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Catastrophic Car Accident FAQs

Posted In Car Accidents

Severe - or catastrophic - injuries are those that have life-changing and long-term consequences. Car accidents produce many types of these, including injuries to the head, spinal cord, internal organs, and extremities. Along with physical injuries, car accidents can produce severe psychological injuries as well, which are often just as debilitating.

My loved one died in a car accident in Delaware. How can a lawyer help me?

The grief and sadness that accompany the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. When that death is sudden or unexpected, the emotional toll on family members can be even greater.

If your loved one died in a car accident, we understand that you may have many questions. We are committed to protecting the rights of surviving family members.  

It is important to contact a lawyer quickly. An attorney can observe the facts objectively and recommend a course of action to protect you, your family, and other interests.

The lawyers at Morris James have been involved in many cases of injury, property damage, and death relating to automobile accidents. They are specially skilled at helping their clients preserve evidence, determining who is at fault, and recovering compensation for their clients. 

Morris James's car-accident lawyers offer a free initial case evaluation so you can find out more about your rights and your options.

I was severely injured in a car accident in Delaware. What should I do?

If you have been hurt in a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 to alert the police and, if necessary, call an ambulance. After you have received the necessary medical care, contact a lawyer immediately

As the first meeting with Morris James's accident lawyers (at no cost to you), you should discuss with a lawyer the facts of the case so the lawyer can determine the best course of action. Do not try to go it alone - the lawyers of Morris James are able to do everything to analyze your case, most times without any up-front costs to you.

The lawyer will help determine who was at fault in the accident, what your rights are, and what damages you've suffered that can be paid for.

Severe - or catastrophic - injuries are those that have life-changing and long-term consequences. Car accidents produce many types of these, including injuries to the head, spinal cord, internal organs, and extremities. Along with physical injuries, car accidents can produce severe psychological injuries as well, which are often just as debilitating.

When do I need to see a lawyer for injuries in a car crash?

First, seek proper medical attention to ensure your safety and recovery. If you have injuries requiring medical care, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. There is a brief time period after the event (called a "statute of limitations") where you can seek compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering, loss of income, and other financial losses. If you don't start a case before the statute of limitations expires, you could be prevented from receiving any compensation.

How many Delaware car accidents happen each year?

According to the Delaware State Police, in 2021, there were 28,473 reportable traffic crashes of which 134 were fatal, 5,267 were personal injury, and 23,072 were property damage crashes. In these crashes, 139 people were killed, and 8,255 were injured.

The 2021 statistics were up from 2020, when there were 24,162 reportable traffic crashes, of which 105 were fatal, 4,710 were personal injury, and 19,347 were property damage crashes.

In 2021 in Delaware, there was a crash involving property damage every 16 minutes, one traffic injury every hour, and one traffic-related fatality every three days.

What are some of the most common causes of traffic accidents in Delaware?

By a wide margin, the Delaware State Police report the most-common contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents is driver inattention, distraction, or fatigue, resulting in 6,552 crashes, 1,338 involving injuries, and nine fatalities in 2021. Other frequent causes include following too closely, driving carelessly/recklessly, and failure to yield at a right of way.

What types of car crashes are the most common in Delaware?

Most car crashes in Delaware are between two moving vehicles (18,475 crashes in 2021). But other common types are striking a parked or stopped vehicle (3,176), striking an animal (1,602), and collisions with a bridge, ditch, curb, or embankment (1,012). There were 250 crashes involving a pedestrian and 80 involving bicycles.

There were 372 crashes involving a motorcycle in 2021. Of these, 23 motorcyclists were killed, of which 17 were wearing a helmet. Of the 22 motorcycle operators killed, eight were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

There were two bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2021, and 98 bicyclists injured. Children under 15 years of age accounted for 13 percent of the bicyclists' injuries. The majority of bicyclists injured were between 35 and 64 years old (55%).

What are common injuries from a car accident?

Injuries from an accident involving motor vehicles could be almost anything, so it's essential to not ignore signs of discomfort or stress - both physical and mental. The most-typical injuries from car accidents are back pain, whiplash, dental trauma, brain injury, lacerations (cuts) to the face, head, and body, lung injuries, broken bones, and psychological (mental) harm. There are also injuries you cannot easily see, such as soft tissue and internal-organ damage.

Any one of these injuries could upset your well-being and ability to live normally, so when you are involved in a car accident in Delaware, contact a Morris James lawyer immediately.

Under Delaware law, what can I recover for my injuries?

Delaware is unlike many other states in that it does not limit or cap, the amount of compensation that can be awarded to an accident victim. The state law allows victims to recover for both economic (such as loss of wages) and non-economic (such as pain and suffering) damages. 

The Morris James attorneys can help victims with serious injuries and their families recover the maximum amount of compensation to cover a variety of needs and losses, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Wrongful death

If I was a passenger, does Delaware law allow me to sue?

In Delaware, under its Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws, passengers are covered by the car insurance of the driver of their vehicle, regardless of whether the driver was at fault. A driver’s PIP insurance must provide coverage of at least $15,000. If your damages exceed the driver’s PIP coverage, you may be able to claim the excess on your own insurance policy or from the at-fault driver.

What can I expect when I call or visit a lawyer?

At Morris James, the attorneys' philosophy is to listen and serve each client to the greatest extent possible. This means you will have time to explain what happened in an accident, your or your loved one's injuries, and what effect the situation is having on your well-being and income. The lawyers have had years of experience in working with cases like yours and will walk you through each step of the process. Even if you do not have all the information you think you need, please contact a Morris James attorney, who will help you gather the necessary information to move forward. From our lawyers, you can expect the highest level of compassion, competence, and diligence in helping you.

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