Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 18, 2020

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Every state has its own system for handling car accidents. So, how are they handled in Delaware? That’s the question we asked James Folsom, a Delaware attorney with over 30 years experience whose practice focuses on personal injury claims. He explained the process to us in a recent interview.

How are auto accidents handled in Delaware?

Delaware has a fault system. The way auto accident cases are handled is that after an accident occurs, the police will go out and investigate it. They usually give a ticket to one or both drivers and then it gets turned over to the insurance companies. If both sides have insurance, they both contact their insurance carrier. The insurance carriers will send the claim to their agents to investigate it and wait until all the damages are estimated.

It’s not until you can get down to the costs of the case that you can actually start talking about settlements of any kind. Insurance companies basically try to save as much money as they can, but they do know they have to pay out if they’re liable. However, the amounts that they may offer to pay may not be adequate to compensate you for your injuries. That’s what your lawyer is for – to try and find out how much it’s worth and to be able to put a value on it.

Delaware’s statute of limitations is two years

According to Folsom, there’s a two-year statute of limitations that you have to file a case in Delaware – and that two year time period also applies in wrongful death cases. However, he says that once you’ve filed a case in court, it’s just a matter of settling it and there’s no particular time period for that. He explained, “It’s not indefinite, though, because the judge wants the case resolved. He won’t let it go on and on without a valid explanation for why it’s taking so long. If you got some kind of weird injury or something that requires a lot of time to settle, they’ll understand that. But if you’re just sitting there doing nothing, the judge is going to push it towards settlement.”

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Delaware car accident attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.