Delaware residents who get into accidents due to the fault of someone else might want to file personal injury claims. However, it can be tricky when the injured party is partially responsible. It’s important to know how fault can affect a personal injury case.
What are Delaware’s rules for fault in personal injury cases?
Delaware is a fault state for personal injury cases. The state follows the comparative negligence rule, which means that the injured party might bear some responsibility for their own injuries. This happens when it’s found that the plaintiff is at least partly responsible for the accident.
For example, a person is involved in a car accident with another vehicle that ran a stop sign. However, the injured person drove a few miles over the speed limit prior to the crash and is determined to be 10% responsible for the accident. If that person sued for $10,000, this would be reduced by 10%; they would recover $9,000 in compensation if they won their case.
No-fault laws and car insurance
In Delaware, drivers need to obtain personal injury protection or PIP, insurance due to the fault laws. However, when a person has gotten into a car accident, they have the option of filing a personal injury claim with their own insurance company or against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for their damages. At the same time, due to the state’s policies, a person would have to pay higher insurance premiums if they file against their PIP coverage even if they weren’t responsible for the accident.
Whether a person files an injury claim against another driver or with their own insurance company, there is a statute of limitations for filing. In Delaware, that period of time is three years from the date of the accident. A person who intends to file a personal injury claim must file within that time period, or they will not be able to recover compensation.