After a car accident, your range of settlement outcomes will depend on the facts surrounding your injuries and damages. An experienced injury lawyer can usually evaluate the possible outcomes after you provide documents relating to your case.

Evaluating your case will help you set your expectations for your settlement. It will also guide you as you weigh the fairness of any settlement offers from the insurance company.

Here is some information about what you can expect from a New York City car accident settlement.

New York’s No-Fault Insurance System

Under New York’s no-fault system, your auto insurer will pay up to $50,000 in basic economic losses regardless of fault. This includes all of your medical bills and up to 80% of your lost income.

New York releases you from the no-fault system if your economic losses exceeded your policy limits or you suffered a serious injury

If you did not suffer a serious injury but your losses exceeded $50,000, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, state law limits your damages to any unreimbursed economic losses.

If you suffered a serious injury, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver regardless of your losses. In this lawsuit, you can pursue both economic and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

How Much to Expect from Your No-Fault Insurer

If you did not suffer a serious injury, you can expect your no-fault insurer to pay up to $50,000 in compensation to cover your medical bills and up to 80% of your lost income. 

You can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy if your economic losses exceed $50,000. But the insurer will only settle for an amount that will cover your unreimbursed medical bills and lost income.

If you suffered a serious injury, your no-fault insurer will settle for an amount that covers your economic losses, including medical bills and up to 80% of your lost income. You can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s BIL policy for any unreimbursed economic losses and your non-economic losses.

How Much to Expect from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer

The BIL insurer for the at-fault driver will use several factors to determine a settlement offer, including:

Extent and Duration of Your Injuries

The severity of your injuries will influence your economic and non-economic losses. More severe injuries will result in larger current and future medical bills. An injury that requires years of treatment, therapy, or medication will result in larger economic losses.

Your economic losses include both your lost wages and your diminished earning capacity. If your injuries interfere with your ability to work, you can claim larger losses.

Non-economic damages compensate you for the ways your injuries diminished your quality of life. Some non-economic losses include:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental suffering and anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of activities
  • Loss of sexual relations

More serious injuries will often result in a greater impact on your life. As a result, serious injuries almost always justify non-economic damages.

Fault

The BIL insurer will assess the fault for the accident. If their customer clearly caused the accident, the insurer will usually settle for a higher amount. 

Insurance companies do not like to lose lawsuits. If the case looks like an easy win for you, the insurer will work much harder to settle.

If you held some blame for the accident, the insurer will settle for less. Under New York’s comparative negligence law, your damages get reduced in proportion to your share of the fault. 

If an insurer thinks you were 25% responsible for the accident, it will only pay 75% of your damages.

Getting a Fair Car Accident Settlement

To maximize your settlement, you should:

  • Seek medical treatment promptly to prove causation
  • Document your losses thoroughly
  • Collect evidence proving fault
  • Remain patient while negotiating

By taking these steps, you will present the best possible claim to the BIL insurer for settlement.