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Understanding the Factors That Impact Your Personal Injury Settlement in New York

September 06, 2023

Understanding the Factors That Impact Your Personal Injury Settlement in New York

Understanding the factors that impact your personal injury settlement is crucial for anyone seeking compensation for an injury sustained due to someone else’s negligence. Whether you have been in a car accident, slipped and fell on someone else’s property, or have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is essential to know how to negotiate a fair settlement. In this article, we will go over key elements that influence your settlement amount, such as liability, damages, and insurance policies.

I. Establishing Liability

The cornerstone of any personal injury case is establishing who is responsible for the injury. In legal terms, this is known as “liability.” Without proving liability, it would be difficult to secure a settlement. A detailed investigation often involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and possibly reconstructing the accident scene to establish fault.

II. What To Do Immediately After An Accident

Knowing what to do immediately after an accident is not just crucial for your wellbeing but also has a direct impact on establishing liability for your case. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you should consider:

1. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you think you’re fine, it’s essential to get medical help. Hidden injuries, like internal bleeding, can be fatal if left untreated.

2. Contact Authorities: Call the police to the scene. Their report can serve as a valuable piece of evidence when establishing liability.

3. Document the Scene: Use your smartphone to take photographs and videos that capture the state of the scene, the involved vehicles or equipment, and any visible injuries.

4. Collect Witness Information: If there are any witnesses to the accident, collect their names and contact information. Their testimony may be crucial in establishing who is at fault.

5. Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance provider about the accident as soon as possible, but avoid making any statements that could be used against you later on.

6. Keep Records: Preserve any documents, bills, or correspondence related to the accident. This will help when you’re calculating damages.

7. Consult a Lawyer: Before you talk to anyone from the other party’s insurance company, it is advisable to consult with a legal expert. The attorneys at Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., can guide you on how to proceed without jeopardizing your claim.

III. Types of Damages

Damages refer to the losses you have incurred due to the accident. These can be either economic or non-economic:

  • Economic Damages: These are measurable and include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible and often include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.

IV. Assessing Medical Costs

Medical expenses are a significant factor that can impact your settlement amount. You must maintain accurate records of all your medical expenses, including hospital bills, prescription costs, and rehabilitation services. These records serve as evidence to substantiate your claim.

V. Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that are harder to quantify. Insurance companies often use a “multiplier method,” multiplying your economic damages by a specific number, usually between 1.5 and 5, to calculate an amount for pain and suffering.

VI. Lost Wages

If you have been unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Your attorney will need to gather evidence, such as payslips and employer testimonials, to support this claim.

VII. Insurance Policies

Insurance policies play a significant role in how much compensation you can receive. New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning your own insurance should cover your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is at fault. However, you can step outside the no-fault system and sue the at-fault party if your injuries meet specific severity thresholds.

VIII. Legal Representation

Having a skilled attorney, like those at Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement.

IX. Settlement Negotiation Process

After establishing liability and calculating damages, your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company. This is the beginning of the negotiation process, which may involve several rounds of discussions before arriving at a final settlement figure.

X. Time Limits for Filing a Claim

In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally three years from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline can result in your case being dismissed.

Contact Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. Today for a Free Consultation About Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Navigating the maze of a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., we stand by your side, committed to guiding you through every step of this intricate legal process. With decades of specialized experience, our dedicated team of attorneys doesn’t just know the law; we also understand the human element behind every case.

At Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., we are more than just lawyers; we are advocates committed to ensuring that justice is served. It’s time you stopped being a victim and took control of your destiny. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t wait. Every moment counts when it comes to filing a claim. 

Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Let us turn your setback into a comeback.

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"Thank you for making the dream of recovery a possibility for me. I appreciate you being so kind and helpful, even when I felt like giving up. I am so grateful for all that you've done.”

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