Delaware Compensation Caps
If you are involved in a collision and are injured, your financial damages can be overwhelming, especially if you require major surgery. Your medical costs and lost wages can quickly reach your PIP coverage. In some cases, an accident victim’s total damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good news is that Delaware does not have compensation caps on car accident lawsuits. However, your compensation could be limited in other ways.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
When you are injured in a Delaware car accident, your medical bills and lost wages are paid by your PIP insurance coverage. It does not matter if the accident was your fault or the other driver’s fault, your first recourse for payment of medical bills and lost wages is your PIP insurance coverage. Your insurance company pays these costs up to two years following the accident or up to the policy limits, whichever comes first. Because many drivers only carry the minimum coverage of $15,000, their medical bills and lost wages quickly exceed their PIP coverage.
Delaware’s personal injury laws provide a means for injured victims to sue the at-fault driver for any financial damages that exceed their PIP coverage. Therefore, if your medical bills and lost wages total $50,000, you can sue the other driver for the difference between your actual damages and your PIP payments. You cannot include any costs paid by your insurance coverage in the total of damages claimed in your lawsuit.
In addition, because PIP coverage does not pay compensation for non-economic damages, such as physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering, you can sue the at-fault driver for the full value of your non-economic damages. The amount of your pain and suffering is based on several factors:
- The type and severity of your injuries;
- Length of your recovery;
- Amount of your financial damages;
- How the injury impacts your normal daily life and activities and,
- Whether you have any complications or permanent disability.
You can also add future lost income, loss of earning capacity, and future medical expenses in your demand for payment from the other driver. Because Delaware does not have compensation caps, you can claim the full value of your damages in a car accident lawsuit.
Caps on Recoveries in Delaware Car Accident Lawsuits
While there are no caps on lawsuits filed against individuals, there may be compensation caps for claims against government entities. If your claim is against the Delaware government, such as the state or a municipality, call our office immediately to discuss your claim.
Another way your compensation can be limited in a car accident claim is because of Delaware’s comparative negligence laws. If you are found to be partially at fault for the crash, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you by the judge or jury. Call us now to discuss your claim in detail.