Delaware Car Accident Lawyers Protecting Clients Injured in Crashes
We depend on our cars for so many aspects of our life: getting to work, buying groceries, visiting family and friends, and going on vacation, just to name a few. But every day, hundreds of people across the country are badly injured in car crashes. In just a split second, your life can change dramatically. Being involved in an auto accident can have a severe impact on your physical and mental well-being. Moreover, the insurance issues relating to who pays for your property damage, health care, lost wages, and permanent injuries can be very complicated. If you are involved in a Delaware car accident, our personal injury attorneys at Hudson, Castle, & Inkell, LLC, can help you navigate the legal system and get you the benefits and compensation you are entitled to. Do not feel pressured to take the settlement offered to you by the insurance company, as you may be eligible for much more to cover your expenses resulting from the accident. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer: (302) 428-8800.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident, the safety of you and your loved ones should always come first. Call 911 to get medical help if there are injuries and follow the directions and advice of any medical responders. If you have neck or back injuries, stay in your car if you are able and do not move until you are cleared by medical staff to do so. Only after you are all safe and if you are physically able, then take these steps:
- Call the police: If they are not already present, call them so they can come to the scene and file an accident report with statements and photos. Get a copy of the Driver Information Exchange Form from them, so you or your lawyer can request a copy of the police report later.
- Get insurance information from the other driver(s): Collect the insurance company’s name, their policy number, and the company’s phone number.
- Take photos: If it is safe, take as many photos of the accident scene as you can. Make sure to get different angles. Videos are also useful.
- Collect witness information: Record names, phone numbers, and addresses of any eyewitnesses.
- Call your insurance company: When you get home or to a safe place, make an accident report and write down the claim number and the name of the adjuster assigned to your case. You can request an application for personal injury protection benefits, also known as PIP benefits, at this time.
- Call a car accident lawyer: Having a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident can relieve some of the stress of the situation, and they will advise you on any further actions you need to take.
- If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you: Do not give a statement or accept any type of settlement. Take down their name, phone number, and claim number and tell them you are consulting a lawyer.
Be sure to always seek medical attention after an auto accident, even if you don’t feel injured. There could be injuries to your body that aren’t immediately apparent due to shock or adrenaline. Never tell anyone at the scene that you are ok, and remember to not discuss who may be at fault for the accident. This includes not apologizing to the other driver, witnesses, or the responding officers. This could be used as evidence against you later if you file a lawsuit. If you contact a personal injury lawyer, they can advise you and ensure that you don’t say anything which could harm your case. They can also help you with filing paperwork, getting your car fixed or finding a rental, and handling correspondence with the insurance companies if you are uncertain about where to begin with these tasks.
What Injuries Can Occur From a Car Accident?
Thousands of car accidents happen across the U.S. every day. Even with all the safety measures present in modern cars, car crashes can be catastrophic to the human body. An auto accident can leave a person with chronic pain or permanently disabled and, in the worst cases, can result in fatalities. Some of the most common examples of car accident injuries are:
- Back, head, and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Severed limbs
- Traumatic brain injury
If the car accident is serious enough, death may occur. Survivors may incur massive medical bills from hospital stays, surgery, rehab, and home health care. They will likely lose wages from missing work while they are healing and may lose their income entirely if they are no longer able to work. Even a seemingly minor accident can snowball into a financial crisis. This is why it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer who will fight to get you justice and compensation.
What Factors Can Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?
Determining fault is important in car accident claims and in any personal injury claim because it is key in deciding the viability of the case and how much may be awarded. Delaware law has modified comparative negligence laws to determine fault and apportion damages. This means that each party in the car crash is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. As long as you are 50% or less at fault for the auto accident, you are still eligible for compensation, although the amount you will receive decreases as your fault increases. Of course, insurance companies will attempt to place most or all of the fault on you in order to avoid having to pay anything for the car accident. This is why it is important to consult a knowledgeable car accident lawyer who will investigate your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
When determining whether a driver was negligent, courts look at a number of factors. These are related to safe driving and the rules of the road. Factors that can indicate negligence may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals.
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions.
- Driving above the speed limit.
- Driving on the incorrect side of the roadway.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Failing to signal for a turn.
- Operating a vehicle recklessly.
- Merging incorrectly.
What Compensation May a Car Accident Victim Receive?
A car accident can lead to high medical expenses, missed time at work due to recovery, chronic pain, and a whole host of other difficulties. Insurance may pay for some of your financial losses, but because they are for-profit companies, they will try to pay the least amount they can. Personal injury lawsuits are meant to hold those responsible accountable. If someone else was partially or entirely at fault for the accident, you might be eligible to receive compensation from a lawsuit. This may even be the case if it was a single-car crash; for example, your vehicle may have malfunctioned, leading to the accident, and the manufacturer could be held liable.
There are two main types of damages a personal injury attorney may recover for you. The first is out-of-pocket compensatory damages. These are meant to compensate you for tangible financial losses that occurred as a result of your injury. Examples of this kind of compensation include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Transportation costs to and from doctor visits
- Medical insurance copays
- Physical therapy
- Vehicle and property replacement or repair
The second type of damages that may be recovered in a personal injury claim is general compensatory damages. These are a bit harder to quantify because they are non-monetary losses you suffered from the car accident. Examples of general compensatory damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Future medical bills
- Loss of future earning potential
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
In some rare cases of particularly egregious negligent behavior by the defendant, the court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to dissuade others from acting in the same manner as the defendant.
Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been involved in a Delaware car accident, you deserve to have someone on your side to be your advocate for your recovery. The personal injury law attorneys at Hudson, Castle, & Inkell, LLC, have over 50 years combined experience representing car accident injury victims. They have the knowledge and experience to educate you on the benefits and recovery sources that may be available to you. Moreover, their combined years of experience have proven successful time and time again in advocating for their clients when dealing with car insurance companies, whose goal is to pay you as little as possible for your claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash, Hudson, Castle, & Inkell, LLC can help you get the maximum compensation. Our car accident attorneys will provide you with a free consultation. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so we charge you nothing unless we win or settle. Please call our law firm at (302) 428-8800 to schedule a no-obligation case consultation.