Picture this situation. You are driving your car 35 m.p.h in a 25 m.p.h. zone. You have the green light and are proceeding through an intersection. To your right you notice another car that is going straight through a red light and it collides with the right front portion of your car. You are severely injured and suffered broken bones, a concussion, and serious neck and back pain. Do you have the right to sue the other driver of the car?
Collecting for Auto Accidents Even if You Are Partly At Fault
The law works in the following way: your recovery for pain and suffering is simply decreased by the amount of your negligence. Thus, in the above situation, if you were 5% responsible for causing the accident (speeding through the intersection), your recovery would be reduced only 5%. Under the prior law, you could receive nothing. The only requirement of the law is that you not be at least 50% at fault in causing the accident.
And even if you are partly at fault, your insurance company, in most cases, is required to pay for your medical expenses and your lost wages up to the limits of the policy. These protections, called Personal Injury Protection or P.I.P. for short, are in all Delaware automobile insurance policies. However, any claim that you may make for pain, suffering, inconvenience, or permanent injury must be made to the other driver’s insurance company.
Under your P.I.P. protections, a fund of money with minimum coverage of $15,000.00 is available to pay for your lost wages and your medical expenses. If your lost wages or medical expenses are higher than this sum, the additional funds would have to be paid by the other driver’s insurance company. You are entitled to your P.I.P. benefits whether or not you were at fault in causing the accident.
Call a Wilmington Attorney to Learn about Comparative Negligence in Car Accidents
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you should see an attorney immediately. Many times, an insurance company will present a release to you for settlement of either your P.I.P. claim or your claim against the other driver’s insurance company. These releases have specific legal ramifications which could preclude you from securing proper recovery. Therefore, never sign a release with the insurance company before seeking the advice of an attorney.
Normally, attorneys charge a “contingency fee.” This fee provides that the attorney will not receive a fee unless he or she recovers benefits for you. The attorney’s fee will come out of those benefits secured. Most times, attorneys will assist clients in preparation of their P.I.P. claim without any additional fee to the client. So if you have been involved in an automobile accident, be sure to seek legal advice before resolving your claim.