Insurance Code


CHAPTER 68. Health-Care Medical Negligence Insurance and Litigation

Subchapter VII. Compensation for Health Care Injuries

§ 6861. Advance payment; evidence thereof.

(a) Any advance payment made by a defendant health care provider or the provider’s insurer to or for a plaintiff or any other person shall not be construed as an admission of liability for injuries or damages suffered by the plaintiff or anyone else in an action brought for health care medical negligence.

(b) Evidence of an advance payment shall not be admissible unless there is a final judgment in favor of the plaintiff, in which event the Court shall reduce the judgment to the plaintiff to the extent of the advance payment. The advance payment shall inure to the exclusive credit of the defendant or the defendant’s insurer making the payment. In the event the advance payment exceeds the liability of the defendant or the insurer making it, the Court shall order any adjustment necessary to equalize the amount which each defendant is obligated to pay, exclusive of costs. In no case shall an advance payment in excess of an award be repayable by the person receiving it.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  171 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  3

§ 6862. Collateral source.

In any medical negligence action for damages because of property damage or bodily injury, including death resulting therefrom, there may be introduced, and if introduced, the trier of facts shall consider evidence of: (1) Any and all facts available as to any public collateral source of compensation or benefits payable to the person seeking such damages (including all sums which will probably be paid payable to such person in the future) on account of such property damage or bodily injury; and (2) any and all changes, including prospective changes, in the marital, financial or other status of any persons seeking or benefiting from such damages known to the parties at the time of trial; provided, however, this section shall not be applicable to life insurance or private collateral sources of compensation or benefits.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  171 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  3

§ 6863. Nonassignability of claims.

A claim for compensation under this chapter is not assignable; provided, however, that rights of subrogation shall not be deemed to constitute assignment.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  1

§ 6864. Periodic payments; reduction of awards in event of certain contingencies.

(a) Where a person recovers a judgment against a health-care provider, the Court may, after making a determination as to the amount of such judgment which was awarded as compensation for future pain and suffering, if any, the amount of such judgment awarded for future expenses of care of the injured party made necessary by reason of the injury involved, if any, and the amount of such judgment awarded as compensation for any other future damages, if any, direct that:

(1) There shall be deducted from the award, and paid to the plaintiff, an amount sufficient to cover the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees, expenses related to the litigation, expenses incurred for past health-care and pain and suffering incurred as of the date of said payment;

(2) The remainder of the award shall be paid to the plaintiff in equal or unequal monthly installments to be fixed by the Court for a period of time to be fixed by the Court; provided, however, that in addition thereto, medical expenses incurred and paid by plaintiff not otherwise reimbursed shall also be paid to plaintiff from the undistributed portion of the award;

(3) Each monthly installment shall, in addition, include a payment of interest on the then unpaid balance at a rate to be fixed by the Court.

(b) If a plaintiff receiving installment payments of a judgment shall die before the expiration of a 20-year period from the date of the award, and prior to the receipt by the plaintiff or on the plaintiff’s behalf of all such installment payments, the Court shall deduct from the total of the installment payments then remaining unpaid the amount thereof representing compensation for future pain and suffering and future expenses of care made necessary by the injury involved, shall cause the balance of all such installments after such deduction to be paid to the estate of the plaintiff so dying and shall cause such judgment to be marked satisfied.

(c) If the plaintiff receiving installment payments shall die after the expiration of a 20-year period from the date of the award, then the payment shall automatically terminate as of the date of the plaintiff’s death.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  1

§ 6865. Limitation on attorneys’ fees.

(a) The amount of the claimant’s attorneys’ fees may not exceed the amounts in the following schedule:

(1) 35% of the first $100,000 of damages;

(2) 25% of the next $100,000 of damages;

(3) 10% of the balance of any awarded damages.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a claimant has the right to elect to pay for the attorneys’ services on a mutually satisfactory per diem basis. The election, however, must be exercised in written form at the time of employment.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  1