Twenty Days To Answer Lawsuit Papers For A Car Accident

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewers question, “I just got lawsuit papers served on me for causing a car accident just over 2 years ago. What am I supposed to do now?”

Twenty Days To Answer Lawsuit Papers For A Car Accident

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a question from Joe in New Castle County, Delaware. Joe wrote in and he says, “I just got lawsuit papers served on me for causing a car accident just over 2 years ago. What am I supposed to do now?” The answer, Joe, is it depends. It depends on whether you had insurance on the day of the accident or no insurance on the day of the accident.

If you had insurance, here is what you need to know:

  • Your insurance company is responsible for settling the case that is brought by the injured motorist or defending the case that is brought by the injured motorist. Meaning that you paid your insurance company a premium, you paid them money and in return they are supposed to either settle that case or litigate it for you. They are supposed to be paying for a defense attorney for you.
  • All of the insurance companies that write insurance policies on automobiles in Delaware have defense attorneys that they use all the time in car accident personal injury cases. If you had insurance, what you need to do is call your insurance company you had on the day of the accident. Call them up and get their fax number. Find out who is the claim adjuster assigned to the case and fax the claims adjuster the lawsuit papers so that they can deal with it. They can then assign a defense attorney and that defense attorney can jump in and defend you.

If you did not have automobile insurance on the day of the accident, then you need to meet with an attorney:

  • You can contact our office, there are plenty of attorneys throughout the state, throughout New Castle County, who could assist you with this matter. But what you need to do is, you need to get with an attorney and have an attorney of your own handle this matter. It may be that your attorney can get it quickly resolved if you had no insurance, or it may be that you need to hire a defense attorney on your own to defend against the case.

If you do not defend the case, what is going to happen is, that injured plaintiff and their attorney might take judgement against you. Once they take judgment against you, they can attach your wages, they can seize your household belongings and sell them in order to raise money to satisfy the judgement. You don’t want any of that to happen. So get with an attorney, either your insurance company will provide you with a free attorney, or if you did not have insurance on the day of the car accident, you are going to need to go hire an attorney on your own to defend the case.

If it is a Delaware accident, you are served with lawsuit papers in a Delaware Court and you are in New Castle County, Delaware, what you need to know is, you have a very short time frame. You have a 20 day window after the date you were served with lawsuit papers to notify the court that you are defending against the case. You have 20 days to file an answer to the complaint. That is what it is called. You receive lawsuit papers, if you look on it and says complaint, you get to file an answer to the complaint or a motion to dismiss, but you only have 20 days to do it.

If you are watching this video and this has happened to you, what you need to do is act now, don’t put it off until tomorrow. If you procrastinate on this, bad things are going to happen. Hopefully this video reaches you in a timely manner and hopefully it helps you with your defense of your case. If you have questions for me that you would like answered in a video format please send me an email below.

Twenty Days To Answer Lawsuit Papers For A Car Accident

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, DelawareWilmington, DelawareHavertown, PennsylvaniaSalisbury, Maryland
Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
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Can I sue the automobile manufacturer if my airbag does not deploy?

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a question from William in Wilmington, Delaware: Can I sue the automobile manufacturer if my airbag does not deploy? Keep reading or watch the video to find out what happens if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident because your airbag did not deploy.

Can I sue the automobile manufacturer if my airbag does not deploy?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a viewer question from William in Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “I was rear-ended in a car accident and sustained some very severe injuries. I would like to know if I can pursue a claim against the manufacturer of my car because my airbag did not go off?”

This is a very frequently asked question by people who have been injured in automobile accidents.

When you are an attorney who is handling automobile accidents, one of the jobs that you have is to identify all potential claims against all potentially liable at-fault parties in order to make sure that you bring all claims that could be brought. If you are injured in an accident, one of the things that the attorneys should look at is what is called crash-worthiness of the vehicle that you were riding in. In other words, the vehicle is there to protect you. It is specially designed to protect you from impacts from crashes. Did it do its job? One of the ways that cars and trucks fail to do their job to protect you in an accident is by having airbags that are defective. Sometimes you run in to defective airbags. You can go online and search for recalls and you will see many of the recalls involving passenger automobiles also involve airbags.

One of the things you need to look at in an auto case is, did the airbag go off? Did it act as it was supposed to? Did it provide protection to the occupants of the vehicle? The way that airbags work however, is very specific. Most airbags use what is called a ball and tube mechanism and within the vehicle there is a tube with two electrodes on the front of it. There is a metal ball at the back of the tube that is being held at the back of the tube by a magnet.

When you get in to a frontal impact (auto accident), the ball goes forward because of inertia, it is metal, it touches the two electrodes and closes the circuit and that lights off the airbags.  If you have a frontal impact (automobile accident), typically between 8 to 14 mph, you should expect that your front impact airbags should light off. If you are rear-ended in an automobile accident, then we would have to look at the facts of the case. We have to examine the facts of the accident, because if you are simply rear-ended, and there is no frontal impact, it may be the case that you should not expect those airbags to go off. The rear impact may not be the type of impact that will close the circuit and light off those airbags.

Essentially what you need to do, if you have the situation where you had a car accident or truck accident and your airbags did not go off, you have been injured in the accident and you think that perhaps the airbags did a deficient job, or they were defective in protecting you, what you need to do is, get with an attorney who handles a lot of auto accident, personal injury, and wrongful death claims, and get the attorney and his accident re-constructionist to take a look at the case and see if the airbags should have gone off.

I hope that answers the question. If you have questions for me about auto accidents, personal injury cases, airbags not going off, send me an email. I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz and I hope you found this video to be informative and educational. If you have questions for me, send them to me below and we will see if we can answer them in video format. Thanks for watching.

Can I sue the automobile manufacturer if my airbag does not deploy?

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, DelawareWilmington, DelawareHavertown, PennsylvaniaSalisbury, Maryland
Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map

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Letter of Protection

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz explains why you may be asked to sign a letter of protection for a medical provider.

Letter of Protection

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Thanks for watching! We are going to do a video today on letter of protection. I got an email from another attorney. She wrote in and she said, “Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m an attorney. I am new in practice and I just started handling personal injury cases. I have a client who went to his doctor for medical treatment for injuries from the accident. The doctor is refusing to bill his health insurance and instead is demanding that the client/patient sign, and I sign, a letter of protection. Is this normal?”

Jennifer, in a car accident case, if there is personal injury protection benefits or med pay, no-fault benefits, depending on whatever the state where the accident happened calls them, then that is what you are going to use for medical treatment.

Unfortunately, some states, not every one has personal injury protection, or med pay, or no-fault benefits. Also, in some states, the minimum required benefits are so low that if the patient/client went to the hospital, got discharged, went to their doctor…by the time they get to their doctor, there’s nothing left to pay for medical treatment. The doctor is in a position where they have to bill health insurance. Health insurance always give doctors a problem when they are paying for treatment relating to a car accident or other personal injury type of case. Also, health insurance, depending on the type of health insurance, may not pay enough to adequately compensate the doctor. I know doctors that complain to me that if they do, let’s say an injection procedure, and the reimbursement comes from the patient’s Medicaid insurance, the reimbursement the doctor receives is less than what it cost them to do the injection procedure in an Ambulatory Surgery Center.

So what doctors tend to do in car accident cases or other personal injury cases is, they tend to want to just hold their bills and get paid from the patient’s auto accident settlement, slip-and-fall settlement, dog bite settlement, or what have you. The way they do that is, they give the patient what is called a letter of protection. A letter of protection is a letter or a contract that says, hey we are going to provide you with medical treatment. You are going to pay us back for the medical treatment when you get your settlement. It is something that the doctor’s office, physical therapy office, or the chiropractor’s office is going to want you as their patients lawyer to sign. This is something that happens in a lot of cases and is not anything that is abnormal.

I would tell you that I think if it is my client, I want to keep an eye on the medical expenses and I also want to keep in contact with my client periodically to evaluate whether they are getting some bang for their buck. In other words, if they are going to a doctor and the doctor’s treating them and they are just going to the doctor and going to the doctor and going to the doctor and the medical bills are coming up and up and up, but the patient reports to me, or the client reports me that they are not getting any really good benefit from that care then why are they going and getting it. When people normally go to the hospital, or people normally go to the doctor, they are not paying cash for the service that they are receiving.

It is not like when you go to a restaurant and you sit down, you look at the menu and the lobster tail dinner is $39.99, but the hamburger dinner is $12.99, you get to make a decision. You know how much you want to spend and what benefit you want to receive. It is not like that. People go to the doctor, the doctor says do this, do that, people do it, they never give any consideration to the cost. If the treatment is being given under a letter of protection, then I encourage my clients to try to keep an eye on the cost and make sure that you are getting good value for the money that you are going to be spending out of your settlement. If you have been getting injection procedures and you are not getting relief from these expensive injection procedures, why are you continuing to get injection procedures? If you are getting adjusted by your chiropractic physician and you are getting it 3 times a week but you are not getting any better and months have gone by, why are you continuing to get the treatment and run up the bills when you are not getting value? That money comes out of your settlement if you are the client. If you are the patient, you want to know how much the medical treatment is costing. You want to make sure that you are getting good value and relief from the treatment or you are getting some benefit here from the treatment that you are receiving. You are, as the client/patient, you are paying for it out of your settlement.

That is my two cents on that. I hope that was informative. If you are an attorney watching this, I hope it is information you can use to help your own clients. If you are injured in an accident, I hope this is information that you might keep in mind as you are going through the continuum of your medical treatment – on your journey to better health and wellness. I am Attorney Ben Schwartz, thanks for watching! If you have questions for me that relate to personal injury litigation, or the law in general, feel free to send me an email below.

Letter of Protection

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, DelawareWilmington, DelawareHavertown, PennsylvaniaSalisbury, Maryland
Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map

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Do I Sue the At-Fault Driver or the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?

Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewers question, “I was injured in a car accident in Delaware. Do I sue the at-fault driver or do I sue the at-fault driver’s insurance company?”

Do I Sue the At-Fault Driver or the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a viewer question from Bill in the Camden-Wyoming, Delaware area. Bill wrote in and he says, “I was injured in a car accident in Delaware. Do I sue the at-fault driver or do I sue the at-fault driver’s insurance company?”

If you are pursuing a claim for personal injuries as a result of a Delaware car accident, what you are going to do is, you are going to make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and try to settle that claim.  If you are not able to settle that claim and you need to file a lawsuit, then you are going to be filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, not against their insurance company.

The theory is that the at-fault driver was the negligent person who caused you the injuries. They are the ones that you are going against. If they have liability insurance coverage, their insurance company is going to pay for their defense. Their insurance company will pay for them to have a defense lawyer, and if you win your case or you get a settlement, their insurance company will be paying that settlement, or that judgment. It is called a legal fiction, meaning that you are really dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but when you look at it, the paperwork will be against the at-fault driver. I hope that answers your question.

Something to keep in mind – If you have been injured in an accident and you are feeling hesitant about suing your brother or sister, what you need to keep in mind is that most automobile accident cases settle. The vast majority of automobile accident cases involving personal injuries settle and the settlement is being funded by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In substance what you are really doing is making an insurance claim in most cases.

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz and I hope that answers your question. If you are watching this video and you have questions for me about the law, as it relates to personal injury litigation, or really anything, you can send me an email. If you would like your question answered in video format on the internet, please let me know that I have your permission to answer it in video format, and it is not meant to be attorney-client privileged. Thanks very much.

Do I Sue the At-Fault Driver or the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, DelawareWilmington, DelawareHavertown, PennsylvaniaSalisbury, Maryland
Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map

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Is It Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz gives his opinion regarding underage kids drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day in their own home with their parents. It’s not illegal if you’re in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s not illegal under Delaware law for you to give your own kids alcohol. There are a couple of statutes in title 4 Delaware code section 904 that address this law. Watch the full video or read the transcript below for the important details.

Is it Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a viewer question from Terry in Wilmington, Delaware. Terry wrote-in and he said, “it is getting ready to be St. Patrick’s Day and I am having a dispute with my spouse. I need you to tell me, is it illegal to give my kids alcohol?” Well Terry, the answer is that it’s not illegal. If you are in Wilmington, Delaware, it’s not illegal under Delaware law for you to give your own kids alcohol. There’s a couple of statutes in Title 4 Delaware code section 904 and we are going to put a link to that in the show notes under this video. Title 4 Delaware code section 904 subsection C and subsection F. Subsection C says, whoever purchases, buys or gives alcoholic liquor for or to a person under the age of 21 years, or knowingly allows a person under his or her supervision and under the age of 21 years to consume alcoholic liquor, shall in addition to the payment of cost be fined for the first offense not less than $100 nor more than $500. They may be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 40 hours in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances and may be imprisoned for not more than 30 days and then it goes on about subsequent offenses.

At the end of that subsection, it contains this language: This subsection shall not apply to religious services or members of the same family within the private home of any of said members. So if you’re in your home Terry and you give alcoholic beverages to your children, then this law doesn’t apply, it’s not illegal for you to do that. Also under Title 4 Delaware code 904 subsection F, that section says that applies to the minor whoever being under the age of 21 years has an alcoholic liquor in his or her possession at any time or consumes or is found to have consumed alcoholic liquor shall have their Delaware driver’s license revoked for a period of 30 days, for the first offense and not less than 90 days nor more than 180 days for each subsequent offense. If the underage person does not have a Delaware driver’s license, they shall be fined $100 for the first offense and not less than $200 nor more than $500 for each subsequent offense. Again, “this section shall not apply to the possession or consumption of alcohol with any religious service or by members of the same family within the private home of any said members.”

So if you are having a St. Patrick’s Day festival at your house, you are in your home, you are inside the house and you give alcoholic beverages to your children, I think you are fine. I do not think that it is going to be illegal for you to do that. I would not do it outside the home. I would not do it to excess. I would not do it with young children. These are just my personal opinions, but if you have a teenager and they want to have a beer on St. Patrick’s Day, I personally do not see anything wrong with it.

I am probably going to get a bunch of hate mail over the internet from parents who do not think their children should have alcohol. But I want to tell you, I grew up in a house where my mother and my grandmother were from Great Britain and I have been drinking beer since I was about 8 or 10 years old. I do not think it has negatively impacted me. You know, I am not drinking and driving. I am not dying from cirrhosis of the liver. I am not having any problems. To me, my own personal opinion is, if you normalize it and if you do not make a big deal out of it, if you do not create some great desire by withholding it from your children, when they are 21 and go off to the bar, they are not going to go crazy because you did not make nothing out of it. If you teach them at home to drink a beer or drink a glass of wine and do it responsibly, because you are a responsible adult, if you teach them and you model the behavior for them and you turn them into a responsible adult, I see nothing wrong whatsoever with giving your teenagers, your underage minor children, a beer or a glass of wine in your own home on St. Patrick’s Day.

Terry Slainte have a great St. Patrick’s Day. Folks out there, let me know what you think about this video. If You have topics about the law or the legal system that you would like me to do a video on, send me an email below.

Is It Illegal To Give My Underage Kids Alcohol On St. Patrick’s Day?

Office Locations - Personal Injury Lawyer

Click or Call 1-855-TIP-THE-SCALES

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Dover, DelawareWilmington, DelawareHavertown, PennsylvaniaSalisbury, Maryland
Dover, Delaware
(302) 678-8700
1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Wilmington, Delaware
(302) 654-4930
1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(610) 853-4888
850 West Chester Pike Suite 205
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map
Salisbury, Maryland
(410) 546-6415
Suite 500-A, 100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Central Fax: (302) 678-8702
Directions & Map

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