In the United States, car accidents are the leading cause of injury. Serious injuries from car accidents can leave victims severely disabled or can even be fatal. In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the U.S. had the highest number of car crash fatalities among high income countries. Some common causes of car accidents include the following factors:
- Speeding – Driving over the speed limit is a major cause of car accidents
- Drunk Driving – Despite the strict blood alcohol limits enacted by some states, people continue to drink and drive at a high rate
- Distracted Driving – This includes everything from eating and using the radio to texting and any other kind of cell phone use
- Aggressive Driving – Drivers who tailgate and show other forms of aggression on the road cause numerous accidents
- Drugs – Prescription drugs, marijuana, and illegal substances all affect a driver’s reaction time and should not be used when operating a motor vehicle
- Weather – Snow, ice, rain and fog can make driving conditions extremely dangerous and increase the risk of accidents
- Road Conditions – Potholes, animals, uneven surfaces, and unexpected debris or obstacles can cause a driver to lose control of the car
- Auto Defects – Defects in a car’s design and manufacturing defects can jeopardize the vehicle’s safety and cause accidents before recalls occur
Injuries From Car Accidents
The injuries sustained in a car accident can vary depending on how serious the accident was, but even a fender bender can result in soft tissue damage to the neck area, commonly known as whiplash, which can have lasting painful effects. Other injuries from car accidents commonly include:
- Head and Back Injuries – Head injuries occur when drivers or passengers strike their heads against the dashboard, steering wheels, or windows. This category includes traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can range from mild concussions to comas. Skull fractures, hearing loss, and vision problems are also possible. Back injuries include damage to the spinal cord and can cause victims to lose feeling or control over their limbs or other body parts. Serious spinal cord damage can leave car accident victims paralyzed. Herniated disks are another common car accident injury.
- Neck and Chest Injuries – Whiplash affects the neck area and cases can range from mild to severe. Chest injuries occur from the blunt force of some car accidents and can result in broken ribs and punctured lungs. Internal bleeding and organ damage is also possible. These types of internal injuries are often life-threatening.
- Broken Bones – Broken hands, arms, feet, and legs are common in car accidents. Crushing injuries that may require amputations can also occur in serious accidents.
Liability for Car Accidents in Delaware
Delaware is a fault or at fault state when it comes to car insurance, which means an individual can file an insurance claim under their own insurance to collect damages, or against the at fault driver’s insurance. The other option is to file a personal injury claim in court. The Delaware statute of limitations for personal injury claims or damage to personal property related to a car accident is two years from the time of the accident. Each insurance policy contract contains information about the deadline to file an insurance claim; however, it is advisable not to delay in trying to recover compensation for injuries. Deadlines for claims against government entities (such as a city bus) are completely different and usually very short, so it is important to act quickly if you have had an accident involving a vehicle operated by any municipality or other government entity.
When assigning liability, Delaware follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means if you are seeking damages in a case where you were partly at fault, the amount you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. If it is determined that 10 percent of the accident was your fault, then you will receive 10 percent less than the total amount of damages awarded to you by the court. Also, if you were 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, then you are not eligible to receive any compensation at all. The state of Delaware has no cap on the amount that can be awarded for a personal injury case.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate on Behalf of Injured Victims and Their Families
A serious car accident can have a devastating effect on the lives of victims and their families. If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another person, speak to a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. who can help you determine your legal options. Let us deal with the insurance companies and take care of your legal needs so that you can focus on your recovery. Call 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation about your case, or contact us online. We represent car accident victims throughout the state, including those in Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown, Delaware.