If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Your potential personal injury settlement is calculated based on your damages. In general, the recoverable damages in a personal injury settlement may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage or total loss
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement or disability
The value of a personal injury settlement may also depend on the amount of fault you had in causing the accident if any. Per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §1411, if you are determined to be partially at-fault for an accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. This system is known as contributory negligence.
If you work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they can collect evidence of the value of your damages and estimate a fair settlement range for your case. Then, they can pursue a settlement on your behalf by negotiating with the responsible party’s insurance company.
Calculate Your Claim’s Monetary Value Before Negotiating a Settlement
If you were injured in an accident, you may want to consider settling your personal injury claim rather than enduring a trial. The responsible party’s insurance company may even contact you after the accident with a settlement offer.
It is important to bear in mind that, once accepted, a settlement may be final and binding. This means that even if you discover legitimate recoverable damages post-settlement, you may not be able to request additional compensation from the at-fault party.
In addition, an insurance adjuster may use statements you give them about your accident or your injuries to attempt to reduce or deny your claim.
When you work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they can handle all of the communications with the responsible party’s insurance company for you. A lawyer can work closely with you to accurately value your claim and can demand a fair settlement amount during negotiations.
If necessary, a lawyer can take your case to trial and request compensation on your behalf from a judge or jury.
Gather Evidence that Supports Your Personal Injury Claim
You may already have access to evidence that can help your personal injury case.
Pictures can tell the story of your accident and substantiate the extent and severity of your financial damages. If possible, take pictures of your injuries and your damaged or destroyed vehicle. Take as many pictures as possible, and take them from different vantage points. If necessary, ask a friend, family member, or witness to take pictures for you.
Paperwork can also help paint a picture of the accident. Obtain copies of your police report, incident report, medical records, and other documents related to your accident, injuries, and income loss.
In addition to any evidence you have, a lawyer may be able to obtain pay records, vehicle value estimates, witness statements, medical prognosis, expert opinions, and other supporting material.
With contributory negligence in mind, a lawyer can also collect evidence of the full extent of the responsible party’s negligence.
File Your Lawsuit on Time Even if You Are Hoping for a Settlement
Generally, CVP §214 gives victims three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This timeline is important. Missing the legal deadline in your case could mean that you relinquish your ability to hold the at-fault party financially liable for your damages via a lawsuit.
Although your goal may be to resolve your case with a settlement, it is important to maintain your right to sue in case the responsible party’s insurance company refuses to make you a fair offer. Taking swift action after an accident can help ensure that you do not miss any deadlines in your case.
Morelli Law Firm May Be Able to Help You
If you were hurt in an accident caused by another party’s negligence and seek compensation for your damages, the Morelli Law Firm may be able to help. We handle personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits on behalf of our clients. A lawyer from our firm can examine your full range of damages when we represent you.
For a free case review with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800. We can discuss how your potential personal injury settlement may be calculated during this call.
Morelli Law Firm represents clients in New York City, on Long Island, and in New York State up to Albany.