should see a doctor for your own well-being. You may not be able to discern the extent of your injuries yourself; a small ache could be something significant, or it could be nothing at all. Only a doctor can tell you for sure. Second, you should see a doctor because if you decide to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver or another party, you will need medical documentation of your injuries and what you did to fix them.
Are there parties other than the at-fault driver against whom I can take legal action?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, there may be parties other than the at-fault driver who share responsibility for what happened. If a defect in one of the autos caused or worsened the accident, the vehicle manufacturer may be responsible for the injuries that resulted. Or a third party may have left debris in the road or caused one of the drivers involved in the accident to undertake a risky driving maneuver to avoid collision. Finally, if the owner of the car driven by the at-fault driver negligently allowed the driver to use the car, the owner may be liable, too. In addition if the at-fault driver was under 18 years of age at the time of the accident the owner of the motor vehicle and anyone who signed the drivers license application of the driver may also be found to be at fault.
Do I have to go to court if I want to recover monetary damages?
Maybe. Your case may settle even before we as your attorneys file a lawsuit; on the other hand, it may go all the way to a trial and a jury verdict. The majority of lawsuits are settled before they get to trial, but what happens in your case depends on the facts, the law and the parties involved.
If the accident was partially my fault, can I still recover compensation?
Perhaps. Delaware is a comparative negligence state. What this means is if you were less than 51% liable for causing the accident you may be able to collect diminished damages.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
We can speak with you about this, but we cannot necessarily pinpoint what your case is worth until it is close to a resolution. Many factors, including the circumstances of the accident, the state of the drivers involved and the insurance companies influence the outcome. So do your medical bills, your loss of income and the nature of your injuries. As lawyers with over 30 years of experience we can work with you to decide whether to pursue legal action and how to proceed.
How soon do I need to bring my legal claim against the other driver?
It is best to speak with an attorney right away. There is no charge for an initial meeting or telephone call.
What if the insurance company offers me a check right away?
Before you accept anything — or sign anything — from an insurance company, be sure that you are aware of your legal rights and options. Accepting a check may mean that you are giving up your right to sue later on if you need extra medical care or you have to miss a lot of work. Consult an attorney before you negotiate with the insurance company or settle your case.
What if the other driver, who caused the accident, has no insurance?
Even though your state may require all drivers to carry a certain level of auto insurance, that doesn’t mean that everyone follows the law. This is why Delaware requires insurance companies to offer drivers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If your insurance policy has this feature, then it may compensate you for some of your losses.