14 Feb 2023

By Boris Tadchiev

In Car Accident

In New York, drivers and passengers may have several potential avenues for recovering compensation following a car accident. State law requires automobile owners to have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy as part of their auto insurance coverage. Your PIP no-fault policy pays for your medical expenses and lost wages and those of your passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the collision.

Those who suffer relatively minor injuries are limited to filing a claim against their own PIP insurance policy. However, people who suffer more serious injuries may pursue a legal claim against the at-fault driver for additional compensation.

The Queens car accident attorneys at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can help you understand your legal options and the claims process as it applies to your accident. We offer a free consultation to review your accident. If you wish to speak with an experienced Queens personal injury attorney about your case, contact us today.

Auto Accident Settlement Timeline

The settlement check timeline depends on whether you file a PIP claim against your own insurance or a third-party claim against another driver’s liability insurance.

  • File Claim with Personal Injury Protection Policy— The first step after an accident is to file a claim against your PIP policy. It should pay for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and certain other expenses up to the limits of the policy. No-fault insurance is designed to pay claims reasonably quickly.
  • Demand letter– If your injuries qualify as serious under New York law, your attorney may submit a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. The demand letter will summarize your serious injuries, medical expenses, and losses suffered in the crash and demand a specific dollar amount to make you whole. You must have recovered sufficiently to have an accurate idea of the cost of your medical expenses and related losses.
  • Response – The insurance company will draft a response to your demand letter. In most cases, the insurer will acknowledge the demand letter and provide a timeline for when you can expect a formal response to your claim.
  • Review – The insurer will review the allegations and evidence in your demand letter. Based on an investigation of the car crash, the insurer will determine whether to accept or deny your claim. You may have the right to file an internal appeal of a denial if necessary. Alternatively, the insurance company may make a settlement offer if it accepts liability for your claim.
  • Settlement negotiations– Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a settlement. Settlement negotiations often take months.
  • Payment of settlement– Once you and the insurance company agree on a settlement, the insurer usually will issue the settlement check within 30 days of execution of the written settlement agreement.

How Are Settlements Paid Out

Car accident settlements are typically paid out in one of two ways:

  • Lump-sum settlement– This type of settlement pays the total dollar value of the settlement in one check. Lump-sum settlements will give you immediate access to the total value of the settlement, which can help you pay off debts such as medical bills and other expenses you were unable to pay if you missed time from work.
  • Structured settlement– This arrangement pays the settlement in monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. Structured settlements occur more frequently in larger settlements. Structured settlements also have the benefit of spreading out payments, which may have tax advantages. A settlement is a legally binding contract that you can legally enforce

Estimated Time for Receiving a Settlement Check

Once a settlement is reached, you generally can expect to receive a settlement check within four to six weeks. If you have an attorney, the check will be sent to the attorney. Your attorney will pay any medical liens on your behalf and deduct legal fees and expenses from the settlement funds per the terms of your contingency fee agreement. Your lawyer will send you the balance of the settlement, typically within a few days.

Fighting for Fair Compensation in a Queens Car Accident

Pursuing compensation after a car accident can be confusing due to New York’s no-fault insurance laws. You can only pursue compensation from another driver’s liability insurance policy if you meet the state’s eligibility criteria for a serious injury.

Some injuries that qualify as serious include:

Let the attorneys of The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., guide you through the accident claims process and help you seek a fair financial settlement. We will:

  • Explain your rights and options under New York’s no-fault insurance laws and evaluate whether you may have the right to file a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance
  • Gather evidence and prepare a demand letter, including bills, invoices, receipts, medical records, and police accident reports
  • Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, including responding when adjusters want additional information
  • Protect your interests if the insurance company attempts to rifle through your medical record looking for pre-existing injuries
  • File demand letters or requests for mediation or arbitration of your claims
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies to secure maximum compensation
  • Represent you in mediation, arbitration, or at trial and fight for the best possible result for you.

Call Our Attorneys to Learn About How a Lawyer Can Help

Contact The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., today to discuss your car accident and find out about the timeline that applies to resolving your case. We can help you demand prompt compensation from the insurance company after you have suffered serious injuries in a car crash that was not your fault. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our Queens car accident lawyers.