Personal Injury Law in Delaware

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Delaware? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Delaware can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Delaware relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in  Delaware

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Delaware 

The number of Delaware residents injured seriously enough to require hospitalization continues to rise across the state. According to the Delaware Statewide Trauma System, falls in either home or workplace are the #1 reason for a hospitalization. The second most common cause of a hospitalization in Delaware is auto accidents. Data also suggests that these injuries are especially prevalent among seniors. In addition, injuries caused over 6,000 unintended hospitalizations in Delaware in 2018.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Delaware

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Delaware

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

First, you should consult with your attorney, gather the proof of negligence, your demands, and notify the party at fault. Then if you cannot reach a settlement, you can take your claim to the Court of Common Pleas for any amount under $75,000. Otherwise, your case will be filed with the Delaware Superior Court.

Delaware Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

Personal Injury claim settlements are hard to judge. Under Delaware Courts comparative negligence laws, your settlement can be adjusted according to the amount of fault you contributed. So, if you and your attorney demand $50,000 and are awarded that settlement but found to be 30% at fault, you may only get $35,000 or potentially even less. In addition, if you are 50% or more responsible, you cannot sue for damages. This is why oftentimes parties try to reach a settlement to avoid lengthy court battles, court costs, or an unfair distribution of the settlement.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in , that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Delaware

If your Delaware personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage they inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

Delaware does not have any caps on damages. This means you can file a suit for as much as you and your attorney deem reasonable for both actual economic costs like medical bills, and non-economic costs like pain and suffering.

Statute of Limitations in Delaware Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

In Delaware, state law stipulates that you have three years. This means the statute of limitations dictates that you have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Delaware Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Delaware against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim.  We can even help you connect with an attorney across Delaware state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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