Getting injured often disrupts the lives of accident victims. If you are injured as the result of another party’s mistake or negligence, it can be even more challenging to deal with the consequences.
Once issues like medical bills and lost wages are addressed, a person must deal with things like anxiety and depression that commonly accompany accidents. The purpose of personal injury settlements is to help accident victims recover damages after they have been injured by the negligence or recklessness of someone else.
To make sure that the amount you receive as a settlement covers all of the costs that you now face, however, it is critical to appreciate the nuances of personal injury compensation. This article briefly examines how personal injury settlements work in New York accident lawsuits.
The Role of New York Personal Injury Settlements
Personal injury settlements are awarded when a person initiates a lawsuit against the party responsible for either directly or indirectly causing an accident. To successfully obtain compensation, the accident victim must establish that the opposing party had a duty to protect the accident victim and failed to do so.
Settlements are available regardless of the type of accident in which a person was harmed. This means not just car crash victims, but also slip and fall victims and those injured by defective products may be able to settle.
How Much You Can Expect to Receive from a Personal Injury Settlement
No two settlements are exactly alike. As a result, the amount that you can expect to receive in a settlement varies greatly between cases. Remember, an accident victim must be able to establish that the responsible party acted in a way that caused his or her damages and then claim these damages before receiving compensation.
On average, however, most personal injury settlements range from $3,000 to $75,000. The only way to have a firm idea of what type of damages you are likely to receive in a personal injury settlement is to understand the value of your claim.
How Long You Can Expect a Personal Injury Settlement to Take
If you are injured in an accident, you likely want your settlement money as soon as possible. After all, you are likely facing substantial medical bills due to treatment for your injuries. You are also probably facing lost wages from work. Finalizing a personal injury settlement, however, takes time. Also, if you rush into receiving a settlement now, the chances are significant you will not receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
The exact amount of time you can expect it to take before receiving your personal injury settlement depends on several factors. First, you must collect evidence establishing that the opposing party was responsible for causing your accident. This might include taking photographs of the scene of the accident as well as collecting testimony from witnesses who saw the accident occur.
You and your lawyer will then need to negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier, which can take several weeks, months, or even years. While you might be able to agree on a settlement amount with the insurance carrier, other times, your case might need to proceed to court.
What Categories Are Included in Personal Injury Settlements?
Various elements make up personal injury settlements. Some of the most common categories included in personal injury settlements include:
- Lost wages include the amount of money that a person incurred because injuries incurred in an accident left them unable to work. This category can also include any paid off time that a person utilized or other work benefits. If injuries incurred in an accident that left a person unable to return to their job, it is also possible to receive compensation for future lost income.
- Medical expenses including past medical costs as well as expected future costs. Besides things like prescriptions, diagnostic exams, and hospital stays, medical expenses also cover medical accessories like crutches and wheelchairs.
- If any property that a person owns was involved in the accident, it is possible to receive compensation for the repair or replacement fees associated with the damaged property.
- It is sometimes possible to receive compensation for emotional harm like pain and suffering that is incurred in an accident. Compensation for assistance utilized to handle stress is also often available.
- You can recover your late loved one’s funeral expenses if they suffered harm due to negligence. Compensation could account for the funeral, burial/cremation, and memorial service.
Based on your situation, you may seek additional losses.
Taxes and Your New York Personal Injury Settlement
Whether your settlement will be subject to taxes is influenced by what damages the settlement is designed to cover. In most cases, a personal injury settlement will be used to cover damages like lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Provided that a personal injury settlement comes from a physical injury, the compensation under New York state law will not be subject to taxation. As a result, the majority of personal injury settlements are not taxed.
Some exceptions exist, though. If you initiate legal action against someone for a personal injury, you will often make multiple claims. While claims related to damages from the physical injury are not subject to damages, some other types of damages will be taxed.
Some of the most commonly taxed damages in personal injury settlements include:
- When damages originate from a breach of contract, damages are sometimes taxed
- Punitive damages refer to a category of damages that are designed to punish parties who caused an accident. If punitive damages are involved in your settlement, they will be subject to taxation.
- If interest is added to your verdict, any interest received on judgment money will be taxed.
- Any damages that are based on emotional rather than physical injuries will be taxed.
Why Partner With an Attorney on Your Personal Injury Case?
While the law says you can represent yourself, partnering with an attorney can prove invaluable when pursuing compensation. Here’s why:
They Can Calculate How Much You’re Owed
Right now, you might not understand the full cost of your damages. For instance, you might know how much your medical bills cost. But what about your pain and suffering? What about your anticipated care costs?
An attorney can calculate what constitutes a fair settlement by:
- Consulting with field experts. Your lawyer may speak with healthcare professionals and economists to learn about the cost of your projected damages.
- Adding up your billing statements and invoices. This will help your lawyer determine the value of your economic damages, such as your medical bills and property damage costs.
- Reviewing the outcomes of similar cases. Your lawyer will call on their years of experience to determine what a good settlement offer would look like.
- Consider your percentage of fault. Even though New York’s a no-fault insurance state, if you contributed to the accident, this could affect how much you can recover.
Your lawyer will also review your medical records, employment records, and other relevant information to “get the full picture” when determining your losses.
They Will Negotiate With the Insurance Company for You
Some insurance companies don’t negotiate in good faith. This is where having a lawyer can benefit you. Not only can they negotiate for what you need, but they can also protect you from bad faith insurance practices.
They Will Investigate Your Case and Gather Evidence
You need evidence to support your right to damages. Supporting information may comprise:
- The police or accident report
- Testimony from witnesses
- Your injury-related receipts and billing statements
- Your medical records and information from your doctor
- Photos of the accident scene
- Security camera or traffic camera recordings
As noted, your lawyer may also consult with field experts to learn about your accident’s cause.
Our Team Advocates for Personal Injury Claimants in NY
Our NY injury firm has more than 100 years of combined legal experience. In the years we’ve served injured people, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages. Residents of Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties know who to turn to with their legal troubles.
Reasons to consider partnering with us include:
- We work on contingency, so you don’t pay anything up front for our services.
- Our co-founder, Attorney Richard S. Jaffe, is a licensed medical professional. This grants him unique insight into various types of injury cases, including those involving traumatic brain injuries.
- We offer a suite of legal services designed to meet your situation. We will file your claim, negotiate a settlement, and file a lawsuit if necessary.
Speak With a Skilled New York Accident Attorney
Personal injury settlements can be invaluable in helping you recover from an accident. By understanding as much as possible about settlements, you can increase your chances of obtaining the greatest amount possible.
Another way to make sure you receive the results you deserve is to retain the assistance of a skilled accident lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.