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Understanding Negligence Laws in Delaware

  • When you’ve been injured in an accident of any kind, understanding how the state of Delaware handles negligence will be critical to the success of any civil lawsuit you may decide to bring against the at-fault party. Below, we discuss how important establishing fault is in an accident claim and how modified comparative negligence laws will impact your case.

    Fault in Civil Lawsuits

    Establishing liability is imperative in personal injury claims. This is the only way your case can win. Your attorney will be responsible for investigating the cause of the accident and gathering evidence that can support your claim.

    The person responsible for causing your injuries will be expected to cover your damages. This at-fault party will vary, depending on which type of accident you were involved in.

    For instance, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, the driver of the other involved vehicle, a government road authority, or a vehicle parts manufacturer will likely be found liable. In premises liability claims, on the other hand, the property owner will likely be liable for your damages.

    Modified Comparative Negligence and Your Claim

    Delaware follows modified comparative negligence laws when determining blame in accidents. Essentially, this allows injury victims to pursue compensation for their losses even if they are partially responsible for the accident. In exchange, you should expect your award to be reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned.

    For example, let’s say you are awarded a sum of $20,000 and the court determines that you are 10 percent liable for the accident. Your award would be reduced by 10 percent, and you would actually receive an award of $18,000. However, if you are found to be 51 percent to blame or higher, you will not be able to pursue compensation for your losses.

    Your percentage of fault can make a significant difference in the amount of your final award, but it can also have an impact on your negotiations with the insurance company. Insurers are notorious for doing whatever they can to minimize the amount they’ll be required to settle for.

    Your attorney will be able to negotiate with the other side on your behalf so you aren’t taken advantage of in your time of need.

    Discuss Your Case with a Delaware Personal Injury Attorney

    If you have further questions about how comparative negligence laws will affect your claim or would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Delaware personal injury lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor, simply find us online or give our office a call directly at 302-734-8400 to schedule your free case review today.