Delaware Car Accident Overview
On a map, the small state of Delaware may appear unimportant and unimpressive. After all, the state only has 925,000 residents (according to a 2013 census). However, this tiny state has facts and attractions that can amaze and surprise. For example, one 2013 study found that Delaware had the ninth-highest number of millionaires per capita of all states in the United States. Dover Air Force Base near Dover, Delaware is one of the largest Air Force bases in the nation and serves as the place where service-members and some government workers who die overseas reenter the United States.
Delaware may also surprise nonresidents because of the number of car crashes that occur on the state’s roads each year. While this does not make Delaware a terrible place to live or visit, it does mean that motorists should exercise care when traveling. The more care and caution a driver exercises, the less likely it is that he or she will be seriously injured or killed in a Delaware car crash.
Delaware Accident Statistics
Each year the Delaware State Police release a report that summarizes the traffic data and statistics from the previous year. This information is made available to the public and can be used by policymakers to decide what chances (if any) need to be made to the state’s laws. The information can also be used by concerned motorists who are interested to know how dangerous roadways in the state are becoming. Statistics from 2015 show that:
- In Delaware, 584,731 licensed drivers drove a total of 9,761,000,000 miles;
- A total of 24,066 traffic collisions of all types (fatal, injury, and property damage) were reported;
- Over 130 people were killed in traffic crashes and another 8,058 were injured to some extent because of car crashes in Delaware;
- The Delaware State Police estimate that the economic loss to the state for all of these traffic accidents and fatalities topped $640 million.
However, what is truly shocking about these statistics is the fact that many of the injuries and fatalities reported did not have to happen. Car crashes in Delaware and elsewhere in the United States are caused in large part by drivers who make poor decisions behind the wheel. Instead of driving in a reasonably careful manner, they choose to text and drive, eat or apply makeup, drink and drive, or disregard speed limits and other traffic laws. This makes the likelihood of a car accident occurring that much higher.
Delaware is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State
Delaware requires residents who wish to drive in the state to carry an auto insurance policy to compensate other motorists who may be injured if that insured resident causes a car crash. Policies in Delaware are “fault based,” meaning they will pay injured motorists up to the policy’s limits if it is clear that the insured motorist was at fault for causing the car crash.
Where fault is not clear, or where the compensation offered by the insurance company to the injury victim is insufficient for that injury victim to meet the expenses and losses he or she experienced as a result of the crash, the victim may choose to file a car crash lawsuit. A victim will be successful if he or she shows that the other, at-fault driver engaged in negligent or careless behavior that caused the crash and the victim’s injuries. An injury victim is able to recover compensation so long as he or she is less than 51 percent responsible for causing the crash him- or herself.
Deadlines to File Car Crash Lawsuits in Delaware
If an injury victim wishes to file a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation, such lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Otherwise, the lawsuit will be dismissed and the injury victim will not be entitled to recover any compensation at all for his or her injuries, regardless of how responsible the at-fault driver was in causing the crash. While there are a few exceptions to this two-year time limit, the exceptions are very narrow in application and will usually not apply in the case of car accident lawsuits.
Contact a Delaware Car Accident Lawyer Today
The road to recovery after a car crash in Delaware or elsewhere begins by obtaining information from an experienced car crash attorney about your legal rights and the steps you need to take to assert these rights. Injured motorists and passengers as well as their families can look with confidence to Stern Law, PLLC for advice and guidance in the days and months following a car crash. Attorney Ken Stern is dedicated to helping injured victims recover the compensation they need to put their lives back in order after a crash and will walk with victims every step of the way. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for assistance with your case.