Can I use a Maryland lawyer for an accident that happened in Delaware?
Yes. If you live in Maryland but were in an accident while you were Delaware, The Law Office of Marc Atas and Associates will represent you for your personal injury, car accident, truck accident, automobile accident, and property damage claims. While we are only licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland, we can do the following legal activities on your behalf. The Law Office of Marc Atas and Associates can resolve your car damage claim, diminished value of car claim, make sure you receive timely medical treatment, aid the insurance company in accepting liability, take statements from witnesses, obtain police reports and finally attempt to settle your claim. If we are unable to settle your claim, we will locate counsel in the appropriate state to file suit and go to court on your behalf. The attorney fee arrangement will remain the same even if additional counsel is necessary and will not result in any additional fee. The personal injury, car accident, truck accident, and automobile accident laws in Delaware are complicated. I have outlined the basic laws that apply when involved in personal injury, car accident, truck accident, or automobile accident in Delaware.
Negligence / Personal Injury
2 Years from date of injury. Discovery Rule applies.
2 Years from accrual with Discovery Rule.
SOL runs from time injury is, or should have been, discovered. See specific rules above.
Pure comparative negligence applies. Plaintiff may recover damages if not more than 50% at fault. Plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of plaintiff’s negligence.
Status of Joint and Several Liability
Delaware recognizes joint and several liability among defendants.
Standard Defenses That Should Be Raised
Delaware recognizes contributory negligence and assumption of risk. The last clear chance doctrine was abolished by the enactment of the comparative negligence statute. However, the underlying evidentiary concepts remain relevant. A party may argue the temporal factors important to the application of the last clear chance doctrine to the trier of fact, and the trier of fact may consider those factors in apportioning fault. Additionally, a defendant may attempt to persuade the trier of fact that the other party should bear a greater percentage of liability for the accident because it had the last clear chance to avoid the injury.
Allowed where act is malicious, willful, or wanton.
- Punitive damages- Standards for recovery4. Insurability of Punitive DamagesGenerally, punitive damages are insurable in Delaware.
AVAILABILITY OF UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE TO EMPLOYEE DRIVERS
The Delaware Financial Responsibility Law requires minimum insurance coverage for vehicles registered in Delaware of $15,000 for any one person and $30,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. 53 Supplemental coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists protection is mandatory in at least the minimum limits for bodily injury coverage. Property damage coverage is subject to at least a $250 deductible arising from property damage for one accident. The insured has the option to choose higher or lower coverage or deductibles. 54 Further, an insured may reject this type of coverage, however, the rejection must be written. 55
Delaware is a no-fault jurisdiction. Thus, an insurer which has provided first – party benefits has a right to recover the amount of benefits paid to the insured from the tortfeasor. 48 In addition, benefits paid under the workman’s compensation law are recoverable from the tortfeasor. 15K min DE PIP is correct, and many people have higher limits. But I have also seen PIP deductibles and the like, which are allowed under DE law.
As mentioned, in a DE MVC, the DE PIP carrier subrogates directly against the liability carrier (unless limits are exhausted in statement made by the injured party). Under DE law, the PIP carrier deals directly with the liability carrier; it is not up to the injured party to pay back their PIP carrier.
Traditionally, DE carriers have not subrogated when there is a MD loss. Lately, some carriers have started making the argument that they can extend their subrogation rights when the MVC occurred in MD. GEICO has been making this argument for some time (in some cases but not others), SF has started doing so recently, and I have one on my desk right now where Liberty Mutual is making the argument.
- SubrogationThe right to subrogation is limited to the maximum amount of the tortfeasor’s liability insurance coverage available for the injured party, after the injured party’s claim has been settled, or otherwise resolved, except that the insurer providing benefits shall be indemnified by any workman’s compensation insurer obligated to make such payments to the injured party. 49 The subrogation interest may be enforced by demanding arbitration. 50
Other Relevant Information
8 months against defendant’s estate for claims arising before death.
Breach of Contract/Bad Faith Claims
The Delaware statute of limitations for breach of contract and bad faith claims is three years. 21
- Wrongful Death/Survival ActionDelaware recognizes wrongful death actions. 12 If the decedent is survived by a spouse, parent, or child, an action may be maintained. In the event that there is no spouse, parent, or child, an action may be commenced by those persons related by blood or marriage to the decedent. 13The estate of a decedent may recover for injuries to the decedent prior to death and for the conscious pain and suffering of the decedent under Delaware’s Survival Act. 143. Seatbelt Law
Although Delaware has a mandatory seatbelt law, plaintiffs failure to wear a seat belt is not evidence of comparative or contributory negligence. 58