Putting Our Knowledge to the Test by Addressing Your Personal Injury Concerns
An injury in its own right can produce a lot of questions. Will you be okay? How long will it take to heal? How much will your recovery cost? No doubt as you pursue an injury claim, you’ll have even more concerns and questions. However, that’s where we come in. Come see how our extensive knowledge and dedication to helping our clients can help answer all of your legal questions…and then some.
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Is Financial Compensation Taxable?
Considering that individuals who were injured in accidents often struggle with a number of unexpected financial obligations, it's no wonder that one of the most common questions our attorneys receive from prospective clients is about the taxability of personal injury settlements. At the Morris James Personal Injury Group, we understand. When you're paying for accident-related medical expenses, such as doctors bills and prescription medications, the last thing you want to worry about is paying taxes on a possible financial settlement. Fortunately, most of the compensation that personal injury victims receive is not taxable. However, there are some notable exceptions to that rule. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you minimize the taxation of your settlement.
Tax Free Recovery
Money awarded to compensate a victim for bodily injuries, and related pain and suffering is usually tax free, so most of the time accident victims are not required to pay taxes on a personal injury settlement. This is because the financial settlement is intended to compensate the victim for losses caused by an injury and, as a result, is not considered “earned” income. Examples of non-taxable damages include money reserved for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress related to a physical injury
- Attorney fees
Additionally, money paid to an accident victim to cover property damage to their vehicle usually isn't taxed, as it is also considered compensation for a loss.
While, as a general rule, personal injury settlements are not taxed, there are a few notable exceptions worth mentioning. Examples of taxable settlement amounts include compensation related to:
- A breach of contract. If a breach of contract caused your injury and breach of contract was the basis of your lawsuit, the related settlement may be taxed.
- Lost wages or lost income. If a portion of your settlement was set aside for these purposes, that money is considered taxable “earned” income.
- Interest. Some states add interest to the settlement for the time period that the case was pending. Any interest earned during that time is taxable.
- Punitive damages. Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are those that are intended to punish the defendant for wanton or reckless actions, and discourage them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are always taxable and are taxed in full.
- Emotional Distress and mental anguish. If your mental and emotional problems arose from a physical injury sustained in an accident, the compensation received may be non-taxable. However, when you receive a settlement that compensates you for mental pain and emotional suffering not related to a physical injury, that compensation can be taxed.
- Interest or profit earned from invested settlement proceeds. If you invest the proceeds of your settlement in an environment where it accrues interest or results in a profit, the interest and profit from the investment is taxable.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you were injured in an accident, you may be facing a long recovery period and a seemingly-insurmountable amount of medical debt. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you pursue the compensation you need to get your life back on track. However, with so much at stake, it's important not to go it alone. A knowledgeable and reputable attorney can walk you through each step of the personal injury process and fight to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
At the Morris James Personal Injury Group, our dedicated, driven attorneys have the negotiation and litigation experience you can count on. Whether we settle your case out of court or take it all the way to trial, our skilled legal team understands the concerns surrounding the taxability of personal injury settlements and will work with you to minimize that taxation. Complete our online contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Will I have to appear in court if I file a personal injury lawsuit?
It's not uncommon for prospective clients to ask if filing a personal injury lawsuit means that they'll have to appear in court. It's understandable; the thought of having to testify in front of a judge and jury can be intimidating—particularly for those with no prior experience in a courtroom. Fortunately, the experience is often far less overwhelming than clients expect—and far less dramatic than what they've seen on popular courtroom dramas.
Also, while every case is different, many personal injury civil lawsuits can be resolved through negotiations between the involved parties' legal representatives. Oftentimes, the defendant and their attorney will offer the plaintiff a settlement to save the time and money involved with trying the case in court. So there's a chance that appearing in court may not even be necessary in your case.
However, should your case proceed to trial, you may indeed be called to court and you may even have to give testimony. That's one of the many reasons why it's so important to have the representation of a knowledgeable and skilled attorney when pursuing legal action in a personal injury case.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you were injured in an accident, the skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you fight for compensation for a wide range of damages, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. We have extensive experience negotiating fair financial settlements for our clients and are also prepared to take your case to trial, if necessary. Rest assured, if your case does go to trial, we'll be there to guide you each and every step of the way.
Reach us at any of our five Delaware law offices or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, initial consultation to discuss the details of your case. Also, for more information on the personal injury claims process, request a free copy of our eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim.
What types of cases does your law firm handle?
While some law firms handle cases from a broad range of seemingly unrelated practice areas, the Morris James Personal Injury Group offers a more focused approach, helping those who were harmed by another party's negligent actions pursue compensation for their injuries via civil lawsuits. The skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group boasts more than 80 years of combined experience in personal injury law and is adept at litigating personal injury cases, including wrongful death, auto accident, workers' compensation, dog bite, product liability, and slip-and-fall claims.
Personal injury lawsuits are a common type of civil lawsuit in Delaware. Civil lawsuits differ from criminal lawsuits in that they're brought by victims against individuals or corporations for the purpose of securing compensation for damages, rather than brought by the government against individuals for the purpose of imposing penalties for violating the law.
At the Morris James Personal Injury Group, our knowledgeable attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate legal representation that guides our clients through each and every step of the civil litigation process—from the initial filing of the complaint to its resolution.
Our law firm has extensive experience handling cases from the following personal injury practice areas:
- Wrongful death. When a loved one dies in an accident caused by another party's negligence, Delaware law allows the spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased person to file a lawsuit for the purpose of securing compensation for funeral expenses, lost income and benefits, lost child or spousal support, lost household services, and mental anguish.
- Serious injuries. Even if accident victims are fortunate enough to escape with their lives, they may still suffer serious and debilitating injuries that require extensive treatment and long, grueling recovery periods. Filing a civil lawsuit allows victims to seek a financial award that can help them pay for treatments and replace wages lost due to missed work.
- Auto accidents. Being involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident can turn a person's well-ordered world completely upside down. In addition to unexpected medical bills, auto accident victims may also have to grapple with extensive property damage to their vehicle and a devastating change of lifestyle. Fortunately, Delaware law allows accident victims to pursue compensation for these and other accident-related damages.
- Dangerous products. Despite the existence of government safety regulations, a handful of defective or otherwise potentially harmful products make their way to store shelves in the United States each year. People who have been harmed by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals, foods, food containers, childcare items, children's toys, and many other items, may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible for their injuries.
- Slip-and-fall accidents (also known as premises liability accidents). Delaware property owners have a duty to maintain their properties for the safety of the public, their tenants, or other lawful visitors. Property owners who fail to take reasonable precautions may be held liable if someone slips and falls, or is otherwise injured, due to their negligence of duty. Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows slip-and-fall accident victims to fight for the compensation to which they may be entitled.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you—or someone you love—were injured in an accident caused by another party's negligence, you may not have to bear the burden of accident-related expenses on your own. Delaware law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering related to the accident.
Contact the seasoned personal injury attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys are eager to help you explore your legal options and are committed to working with you to obtain the financial award you deserve.
Can I sue for additional compensation if I'm not satisfied with my settlement?
Faced with mounting medical bills, immediate and long-term recovery costs, property damage, and ongoing physical pain and emotional suffering, many accident victims are eager to receive a settlement that can help them heal and get their lives back to normal. However, in personal injury cases speed can be an enemy of justice. Accepting a settlement offer too quickly, or without consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney, can result in you receiving a financial award that doesn't provide the compensation you need and deserve. Some accident victims may even assume that they can sue for additional compensation if their settlement doesn't meet their needs. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Accident victims are almost always prohibited from suing the same person or party for the same issue, even if they feel they didn't receive an adequate or appropriate settlement amount. However, there are a few notable exceptions. Read on to learn more.
The inability to sue for additional compensation is governed by a legal concept known as res judicata. Latin for “a matter judged,” res judicata states that a judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction is both final and conclusive. In most cases, res judicata conclusively bars plaintiffs from bringing the same claim or demand against the same defendant a second time. This prohibition against re-litigation applies equally to both losing plaintiffs who wish to re-sue a winning defendant and winning plaintiffs who hope to re-sue a losing defendant. Res judicata is also sometimes referred to as “claim preclusion.” The fact that these cases usually can't be re-litigated makes it even more important for accident victims to ensure that they get everything right on the first go-around, and is another reason why working with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law is essential.
Notable Exceptions to Case Settlements
While res judicata is almost always absolute, there are a few notable, if rare, exceptions. Accident victims may be able to have their case litigated a second time under these limited conditions:
- The settlement agreement and release of liability was never signed. The case—and the plaintiff's ability to continue litigation—concludes as soon as the plaintiff signs the settlement agreement and liability release. Thus, it is in the plaintiff's best interest to avoid signing any documents until they've had a chance to discuss them at length with a seasoned personal injury attorney.
- You're able to get the settlement agreement set aside. If you agree to settle with an insurance company or an individual's defense attorney, but can't agree on the terms of the settlement, you may be able to have the settlement agreement set aside if the dispute is significant.
Additionally, some accident victims are under the mistaken impression that they can have their case re-litigated if they feel that their attorney gave them bad advice. In this case, the plaintiff would have to file a claim or grievance against the attorney, but would still not be able to have their case re-opened unless, perhaps, there was a legal error so glaring that it warranted the filing of a notice of appeal.
Were You Injured in an Accident in Wilmington, DE?
If you were injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, it's important not to sign anything before speaking with an attorney. The skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you resolve your claim or case. To discuss the details of your case, complete our online contact form and we'll get in touch to schedule your free initial consultation. Our valued clients come to us from all cities and towns in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County, including Camden, Clayton, Dover, Felton, Harrington, Magnolia, Smyrna, and Wyoming; New Castle County including Bear, Claymont, Hockessin, Middletown, New Castle, Newark, Pike Creek, Townsend, and Wilmington; and Sussex County including Bridgeville, Dewey Beach, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Laurel, Lewes, Milford, Millsboro, Milton, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, and Selbyville.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that can be used to the advantage of both the plaintiff and defendant in personal injury cases. The law allows potential plaintiffs to file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages—even if they were partially at fault for their injuries—but may also be deployed by the defense in a bid to reduce their financial responsibility to the victim. Thus, comparative negligence can either be seen as a saving grace or a wrench thrown into the works, depending on your culpability in the accident that caused your injuries.
Modified Comparative Negligence
When it comes to the assignment of blame in personal injury cases, Delaware subscribes to the rule of modified comparative negligence meaning that, in order to be eligible to recover damages from the defendant, the plaintiff must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. The judge—or possibly the jury—assigned to the case determines the proportionate responsibility of each party and takes that into consideration when deciding how much compensation the plaintiff can potentially recover.
Were You Injured in a Car Accident?
If you were injured in an accident in which your own negligence played a role, Delaware's comparative negligence laws may make it possible for you to still file a lawsuit and seek compensation for related damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, comparative negligence laws can just as easily be used to reduce the financial award you can receive as an accident victim.
Having knowledgeable and experienced legal representation is the best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve to get your life back on track after an accident. Contact the skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. You can also request a free copy of our eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim for additional information.
How Long Will My Case Take?
“How long will my personal injury case take?” is one of the most common questions our firm receives from prospective clients. With so much hanging in the balance—such as recovery from serious injuries, mounting medical debt, property damage, lost wages, and more—we can certainly understand why the length of litigation would be of top concern for accident victims.
The truth of the matter is that the length of litigation varies widely from case to case and hinges on a variety of factors, including the circumstances surrounding the injury, the severity of the damages, and the complexity of the case.
While it would be difficult—if not impossible—for a personal injury attorney to accurately predict how long litigation would take without first discussing the specific details of your case, the skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group is dedicated to helping you resolve the matter as quickly and fairly as possible.
Factors That Can Affect the Length of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The length of a personal injury lawsuit can range from months to years, depending on a number of factors working in concert, such as:
- Circumstances of the accident. If the circumstances surrounding the accident are unclear and the fault is in dispute, the case may take longer to resolve. However, if the conditions of the accident are well documented and the fault is undisputed, the case may have a faster conclusion.
- Nature and prognosis of the injuries. Very severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and other permanently disabling conditions tend to complicate a case, extending its length. However, when a personal injury case is delayed for medical reasons, it's often to the plaintiff's benefit.
- Involvement of significant damages. In cases where the financial award would be significant, insurers will meticulously investigate every aspect of the personal injury claim before making an offer. This type of investigation may take quite a while—sometimes, this is intentional.
- Involved parties. If you go up against a powerful corporation or insurance company alone, you may find that the company is slow to offer a fair settlement or refuse to offer a settlement at all. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney can help level the playing field.
- Case goes to trial. If the case can't be negotiated and settled out of court, it will have to proceed to trial, which can extend the lawsuit considerably. It can take up to six months or longer for the case to get on the court docket and the trial itself can take days, weeks, or months—depending on the complexity of the case.
Accepting a Fast Settlement May Be Detrimental
Corporations and insurance companies know that, in many cases, accident victims desperately need a financial settlement to get their lives back on track. As a result, the company may attempt to wait a victim out before eventually offering a low-ball settlement in the hopes that the victim will accept less than what they deserve. While it can be difficult to wait for the case to be resolved through legal negotiation or a trial, if you can afford to wait, doing so will often be in your best interest for the following reasons:
- Severe injuries. If you were severely injured in the accident, it's best to wait until your injuries have been treated and you've reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI)—meaning that the full extent of your injuries have been determined. If you settle too soon and other accident-related health issues occur later on, you won't be able to seek compensation for them.
- Unfair settlement offers. The financial award offered in short settlements can vary dramatically, but is frequently much less than what would have been obtained at trial. The amount can range from as much as 35 percent of what you would have gotten at trial to as little as five percent. Before accepting a low-ball offer in a short settlement, it's wise to consult a skilled personal injury attorney.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you were in an accident and considering legal action to pursue compensation for your injuries, a seasoned and reputable personal injury attorney can help represent you and your interests. Contact the Morris James Personal Injury Group today to schedule a free initial consultation. We're happy to address any questions and concerns you may have. In the meantime, request a free copy of our eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim for more information.
What is Gross Negligence?
Not all negligence is created equal. Under Delaware's personal injury law, there are different types of negligence. If you were a victim of the more severe form of negligence—known as gross negligence—you may be entitled to additional damages.
In personal injury cases, traditional negligence is when an individual or corporation fails to uphold a reasonable standard of care, resulting in injuries, whereas Delaware law defines gross negligence as “conduct that constitutes reckless indifference or actions that are outside the bounds of reason.”
Gross negligence differs from traditional negligence in that the alleged party is thought to have acted recklessly, despite knowing that their actions were likely to cause harm or injury. As a result, accidents that involve gross negligence often have serious and devastating consequences for victims. These consequences can vary by situation, but often include the issues below.
Consequences of Gross Negligence
- Physical and emotional injuries
- Medical debt
- Property damage
- Loss of wages due to missed work
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Fortunately, Delaware law gives accident victims legal recourse to pursue compensation for these and other damages.
Were You a Victim of Gross Negligence?
If you—or someone you love—were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by another person's grossly negligent actions, filing a personal injury lawsuit may make it possible for you to seek compensation for damages sustained in the accident. However, in order for your lawsuit to be successful, you and your legal counsel will have to prove that there was gross negligence by showing that the alleged negligent party owed you a duty of care, failed to exercise that care, and did so knowing that their actions could cause harm.
When there's so much at stake, you can't afford to go it alone. Working with a reputable and experienced Wilmington, DE personal injury attorneys give you and your case the best chance of receiving a positive resolution.
Contact the skilled legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. In the meantime, if you have questions about a potential personal injury lawsuit, request a free copy of our eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim.
Our Delaware Personal Injury Law Offices can be found in any of these locations:
Why should I hire an attorney?
Being involved in a serious accident can throw your entire world into chaos and leave you with a lot to consider, including whether taking legal action is appropriate. If you do decide to exercise your legal rights and pursue compensation for injuries sustained in an accident that was caused by another person's negligence, you may find yourself wondering if it's really necessary to hire an attorney to represent you. While the short and technical answer to that question is “no,” there are many instances where hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is not only wise, but offers you the best possible chance of achieving a successful outcome in your case.
When to Hire an Attorney
If the injuries and property damage caused by the accident aren't serious—and you have the time and inclination to research the legal claims process—you may be able to file a claim with the insurance company yourself. However, if your personal injury case is more complex than that, hiring an attorney may be in your best interest. Accident victims should consider obtaining legal representation when the following factors apply:
- Disputed fault or refusal to pay. An insurance company may try to reduce its liability by disputing fault, claiming that the policyholder wasn't at fault for the accident, or that there is a lack of evidence necessary to prove fault. The insurance company may also refuse to offer you a settlement or a fair settlement amount.
- Serious, long-term, or permanently disabling injuries. If the injuries you sustained in the accident were serious or resulted in a long-term or permanent disability, you may be facing a mountain of unexpected medical debt and a long, grueling road to recovery.
- Lost wages or loss of earning potential. If your injuries were serious enough that they caused you to miss work, you may desperately need compensation for the wages you lost during your recovery. Likewise, if your injuries forced you into a lower-paying position, you may need the difference in those wages to maintain your standard of living.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
There are a number of clear benefits that come with hiring an attorney to represent you in your personal injury case. First and foremost, being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney who routinely handles accident and injury cases may be the best possible way to level the playing field when going head-to-head with an insurance company's corporate counsel. When you hire a reputable personal injury attorney, you're dealing with a professional who is well-versed in the laws and procedural rules that are relevant to your case, and has a commitment to seeing that justice is done.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can also save you a lot of time and effort. There's a lot of work that goes into seeing a personal injury claim from filing to completion. Unless you can set aside the necessary time to juggle things such as witness statements, police reports, medical documentation and the like, you might be better off having an attorney investigate, organize, and present the case on your behalf.
Finally—and perhaps most importantly—an attorney can advocate for you, helping you to navigate the complex and often frustrating world of insurance claims and settlements.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
There's a lot at stake when you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for things such as medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, or pain and suffering. It would be unfortunate and all too easy for an accident victim's lack of familiarity with personal injury law to result in them receiving a settlement that's less than what they deserve if they choose to serve as their own representation.
Don't let yourself be short-changed—Morris James Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. You can also request a copy of our free informative eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim.
What are the car insurance requirements in Delaware?
While every state requires drivers to carry auto insurance, each state is free to set its own mandates for type of coverage, monetary limits, penalties for lack of coverage, and other issues related to auto insurance.
How Auto Insurance Policies Work
Auto insurance policies are intended to protect all drivers in case of an accident. Accident victims can obtain compensation to heal physically and financially after an injury, and those responsible can protect their own financial interests. When you pay the premium on an auto insurance policy, the insurance company will cover any damages after an accident, shielding a driver from possible financial ruin. Typically, your auto insurance policy will have a deductible—a specific amount you pay out-of-pocket when your insurer has to pay for an accident. Your deductible can be as little or as much as you specify when you begin your relationship with your insurance company. Typically, a policy with a higher deductible will have a lower premium, or monthly payment.
Auto Insurance Minimums Required by Delaware Law
The amount of money your policy is worth can depend on where you live. While it is ultimately up to the insured to decide how large of an auto insurance policy they’d like to purchase, the state of Delaware does require at least minimum amounts and different types of coverage, including:
- Bodily Injury Protection – This covers the injury or death of another person in an accident. Delaware minimums are:
- $15,000 to one person
- $30,000 to all people involved in an accident, with no more than $15,000 to any one person
- Property Damage – This covers damage to another’s property from an accident, such as a car, personal property inside a vehicle, or any other items that are damaged as a direct result of the accident. Delaware minimums are:
- $10,000 for one accident
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – In Delaware, regardless of fault, your insurance will pay for medical expenses and lost wages by you and your passengers. Delaware minimums are:
- $15,000 to one person
- $30,000 to all people involved in an accident, with no more than $15,000 to any one person
- $5,000 for funeral expenses
These amounts are the minimum coverage required, and drivers can, and should, elect to pay for more coverage if they wish. State law does mandate auto insurance coverage, though, and the penalties for driving without insurance can be severe, including steep fines and loss of driving privileges.
Optional Coverage for Additional Protection for Delaware Drivers
While the state does not require that drivers carry any additional insurance other than what is stated above, insurance companies do typically offer other types of coverage for a number of situations. These optional coverages can include:
- Collision – Collision coverage would pay for the damage done to your car in a crash with another object.
- Comprehensive – Comprehensive coverage would pay for damage from almost any other reason outside a crash, including fire, severe weather, theft, and more.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage would protect you if you are involved in a hit and run accident or an accident with a driver who does not carry adequate insurance.
Other optional coverage can include rental car reimbursement, vehicle towing and repair coverage, and underinsured bodily injury coverage.
Dealing With Delaware Insurance Companies After an Accident
With respect to auto insurance, Delaware is an at-fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for the accident-related expenses of anyone else involved.
In many cases the at-fault driver and/or his insurance company will dispute the claim of responsibility in an attempt to minimize the financial consequences. The insurance company will look for any way to keep from paying accident victims the full amount they are due, so it is important for victims to act quickly to protect their rights.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Delaware car accident, the experienced lawyers at the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you work with your insurance company or negotiate with the responsible driver’s to achieve the best outcome possible. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can answer your questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
- Bodily Injury Protection – This covers the injury or death of another person in an accident. Delaware minimums are:
What compensation can I seek after an accident in Delaware?
After an accident or injury, victims often have many worries. Usually, their main concern is their health. Receiving proper medical care and therapies to support recovery should be the most important focus. However, the injuries and that treatment can leave an accident victim unable to work. Faced with a loss of income and mounting medical bills, victims are often worried about how they will meet their financial obligations. During what is already a difficult time, victims should not have to worry about whether they will be able to continue to receive medical care or wonder how they will support their families until they can return to work. To that end, the state of Delaware allows victims to file a personal injury claim against those responsible for their accident and resulting injuries. These claims seek compensation to help victims and their families to receive appropriate medical treatment and continue to live a stable, secure life.
What Kind of Compensation Can Delaware Victims Obtain?
To be awarded compensation, victims must show how they have been harmed specifically. There are a number of distinct categories in which the courts can award monetary settlements. These encompass both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical bills. Any medical bills related to the accident can be covered, including hospital stays, medications, therapies, and even modifications necessary to a vehicle or home.
- Future medical bills. In some cases, the injury sustained in the accident leads to a long-term health problem or permanent disability. The courts can assess what the victim will likely have to pay over the course of the next many years and award corresponding compensation.
- Lost income. When the injury prevents a victim from working, the victim can lose valuable income. As with medical bills, a victim can receive compensation for future lost wages as well, should the injury diminish his ability to earn income in the future.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering compensation falls under the non-economic damages. These damages are intended to offer the victim some coverage for the physical and emotional pain he suffered in the accident and during the course of recovery.
- Punitive damages. These damages are meant as punishment to the responsible party and to deter future bad behavior.
For each area, the court will examine the facts of the case and the situation of the victim to determine if they are eligible for compensation. As an example, injured persons who are in a Delaware registered car will probably have access to personal injury protection coverage.People with this coverage will have access to wages and medical bills up to the two year period following the accident. Every case is different, and a skilled Wilmington, DE personal injury attorneys can work with a victim to prepare a comprehensive view of their needs and injuries to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Additionally, if the victim dies as a result of his injuries, his surviving family members may be able to obtain compensation.
To determine an award or a settlement offer, the courts and the insurance companies examine a number of factors. The economic damages can be fairly straightforward to calculate. How much are the medical bills? How much are they likely to cost in the future? How much income was the victim earning? Non-economic damages are not as clear-cut, and there is often the negotiation between the victim and the insurance company when discussing a settlement. Again, with the help of a skilled attorney, victims can negotiate with insurance companies to find a number they feel is appropriate for the severity of the injuries.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, you are entitled to fair compensation under the law. Don’t let insurance companies undermine your medical care or your family’s future. Call the Morris James Personal Injury Group today to talk with a member of our team and learn more about your rights in Delaware.