Delaware Car Accidents: What Damages Are You Entitled To?
UPDATED: February 18, 2020
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The damages that result from a car accident in Delaware can be significant. An experienced car accident attorney can advise you on what you might be entitled to for your injuries and explain the subtle nuances between state laws that might affect your case.
Delaware Attorney James Folsom
James Folsom, a Delaware attorney with over 30 years experience whose practice focuses on personal injury claims, provided us with answers to the following questions about damages:
- What damages are available to somebody who was involved in an auto accident that resulted in a fatality? When a loved one dies in a car accident, the family is entitled to financial compensation as a result of the defendant's negligence, loss of consortium, monetary compensation for the pain and suffering and injustice they experienced from the death, medical and funeral expenses and of course all the costs associated with the death.
- Are there any caps on damages in Delaware? No. In fact, I recently got a case from Pennsylvania which has a particular statute that addresses a limited type of cheaper liability insurance that is available in that state. If you buy it and the other driver buys it, then you can't get huge damages like you would if you just had a regular insurance policy.
Well, the driver that caused the accident had a Pennsylvania license, but the injured driver had a Delaware license and they started to file it the case in Pennsylvania because you can file it either where the accident occurred or where the defendant lives. They're switching it over now to Delaware because Delaware does not recognize those limitations. So, here we can go above whatever the policy says, whereas if they stayed in Pennsylvania, it would be different.
- What happens when the "accident" is intentional? Another situation that comes up every two or three years is road rage where one person intentionally runs into another and the insurance company refuses to pay the claim because it didn't involve negligence. However, that's not true. Insurance companies have to pay even if the "accident" was intentional. They're bound by it. Not only could you sue, but that comes under the definition of reckless and you can ask the jury for what they call punitive damages or damages to punish the other side.
An example would be driving down the road at 80 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone or something like that. You're entitled to more than had you been hit by somebody running a stop sign and juries will award more on that. Again, even if the case doesn't go to trial, we use what could happen at trial to determine a greater settlement amount.
If you've been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.