Car Accident Settlement Amounts in New York
One of the first questions we hear from clients is how much to expect from a car accident settlement. People who have been injured in car accidents often experience financial stress. An injured person may face medical bills, lost wages, and car repair bills and be worried about how to pay the bills. If someone else was at fault, you deserve to be made whole.
Our personal injury attorneys handle car accident cases in Queens, to help clients pursue compensation from negligent drivers and other parties. Many factors go into determining what a proper settlement is after a car accident. As your car accident attorneys, our goal at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. is to seek just compensation for you to protect your financial future.
For a free legal consultation about a potential car accident claim and settlement, contact us today.
How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?
Most car accident victims have never been in a serious accident before and are unfamiliar with the claims settlement process. Our car accident attorneys have experience handling car accident claims. We can help you understand the compensation you should expect to recover.
If you are injured in a car accident in New York, you turn first to your own Personal Injury Protection policy for coverage of your medical bills, regardless of who was at fault. We will discuss this below. If your injuries are serious, you may be eligible under New York civil law to pursue a claim against the driver who caused the accident.
The money you seek after a car accident that was not your fault should be enough to cover your expenses and losses. If you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, New York law says you could demand economic and noneconomic damages for your losses.
Economic damages include money for:
- Medical bills, including the anticipated cost of future treatment or care
- Lost income including past losses from missing work and future losses if your ability to earn a living has been diminished
- Property damage, primarily to repair or replace your vehicle
Economic damages can be quantified from bills and receipts.
Noneconomic damages are paid for your pain and suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify. Our task as your car accident attorneys is to understand how a serious injury has affected your life and develop a persuasive case for compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured since the accident.
How Are Car Accident Claims Settled in New York?
To obtain damages for you after a car accident, we would calculate the full amount of compensation you deserved and present that figure along with evidence to support your claim to the insurance company that has liability for the accident.
As mentioned above, New York is a no-fault car insurance state. Car owners maintain auto insurance that covers their medical bills after a minor accident. If an individual suffers “serious injuries” in a car accident, they may file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance to recover additional compensation for their medical expenses and vehicle damage.
After it receives a claim, an insurance company may:
- Pay the settlement as demanded
- Propose a counter-settlement
- Deny the claim
Our attorneys negotiate with the insurer to try to come to terms with a settlement that is acceptable to our client. If we cannot reach an agreement, we would discuss with the client filing a personal injury lawsuit and pursuing compensation in court for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
However, most car accident claims are settled out of court. Even if a lawsuit is pending, the parties can agree to a settlement at any time before a jury returns with its verdict.
Factors That Affect the Value of a Car Accident Settlement
In most car accident settlements, the largest portion of the compensation paid is for the accident victim’s medical bills. An injury that requires months or years of medical care will result in much higher costs than a simple fracture, for example. More severe injuries also usually lead to higher compensation for pain and suffering.
In addition to the extent of your injuries, other factors that will most affect your car accident settlement are:
- Effect of injuries on your ability to work. You will likely miss some amount of work as you recover from a serious car accident. After you exhaust any paid leave that your employer provides, you will begin to accrue a loss of income if you are not able to return to work and earn wages or salary. You should be compensated for lost wages during your recovery. If your injury prevents you from returning to work, you should be compensated for future lost income if you must take lower-paying work or cannot work at all. Your demands for lost income should take into account unrealized pay increases from expected cost-of-living adjustments, merit increases, or promotions, as well as the value of lost benefits such as retirement account contributions.
- Special property damage. Property damage compensation is typically paid to repair or replace a vehicle that was in the accident. Insurers typically require you to get three repair quotes and pay the Blue Book value for a car declared a total loss. Your vehicle may have been a luxury car or a classic with a higher value than others on the road. Finally, you may have had other property in your vehicle that was damaged or destroyed in the accident, such as luggage, computers, or merchandise. You should be compensated for your property loss, as well.
- Disruption of your life. In New York, pain and suffering damages include payment for the loss of enjoyment of life. Damages for the loss of enjoyment of life are meant to compensate the accident victim for the anguish and frustration they suffer from their inability to participate in activities that once brought them pleasure. Particularly if you enjoyed an active life before the accident, we would make sure the insurance adjuster or jury knew what the accident had cost you. Noneconomic damages are often calculated by multiplying all of the claimant’s economic damages by a factor ranging from 1.5 to 5. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your specific circumstances and help you understand what to expect.
What To Expect from a Car Accident Claim in New York
The amounts insurers pay for car accident settlements vary greatly. The Insurance Information Institute says the average auto liability insurance payout in 2021 was $22,734 for bodily injury and $5,314 for property damage, a total of $28,048.
Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company may be required to pay the injured up to $50,000 for their medical costs and other economic damages in a car accident. Therefore, your losses must exceed $50,000 by a significant amount for a lawsuit to be worthwhile.
Most car accident cases that proceed to trial in New York involve serious injuries and very expensive accidents.
The venue where a lawsuit is heard may be an important consideration in a case. New York juries are more likely to side with the injured and award them high damages amounts, particularly juries in urban areas, such as Queens or other NYC boroughs. Under New York law, the injured party may bring a lawsuit in the county where they reside, where the defendant resides, or where the personal injury took place.
In most cases, the insurance company responsible to you after a car accident in Queens would rather settle than take its chances with a jury.
If you have an experienced car accident attorney calculating your losses and negotiating for the settlement, you stand a much better chance of being made financially whole after an accident.
Talk to Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Queens Now
The car accident lawyers of Tadchiev Law Firm are strong advocates for car accident victims in Queens. We work hard to help our clients seek just compensation for their losses in car accidents caused by other drivers.
We offer a free case review to answer any questions you may have and will charge no fees unless we recover damages for you. For your free case review, call us today or reach out online.