Your range of settlement outcomes following a car accident will depend on the specifics of your injuries and damages. In most cases, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate the possible outcomes of your case after you have provided relevant documents.
New York’s No-Fault Insurance System
Under New York’s no-fault insurance system, your auto insurer will cover up to $50,000 in basic economic losses regardless of who is at fault. This includes all medical expenses and up to 80 percent of your lost income.
In New York, you are released from the no-fault system if your economic losses exceed your policy limits or if you sustain a serious injury.
You may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you did not sustain a serious injury but your losses exceed $50,000. Nonetheless, state law restricts your compensation to unreimbursed economic losses.
You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver regardless of your losses if you suffered a serious injury. In this lawsuit, you can seek both monetary and non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering.
How Much to Expect from Your No-Fault Insurer
If your injuries were not severe, you can expect your no-fault insurer to pay up to $50,000 to cover your medical expenses and up to 80% of your lost income.
If your economic losses exceed $50,000, you can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy. However, the insurer will only settle for a sum sufficient to cover your unreimbursed medical expenses and lost wages.
Your no-fault insurer will compensate you for your economic losses, including medical expenses and up to 80% of your lost income, if you sustain a serious injury. You may also submit a claim against the at-fault driver’s BIL policy for any unreimbursed economic and non-economic losses.
How Much to Expect from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer
The at-fault driver’s BIL insurer will consider the following factors when determining a settlement offer:
Your economic and non-economic losses are affected by the severity of your injuries. More severe injuries will incur higher current and future medical expenses. An injury requiring years of treatment, therapy, or medication will cause greater economic losses.
Your economic losses consist of both lost wages and reduced earning potential. If your injuries hinder your ability to work, you are eligible for greater compensation.
Non-economic damages are compensation for the ways in which your injuries have diminished your quality of life. Some non-economic losses include:
- Physical ache
- mental agony and distress
- Loss of activities and sexual partners
Typically, more severe injuries will have a greater impact on your life. Consequently, severe injuries almost always warrant non-economic damages.
The BIL insurer will determine who is at fault for the collision. If their client clearly caused the accident, the insurer will typically offer a higher settlement.
Insurance companies do not like to lose lawsuits. If the case appears to be a simple victory for you, the insurer will work much harder to reach a settlement.
If you held some blame for the accident, the insurer will settle for less. In accordance with New York’s comparative negligence statute, your damages are reduced proportionally to your degree of fault.
If an insurer believes that you contributed 25% to the accident, it will only cover 75% of your damages.
Getting a Fair Car Accident Settlement
To maximise your compensation, you must:
- Obtain medical care
- promptly to establish causality
- Detail your losses in detail
- Gather evidence demonstrating fault
- Remain calm during negotiations.
By following these steps, you will present the BIL insurer with the strongest claim possible for settlement.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.