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How Delaware’s comparative negligence laws work in injury claims

If you get into an accident in Delaware and sustain injuries, you may want to file a personal injury claim. Before filing, you should understand the state’s comparative negligence laws.

Comparative negligence defined

Under Delaware’s comparative negligence laws for personal injury claims, you must be less than 50% responsible for an accident. Even if you are found to be 50% at fault, you are barred from filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your damages. This means that if you are in an accident with another person and you are each found to be 50% at fault, neither of you would be entitled to file a claim for damages.

Example of comparative negligence

There are many ways that comparative negligence could come into play in an accident. For example, a person is driving and is distracted by glancing down at their cell phone at a text message. This leads to the driver failing to notice that they collided with a person on a bicycle. However, the person on the bike ran a stop sign immediately prior to the accident. The individual on the bike suffers injuries and files a personal injury claim against the driver. However, the court deems them 49% responsible for the accident due to running the stop sign. Meanwhile, the driver is found to be 51% at fault for distracted driving.

In this scenario, the plaintiff would recover 49% less than the total compensation they were seeking. If they were suing the driver for $10,000, they would only get back $5,100 if their personal injury claim was successful.

Many people are unaware of the comparative negligence rule for personal injury claims in Delaware. These laws are in place to ensure that the parties found to be at fault are held liable even if the injured party is one of them.