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Delaware

Recent Reforms Enacted (since 2003) Requires plaintiffs to obtain an affidavit of merit from a qualified expert. The expert must be a practicing physician who has been in the same or similar field as the defendant for the past three years. Additionally, if the defendant is Board Certified, then the expert must also be Board Certified in the same or similar field.
Emergency Care Provision None
Reform Elements In Law Collateral Source
Attorney Fee Limit
Periodic Payments
Expert Witness
Affidavit of Merit
Pre-Trial Screening
Constitutional Status of Reforms Untested
Change in Insurance Rates AMA reports at least one insurer raised rates as much as 40 to 100% in 2004.
Insurance Availability Information not available.
Change in Physician Availability Information not available.
Change in Cases Filed/Awards 28 liability lawsuits were filed in the first five months of  fiscal year 2005, compared to yearly totals of 93 in fiscal 2004 and 105 the previous year.  63 paid claims in 2003 or 28 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians.  US avg. was 18.8 per 1000.  31 paid claims in 2005 or 13.7 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians.  US avg. was 17.1 per 1000. (Kaiser) 33 total number of paid claims for 2006 of which 12.5 paid claims per 1,000 were active, non-federal physicians.  15 paid claims in 2007.
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