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Delaware Car Accident Compensation Laws

Delaware, the "First State," is one of the most densely populated states in America. Factor in its diminutive size and placement between three other states, and the importance of its car accident compensation laws to both residents and commuters who pass through via Interstate 95 and other highways cannot be understated.

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 §8107, 8119)

Limits on Damages

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 not all that unusual -- it is one of the vast majority of U.S. states to employ an "at fault" (also known as a "tort liability") system for handling car accident claims. This means that, should you be in a car accident and wish to recover damages from the other driver, you will have to prove that they were at fault for the accident.

Fault alone, however, isn't enough, as Delaware also uses a "modified comparative fault" (also known as "modified comparative negligence") cutoff for damages. This 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, of course. Damages are limited by the percentage as well -- a person 20% at fault would only recover 80% of her 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, which means Driver B can recover 80 percent of her damages, but Driver A, who is more than 50% at fault, cannot.

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 (Statute of Limitations) for filing a legal case. 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 experienced Delaware injury law attorney on strategy, the strengths of your case, and how much compensation may be available.

From FindLaw  Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

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