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Posted in Car Accidents on October 25, 2021
Few car accident cases make it to court in New York state. Most often, cases result in settlements. This is helpful for victims because it speeds up the process.
When you go to court, you can expect to be in proceedings for about a year. With a settlement, the process is often only a few weeks or months.
However, when you are planning your finances, even a few weeks can seem like too long. You have medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages to cover. It would help if you knew just how much to expect from your settlement.
New York is a no-fault state, which can sometimes complicate a settlement. No-fault laws require a driver to submit claims to their own insurance company after an accident. In these cases, insurers will cover economic and medical losses but not non-economic losses.
In New York state, the average personal injury settlement is around $287,000. That’s more than eight times the national average.
Why is the number so high? Because small and medium-sized accidents are rarely pursued as a result of NY’s no-fault status. Instead, New York only offers an escape from the no-fault limitations in very specific circumstances.
Unless you have sustained a permanent injury, you will not be able to recover more than $50,000 from your insurance. But if you are experiencing long-term health effects from your accident, you may be able to move outside of New York’s no-fault framework and pursue a lawsuit against the other driver.
If or when you sue, the final price of a potential settlement will depend on several factors.
A permanent injury won’t just affect your ability to make a claim; it will impact the final amount of your settlement, too.
Here are a few of the common injuries that affect the value of your settlement:
If your injury makes it so you are unable to continue working, you could be entitled to a larger settlement.
Was the other driver under the influence? Was he or she driving drowsy or otherwise behaving recklessly? These are important questions to answer.
Any evidence of the driver showing complete disregard for the safety of others may affect the value of the settlement.
Have your injuries cost you time away from work or resulted in your termination? A typical settlement will weigh these details to help you recuperate the costs.
To prove lost wages, you should compile a list of documents to present at the settlement meeting. Doctors’ notes, wage documents, and a letter from your employer will help to back up your claim for damages.
The best settlements are won by the best lawyers. Do you want to get the maximum amount you are entitled to? Then you should hire someone who is qualified and has experience with car accidents.
In New York, there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case. You will generally have three years from the day of the accident to take the issue to court. This timeline can get complicated because insurance claims will sometimes take years.
An experienced lawyer will help you meet deadlines and follow procedures. This guidance will better ensure your success as you seek the compensation you deserve.
As much as you might want to go back and avoid the trauma of your accident, you cannot. But you can decide to pursue a settlement that will help you overcome any financial burden that you face.