Delaware Auto Accident Lawyers
Being the victim of a serious auto accident is something no one ever thinks can happen to them in Delaware. Whether you are going to work, running an errand or headed to a family function tragic events such as serious, and fatal, car accidents, trucking accidents and motorcycle accidents are things that happen to others. The truth is that there are dozens of serious traffic accidents every day and more than 2 traffic accident caused deaths each week in the state of Delaware. They can happen to you and if you are the victim of an auto accident you need the help of a skilled auto accident attorney serving the New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware areas.
The Newark Delaware auto accident lawyers at Schuster Jachetti, LLP handle a multitude of cases involving automobile, motorcycle and truck accidents. These cases range from accidents involving modest injuries to those in which wrongful death and catastrophic injuries are the result.
If you or someone you know was killed or seriously injured in a car, motorcycle or truck accident in Delaware, contact one of our Delaware car accident attorneys at Schuster Jachetti, LLP for a free consultation. Please fill out the email contact form to the right side of this screen or call our office in Wilmington, Delaware (302-984-1000), Smyrna, Delaware (302-659-6577). In Sussex County dial (302) 856-2400.
Delaware Auto Accident Statistics
In 2014 in the United States, nearly three million people suffer injuries and more than 32,000 are killed as the result of automobile accidents. Of these deaths 121 occurred in a total of 106 Delaware auto accidents.
Lawsuits handled by Schuster Jachetti auto accident attorneys in the Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania region have resulted in very large, and very favorable, verdicts and settlements for their clients and their families. Let them do the same for you and your family.
Benefits In Delaware Auto Accident Claims
After an accident, your vehicle will be declared to be either repairable or “totaled,” meaning that is does not make economic sense to repair the car. When the car is repairable, the insurance company and a body shop may come to an agreed price, sometimes without a separate estimate being required. Their obligation to you is to repair the vehicle in its “pre-accident condition.”
Under Delaware law, a vehicle is totaled if the cost of the repair exceeds the “fair market value” of the vehicle, sometimes called the “actual cash value.” If the car is totaled, you are entitled to the value of the car immediately before the accident, less its salvage value. The value is determined by the use of trade books and market surveys of local car dealerships. This value is not what you paid for the car, what it will cost to repair, or the amount of money you have put into the vehicle. The value will also be reduced by any old damage or wear and tear that existed before the accident.
You may be subject to a deductible, but if you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance company may assist in getting the deductible back to you later. If you purchased rental coverage or were not at fault, you may be entitled to a rental while repairs are being made or while “total loss” negotiations are going on.
Medical Bills And Lost Wages
If you are injured while traveling in an automobile insured in the State of Delaware, either as a driver or passenger, your medical bills must be paid by the company that insured the car in which you are traveling.
If you are unable to work because of your injuries, that same insurance company must also pay your lost wages.
Delaware requires every motor vehicle registered in this state to have “no-fault” insurance. Under no-fault coverage, the insurance company that insures the care you are in at the time of the accident must pay your medical bills and lost wages, no matter who caused the accident.
This insurance company must pay your medical bills and wages for the first two years after the accident. Medical bills include treatment devices, prescriptions, expenses for doctors, hospitals, dentists, chiropractors, surgery, x-rays, ambulances, and nurses. It is important to note that the wages or self-employment income you are entitled to are based on your net earnings, not your gross.
Pain And Suffering
In addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, you are entitled to monetary damages for the physical, mental and emotional effects of your injuries, often referred to as “pain and suffering.” Physical injuries may impair your ability to engage in your normal activities of daily living, both for work and pleasure. Physical impairment may be temporary or permanent, and is often accompanied by mental and emotional distress associated with being deprived of the pleasure and enjoyment of fully participating in your normal activities of daily living.
Even if the driver at fault in your accident was not insured, you can still pursue a claim for pain and suffering through your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. Damages for pain and suffering are difficult to measure without the expertise of a qualified personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney dedicated to your case can be your greatest resource in making sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
What To Do At The Accident Scene
- Stop your car, no matter how minor you may think the accident is.
- Assist any injured person in the automobile collision by calling for an ambulance. Unless you have specific medical or EMS training, you should not move an injured person.
- Call the police.
- Identify the driver or drivers of the automobiles involved in the automobile collision. Be certain that you get the other driver’s address, telephone number, and insurance information. Write down the license plate numbers of the other vehicles.
- Identify any witnesses to the automobile accident. As soon as possible, get the names, addresses, and/or phone numbers from any witnesses to the accident. Many times witnesses will stop at the scene to see if they can be of assistance. However, they have a tendency to leave the accident scene without leaving their names or phone numbers. These witnesses may be critical to your claim and obtaining their identity would be very helpful in the event that legal action is taken.
- Protect the scene, if it is safe to do so. You are usually best off not moving the vehicles until the police have arrived. In this regard, use common sense.
- While you are waiting for the police to arrive and before you leave the scene of the accident that day, and to the extent that your medical condition allows you to do so, you or someone from your family should write down the time and place, the weather and road conditions and even a diagram showing the relative positions of the vehicles and the directions from which they were coming or located at the time of the accident. This type of information or any writing that you create should not be given to anyone other than your attorney.
- Do not make any comments at the scene of the accident to other persons as to how the accident happened, estimates of speeds or any other comments concerning the matter. Comments by you at the scene of the accident will never be helpful to you, many times may involve speculation, and may be used against you in the event of a lawsuit.
- Cooperate with the police at the scene of the accident. Speak to the police officer about the accident. Answer questions posed by a police officer honestly and concisely.
- If you have not been taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance, make sure that you go to an emergency room or to a physician for an evaluation immediately. It is always wise to be examined even when you think you are not injured. Sometimes the adrenaline that is released from the stress caused by the accident can hide the full extent of injuries. There may be internal injuries that you may not be aware of. Be certain to tell the physicians and nurses that you have been involved in an auto accident and describe anything that you are feeling that you think is unusual no matter how minor you think it is. Doctors may recognize your complaints as a symptom of a more serious problem. Be sure also to let physicians and nurses know of any older injuries that you might have that may have been aggravated by the trauma of the accident.
- Listen carefully while at the scene of the accident. Listen to anything and everything that the other drivers or witnesses say. What they say can be of information to you, might help you ultimately in any lawsuit and if they admit they are at fault to the accident in words such as “they did not see you,” “they were driving too fast,” or just a simple apology for being at fault, make sure you make a written notation of that as soon as practically possible.
- Photographs of the damage to vehicles are very important. If possible, have someone from your family take photographs of your automobile and the areas of damage to your car. Take photographs from a number of different angles, close up, and from a distance.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene. As soon as practical, you should go back to the accident scene and take photographs if traffic conditions make it safe to do so. Be sure to include landmarks such as signs or buildings so that it can easily discern what the pictures show later. If there are skid marks, damages to trees or shrubberies, or if there are any parts of the car that are still left on the ground, take photographs of all of these areas.
- Take photographs of the other driver’s car. Most of the time, the police accident report will identify the destination to which both cars have been towed. If both cars have been towed and if they are at a certain body and fender shop or towing shop, take photographs of the automobiles, if possible.
- Report the automobile accident to your insurance company. Call your insurance company about the accident even if you think the other driver is at fault. In order to protect your rights to insurance coverage, your insurance company is entitled to be notified by you of the accident, about the extent of injuries to you or your passengers, and the damage to the automobile. It may be advisable that you speak with an attorney before you provide your insurance company with recorded statements or written statements. In any event, please know that you have a duty to notify your insurance company.
- Never give a recorded statement to the insurance company that insures the other driver’s automobile. No recorded statement to employees, representatives, investigators for the insurance company that insures the car that collided with you.
Delaware No-Fault Insurance Laws
Laws regarding who is ultimately responsible for personal injury and property damages are dictated by the state in which the accident occurred. The State of Delaware has a law pertaining to No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance. This law provides that your insurance carrier will pay your medical bills as well as lost wages due to the accident. This law also mandates that your insurance applies these same benefits to all occupants in your automobile at time of accident.
Length Of Benefits
In Delaware your automobile insurance policy will cover your expenses for up to 24 months. Your insurance company may also elect to send you to a doctor of its choice. If that healthcare provider determines that your medical treatment is no longer reasonable or necessary, or that you can return to work, your benefits could be terminated.
Even though Delaware has a No-Fault law you are still entitled to file a claim or lawsuit for pain & suffering and/or bodily injury against the person who is at fault regarding the accident. This applies even if you reside in a state with limited tort or verbal threshold laws. An experienced Delaware auto accident lawyer can help determine any and all compensation you are entitled to under Delaware law.
Contact Our Wilmington Delaware Car Accident Lawyers
By all means please call a Seaford, Delaware auto accident attorney at Schuster Jachetti LLP. Our number in Wilmington, Delaware is (302) 984-1000. In Smyrna, Delaware dial (302) 659-6577. If your auto accident happened in the Milford, Delaware or Millsboro, Delaware areas dial (302) 659-6577. In the Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach or Lewes, DE areas dial (302) 856-2400. A consultation with our Delaware auto accident lawyers can very be helpful to you and your family. In order to be properly advised, you should consult our team of Wilmington Delaware auto accident injury attorneys as soon as possible.
Our team of Delaware car accident lawyers, personal injury attorneys and workers’ compensation lawyers serve all of Delaware including Wilmington, Greenville, Fairfax, Talleyville, Newark, New Castle, Bear, Glasgow, Pike Creek, Hockessin, Middletown, Odessa, Townsend, Dover, Milford, Harrington, Delmar, Greenwood, Laurel, Seaford, Dagsboro, Frankford, Georgetown, Milton, Millsboro, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island and Ocean View, Delaware.