New York City Personal Injury Settlements: Myths Vs. Reality

Americans have been complaining about the problems with the United States legal system for decades. People are frequently concerned about the procedure employed in civil personal injury lawsuits and the ensuing awards.

Myth — People Get Millions in Personal Injury Settlements

Everyone is aware of the multimillion-dollar and multibillion-dollar awards in personal injury lawsuits. Someone who was burned by hot coffee, slipped on a sidewalk, or was struck by a bus was compensated with millions of dollars.

All of these are examples of notable personal injury lawsuits in which the victim or surviving family members prevailed.

These cases are typically reported by local or national news organisations. Their goal is to attract as much attention as possible, so they focus on sensational-sounding stories. Because they are not as captivating as a sensationalised account, they conveniently omit pertinent details that would help viewers comprehend the issues.

Additionally, media outlets fail to mention the numerous lawsuits that are settled for much smaller amounts.

According to the New York City Comptroller, the average personal injury award against the city in 2020 was only $86,952, on average. That is the truth. Not millions nor billions, but less than one hundred thousand dollars.

Myth — A Personal Injury Claim Is Just Someone Scamming the System

Many argue that personal injury lawsuits are nothing more than cons. They are convinced that people use personal injury claims to obtain money from another person or business.

If someone sues the owner of a local bodega for a slip-and-fall injury, they will be required to provide evidence of their claim. Personal injury attorneys in New York City collect evidence, such as police reports, security camera footage, and witness testimony.

Without such evidence, it would be futile to file a lawsuit because it could not be won. Personal injury claims must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence prior to receiving a settlement. In most cases, a plaintiff must prove that the property owner’s failure to prevent harm was the result of negligence or recklessness.

Certainly, there are dishonest individuals who seek to exploit the legal system. A settlement, however, is unlikely in the absence of evidence.

Myth — Personal Injury Awards Are Excessive

Someone who hears about personal injury settlements in passing usually feels like the amount a victim is awarded is too much. They feel there’s no way something like that can be justified.

In reality, settlements for personal injuries are based on actual costs and losses. They are calculated by combining the victim’s actual out-of-pocket expenses with intangible long-term damages.

Some victims incur fewer expenses due to their minor injuries. However, other victims require extensive medical treatment.

The medical costs alone can quickly add up when you factor in:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medications
  • Surgeries
  • Costs of emergency treatment
  • Ongoing treatment

Numerous victims lose a portion of their income because they miss days of work while undergoing treatment. After an accident, the victim may no longer be able to perform the same job. Consequently, they may have a reduced earning capacity for the remainder of their lives.

There are also extreme cases in which an injury completely alters a person’s life. A child may sustain a brain injury as a result of, for instance, a birth injury. This can render the child permanently disabled, requiring 24-hour specialised care because they cannot perform basic tasks on their own.

When such accidents occur due to the carelessness or negligence of a third party, the victim and his or her family are entitled to full compensation for their damages.

Myth — Personal Injury Cases Tax the System

Some individuals are adamant that personal injury cases occupy courtrooms, judges, and attorneys. According to them, this is the primary reason why legal decisions take so long and can be so costly for the parties involved.

People are unaware that the majority of personal injury cases never even make it to court. When a victim has a valid claim supported by evidence, it is typically much quicker and less expensive for the company or insurer to settle with the individual directly rather than going to court.

As part of the terms of an out-of-court settlement, the party at fault may require the victim to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.

Myth — Personal Injury Victims Get Millions

The settlements awarded against large corporations in the millions and billions of dollars are frequently the subject of news headlines.

In a class-action lawsuit, the award is split between hundreds or thousands of individuals. There is no single recipient of the entire award. When the affected population is particularly large, each victim may only receive a small amount.

Myth — Personal Injury Lawyers Are Too Expensive

This may be the most unfortunate myth, as it directly harms the victim. Most people believe that only the wealthy can afford to hire an attorney. Afraid of the potential costs, they accept a lowball offer or fail to file a lawsuit because they are unsure of where to begin.

The majority of personal injury attorneys in New York City do not charge victims for an initial case evaluation. During this meeting, the attorney will listen and gather information, then inform the victim whether or not they have a valid claim. The attorney will then begin working on their behalf.

However, a victim is not required to pay attorney’s fees in advance. When an attorney is compensated on a contingency basis, they are only paid if the case is settled or won.

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.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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