Accidents happen every day. A vehicle accident, slip and fall, work injury, construction accident, or other accident can cause serious injury, and life for the victim may never be the same. Victims often face physical and emotional pain, the inability to work (or work in the same capacity as before the accident), and mounting financial pressure. However, serious injury victims in Delaware have legal options they can pursue to seek both justice and compensation for their injuries.
For those victims, and others, the experienced attorneys of Morris James are here to help. Our skilled legal team has represented countless injury victims to help them secure the compensation they need to live successful and happy lives despite their grave injuries. Facing a serious injury can be overwhelming and scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury in Delaware, take a moment to fill out our online contact form or chat live with a lawyer. You will get a prompt response from a member of our team who can answer your questions and help you learn more about your rights.
Serious Injuries FAQs
What Are Serious Injuries in Delaware?
Serious injuries are those injuries that cause a victim and their family to need many years of medical attention, therapy, adaptive equipment, and more. While it is possible to obtain compensation for a wide range of personal injuries in Delaware, serious injuries are unique because they typically leave the victim with lifelong, debilitating physical and emotional issues.
Serious injuries may be visible or hidden, but many persist for years and can affect all areas of a person’s life. Obvious injuries, such as limb amputations, severe burns, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries, can leave victims in physical pain and sometimes require home and vehicle modifications, transportation limitations, ongoing therapy, and more.
Other injuries can cause lasting physical and emotional pain for a serious injury victim. Brain injuries, concussions, scarring, and more may leave victims fighting private battles as they face the cognitive and emotional fallout of these injuries. Additionally, serious injuries can lead to the wrongful death of a victim, leaving a family without their loved one and sometimes without their main source of income or childcare.
What are Common Causes of Serious Injuries?
Serious injuries can be caused by any number of unfortunate situations, including someone else’s negligence. Negligence in Delaware is generally defined as one person’s failure to behave with reasonable care to prevent harm to those around him. We all have a duty to act in a manner that supports the safety of others. When a person fails in that duty and an accident or injury results, they can be held accountable for their negligence.
Negligence can manifest in a variety of ways:
- Car accidents caused by impaired drivers, reckless drivers, and distracted drivers
- Truck drivers who drive while fatigued or who fail to properly maintain their vehicles
- Traffic accidents involving motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians
- Slip and fall injuries
- Injuries caused by defective products
What Types of Compensation Are Available to Delaware Serious Injury Victims?
Unlike many other states, Delaware does not limit, or cap, the amount of compensation that can be awarded to a victim. Victims can recover both economic and non-economic damages. While the courts do require victims to show how and why they may need compensation, a monetary settlement can cover many aspects of a victim’s care and daily needs.
A skilled injury attorney 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
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Securing this compensation is vital for victims of serious injuries. Their long-lasting injuries often affect the rest of their lives. If compensation is not secured in a timely fashion, it can inhibit the secure and successful future of the victim and their family.
What Should I Do If I Have Suffered a Serious Injury in Delaware?
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury, time is of the essence. Typically, injury victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Lawsuits against a city, county, or state government must be filed within one year. In addition to the clock imposed by the law, bills will begin to arrive shortly after an accident and injury. Victims should not have to carry any undue financial burden after an accident. Getting started on your claim today will give you and your family the best chance at a complete and successful outcome.
Additionally, it is important to retain the services of a skilled and experienced injury lawyer. They can help you learn more about your rights under the law and begin to gather the evidence and witness testimony necessary to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Discussing your cause with a Delaware injury lawyer will ensure that you fully understand the scope of your situation and help you avoid common pitfalls.
One of those serious pitfalls includes talking about your accident, injury, or legal case with an insurance company or representative for the person responsible. While these people may seem honest and straightforward, they are out to meet only their own goals. They do not have your best interest at heart, and they will use anything you say to their advantage whenever possible. The right attorney can help you avoid these situations and ensure the continued protection and success of your legal case.
While it can be difficult to know how to find the right attorney, the Delaware injury attorneys at Morris James have a long track record of success for Delaware injury victims, and our clients understand that we work tirelessly to provide a comprehensive case to meet their unique needs.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Delaware, a wrongful death occurs when a wrongful act by one person causes the death of another person, for which that person could pursue a personal injury case had his death not occurred. Essentially, it is a personal injury case brought by the surviving family members of the deceased.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter instigated by private parties. In Delaware, it is permissible to file a wrongful death suit in addition to criminal charges filed by the state against the person responsible. However, criminal charges need not be pursued to mount a successful wrongful death case.
How is Liability Determined in Delaware?
In wrongful death cases, it must be demonstrated that the defendant is liable for the accident or circumstance that led to the death. Commonly, it must be shown that the responsible party was negligent in some way and that negligence eventually led to the death of the victim. Though it can be tricky to determine liability in some cases, a skilled attorney can help find and preserve evidence, talk to expert witnesses, and more.
Some of the more common wrongful death cases arise from:
- Premises Liability
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Delaware?
In Delaware, the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to benefit the spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased person. The law is flexible when it comes to defining the ties between loved ones, and it is inclusive of many types of family relationships, but not all relationships recognize a legal right in every death.
Parents do not have to be married. Any child born of the deceased would also be entitled to make a claim, regardless of whether the deceased was married to the other parent or not. In some unique instances, the courts will allow someone other than these people to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
If no parents, children, spouse, or siblings are available or want to file a wrongful death suit, then others related to the deceased through blood or marriage can make a claim. However, if you cannot claim a blood relationship with the deceased, you may not be able to make your case. For instance, if you were in a relationship with them but did not have children and never got married, you may have a difficult time proving your case in court.
Additionally, if your loved one died out of the State of Delaware, surviving family members may still be entitled to make a claim. The specifics of the situation would dictate which state would be the most appropriate in which to file the lawsuit.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Delaware Wrongful Death Claim?
In Delaware, family members can recover compensation for:
- Funeral expenses (up to a certain amount): You can be repaid for what you paid to bury your family member. You may also seek payment for medical expenses related to the wrongful death.
- Lost income and benefits: The court can calculate how much your loved one would have made had they continued to work.
- Lost contributions of child or spousal support: You can recover money your loved one would have paid to support you or your children if you did not work or had a monetary agreement in place.
- Lost household services: You can be compensated for the everyday labor your loved one would have performed.
- Mental anguish: Dealing with an unexpected death can cause emotional pain and other mental health conditions. Damages reflect the turmoil suffered from your loved one's passing.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Delaware?
To file a wrongful death claim, you will need an experienced team of attorneys who understand Delaware's laws, such as the lawyers at Morris James. Before we file your suit, we will speak to you about the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death to get a clearer picture of what happened. We will need documentation, such as:
- Accident reports, if available.
- Medical records.
- Any correspondence with insurance companies.
It may be painful to discuss the circumstances of a loved one's death. You may want to take notes that you can share with our lawyers. We will need to know everything we can about the deceased and the circumstances of their accident. While we recognize that this is not easy, it will help us better understand the cause of death and improve your chances of recovering damages.
What is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Case?
You must file a wrongful death lawsuit in Delaware within two years of your loved one's death. If you do not file your claim in that time, the court will most likely reject it. Under the Delaware wrongful death statute, you can still file a civil action in the case even if criminal charges are pending. If you have any confusion over when you can file a case in Delaware or if you are eligible to bring a wrongful death suit, speak to an attorney.
How Long Does A Wrongful Death Claim Take?
The wrongful death attorneys at Morris James are dedicated to fighting to protect the rights and the livelihood of every client. While our goal is to resolve every wrongful death case as quickly as possible and obtain the maximum amount of compensation, it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen.
While some straightforward cases can be settled in a matter of months, many cases require a longer time commitment. Typically, these cases involve negotiations with large insurance companies. Our wrongful death lawyers are committed to taking the time and effort necessary for a successful negotiation. However, some cases cannot be settled and must go to trial, an event that does take additional time and preparation.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect From a Wrongful Death Claim?
Settlement amounts vary from case to case. An award can be affected by income level, lifestyle, amount of available insurance, the circumstances of the death, and many other related factors. When you call our office, our experienced wrongful death lawyers can evaluate your case and help you determine how best to move forward.
Verdicts and Settlements
- $2.2 million settlement: a man who, while in the course and scope of his employment, lost both legs when struck on the side of the road by a truck driver
- $2.1 million settlement: Navy SEAL struck by a driver who left the roadway, causing serious injuries to his legs
- $875,000 settlement: bicyclist who injured an eye when struck by a teenage car driver
- $850,000 settlement: young lady injured her shoulder in a multi-car accident which resulted in surgery, lost earnings, and medical expenses
- $615,000 settlement: 47-year-old man struck by a car while changing a tire, resulting in a significant arm injury
- $500,000 settlement: wrongful death claim where the defendant crossed the center line, killing the mother of 5 adult children
- $445,000 settlement: 60-year-old tractor-trailer driver rear-ended by another tractor-trailer, resulting in neck and back surgeries
- $350,000 settlement: 44-year-old woman who suffered orthopedic injuries resulting in surgery as a result of a motor vehicle accident
- $297,500 settlement: policy limits wrongful death settlement arising out of a motor vehicle accident
- $250,000 settlement: 51-year-old man who suffered a neck injury requiring surgery as a result of a motor vehicle accident
- $220,000 settlement: 46-year-old female cafeteria worker, injured low back lifting a tray of juice and subsequently diagnosed with failed back syndrome
- $205,000 settlement: 32-year-old male maintenance worker sustained low back injury while moving a trash dumpster, requiring multiple surgeries
- $164,990 settlement: 49-year-old male bus driver sustained low back and knee injuries when the bus hit a deep pothole, resulting in knee replacement surgery
- $125,000 settlement: 66-year-old woman who suffered an eye injury as a result of a trip and fall at a retail store
- $90,000 jury verdict: 44-year-old man rear-ended in an automobile accident resulting in muscular injuries and an elbow nerve injury
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