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Three Things You Should Know About Accidents and Car Insurance in Delaware:

September 18, 2018

 

1. Delaware is a "No-Fault" state

 

Delaware’s no-fault insurance is known as “Personal Injury Protection” or commonly referred to as “PIP”.  PIP pays medical bills, lost wages, and substitute services regardless of who is at fault in the motor vehicle accident.

 

2.Delaware Courts Use a “Modified Comparative Fault” System

 

If you are injured in a car accident in Delaware, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury from the other driver even if you were partially at fault. This is because Delaware is a “modified comparative fault” state.

The modified comparative fault rule kicks in when the parties involved in an accident fail to come to an agreeable settlement and the case moves to a civil court. After hearing the evidence, a jury will determine both the monetary worth of your damages (including your medical bills, lost wages in excess of PIP, pain and suffering) and the extent to which each driver was at fault. If the jury finds that you are 20 percent at fault, for example, you will receive the compensation the jury determined, minus 20 percent of the total award. If you were, on the other hand, 30 percent at fault, you would only receive 70 percent of the award determined by the jury.

The rule applies up until a situation where the jury finds you to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. In that case, you would be unable to recover damages.

 

3. Delaware drivers must carry insurance that offers, at a minimum, the following types and amounts of coverage:

 

$25,000 per person for death or bodily injury,

$50,000 per accident

 

$10,000 per accident for damage to someone else’s property, including buildings.

 

Drivers whose vehicles are registered in states other than Delaware are required to have auto insurance that provides these minimum amounts of coverage if they drive in Delaware, but they do not have to have a separate Delaware auto insurance policy.

 

Drivers may buy policies with higher limits, if they want to, but they are only required to carry the minimum limits listed above. The penalties for not carrying auto insurance in Delaware include fines of up to $3,000.

 

Despite these minimum limit requirements, it is highly recommended to purchase insurance above the minimum limits to protect you, your occupants, and blood relatives residing in your household if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

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