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Delaware Car Accident Compensation Laws

If you've been in a car accident in Delaware, it's important that you know about the laws in the state concerning car accident compensation.

Continue reading to learn more about car accident compensation laws in Delaware.

Below, you'll find a table laying out Delaware's car accident compensation laws, followed by in-depth discussions of key aspects of these laws.

Statute of Limitations

Two years from date of accident (Tit. 10 §81078119)

Limits on Damages

There are no explicit caps on damages.

Other Limits

Modified comparative fault can prevent or limit recovery, depending on the driver's percentage of fault for the accident. (Tit. 10 §8132)

'At Fault' and 'Modified Comparative Fault' Rules Apply

Delaware's car accident insurance system is one of the many U.S. states to employ an "at fault" system for handling car accident claims. Under this system, also known as a "tort liability" system, you have to prove that the other driver was at fault for your accident.

However, fault alone isn't enough. Delaware also uses a "modified comparative fault" cutoff for damages. Under the legal theory of "modified comparative negligence," this cutoff means the other driver must be more than 50 percent at fault in order for you to recover. Percentages are calculated by the judge or jury after a trial, if the claim doesn't settle first. Damages are limited by the percentage, as well. For example, a person 20% at fault would only recover 80% of their damages.

An example where one might not recover would be where a driver ("Driver A") runs a red light but is hit by someone who is speeding ("Driver B"). Driver A is clearly more at fault due to running the red light, but Driver B is also speeding. One might set the percentages at 80 percent and 20 percent, respectively. This means that Driver B can recover 80 percent of their damages. However, Driver A, who is more than 50% at fault, cannot recover any damages under this set of circumstances.

Limits on Damages

Delaware lacks an outright cap on damages in personal injury or car accident cases. Instead, the limits on recovery are found in the above modified comparative fault rules. Other than that, there is a strict time limit for filing a legal case. This time limit is also known as the statute of limitations. In Delaware, you have two years to file a lawsuit for car accident claims from the date of the crash. Note that filing an insurance claim doesn't pause or extend this time limit. So, you'll want to wrap up the claims process quickly in order to leave time to prepare and file a legal claim if needed.

Injured in a Delaware Car Accident? An Attorney Can Help

Delaware's short time limit for filing a lawsuit and limits on damages for those partially at fault for an accident are significant obstacles that could derail your claim before it starts. Get help from an experienced Delaware injury law attorney on strategy, the strengths of your case, and how much compensation may be available.

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