Delaware Personal Injury Overview
The general principles of personal injury law are the same throughout the country, but important details are very different in each state, and Delaware is no exception.
Many types of cases are included in personal injury including, but not limited to:
Elements of fault
Determining who is at fault is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, you will need to prove negligence in order to prove fault. Negligence consists of four elements:
- The person who caused your injuries owed you a duty
- The person failed to uphold that duty
- That failure caused your injuries
- You suffered damages
If you were injured by a defective product, the maker of the product may be held responsible under strict liability rather than negligence. Under strict liability you must prove that:
- The product was unreasonably dangerous, even if used properly
- You did, indeed, use the product as it was intended to be used
- The product caused your injury
- You suffered damages
Even if you were partly at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. Delaware follows what is called “modified comparative negligence.” If you were 50% or more to blame for your accident, you cannot receive compensation. But if you are 49% or less responsible, the person who caused your injuries can be held responsible for the percentage of damages equal to their percentage of fault.
Time limit for filing
Every state has a time limit for filing a lawsuit called the statute of limitations. In Delaware the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years. The two year period is calculated in different ways depending on the type of case, and certain types of lawsuit have a shorter time limit.
For more in depth information about time limits in Delaware read our Delaware Statute of Limitations page.
Compensation for your injury which you may be entitled to in Delaware includes:
- Lost wages, including time off work to attend medical appointments
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Permanent disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Interference with family relationships
- Property damage
- Other costs incurred as a direct result of your injury
When there are two or more responsible parties in Delaware, several liability applies. This means that you must collect the compensation you are awarded individually from each responsible party. Each responsible party is responsible for their share of the damages only. No party can be held responsible for another party’s failure to pay.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you live in Delaware and believe you have a personal injury claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Delaware to evaluate your claim.