Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in New York?

New York’s no-fault insurance law requires that most auto insurance claims are paid through your own insurance regardless of fault. Insurers pay up to $50,000 for medical and economic damages under the law, with some exceptions. Personal injury lawsuits are generally only viable when losses exceed $50,000 and are typically triggered when someone reaches the serious injury threshold.

The average car accident settlement in New York is approximately $287,000. This is significantly larger than the average car accident settlement nationwide, which was around $29,524 ($24,211 for bodily injury and $5,313 for property damage) in 2022. The high average in New York is likely attributable to the no-fault law, which limits smaller claims.

The value of each claim, however, differs greatly depending on the circumstances of the case. It is essential to discuss your case with an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible to determine the best course of action after an accident.

Calculating New York Car Accident Settlements

New York’s no-fault law, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) requirement, enables individuals to obtain compensation from their insurance company regardless of who was at fault for the accident. PIP insurance covers an injured party’s medical bills, health expenses, lost wages, and other economic losses. It does not cover your property damage. Basic no-fault coverage provides compensation for up to $50,000 per person in an accident.

Damages in a Car Accident Claim in New York

If you are seriously injured and have losses that exceed $50,000, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against an at-fault party. The lawsuit will determine if you can receive compensation from a potentially liable party in the accident. Lawsuit settlements are typically determined by an injured party’s losses or damages. Damages may be both economic and non-economic in nature.

Economic Damages:

  • It covers costs that can be directly quantified. Quantification is based on bills and receipts.
  • It will cover medical expenses, including current and anticipated future treatment costs.
  • Provides compensation for past and future earnings lost due to the accident.
  • It allows for you to receive costs for the repair or replacement of the vehicle.

Noneconomic Damages:

  • It provides compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses.
  • It covers pain and suffering, such as physical discomfort and emotional distress.
  • It may also provide recovery for loss of enjoyment of life or the impairment of quality of life due to the injury.
  • It, however, is generally more challenging to quantify than economic damages.

A New York car accident attorney can help you understand your rights, including whether you meet the state’s serious injury threshold, and can file a personal injury lawsuit against a liable party.


Key Factors Affecting and Influencing Car Accident Settlement Values

There are several factors that are taken into consideration when calculating a settlement after a New York car accident. Factors may include things like the impact of the injuries on your ability to work, the amount of damage to your vehicle, whether the accident caused a loss of enjoyment of life if you were partially responsible for the collision, and insurance policy limits.

Factors that may affect or influence a car accident settlement value:

  • Injury severity: The more serious the injury, the more impact it will have on your potential settlement. Common severe injuries in car accidents include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), paralysis, amputations, spinal cord injuries, disfigurement, and burns.
  • Cause of the accident: If the other driver was reckless or severely negligent, it may also affect your compensation. For instance, if there is evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. Although, any evidence of the other driver’s disregard may prove critical in the case. Even if you were partially liable, however, you may still be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.
  • Economic impact: A part of your settlement will be determined by any economic impact that the accident has on your life. You are likely entitled to receive lost wages if you were unable to work for a period of time. To prove lost wages, you will need to provide a copy of your medical records, wage documents, and a letter from your employer.

Comprehensive factors that may influence your settlement include the extent of your injuries, insurance policy limits, and whether you are able to make a full medical recovery. It is important to document any losses that you incurred, including your medical bills, the impact on your wages, and the mental and emotional trauma that you have experienced.

Types of Car Accidents and Their Injuries

Your settlement may also depend on the type of car accident that occurred, as some accidents are more common and more susceptible to serious injuries than others.

Common types of car accidents in New York:

  • Sideswipe accidents: Sideswipe accidents are the most frequently reported type of collision in New York. They may involve multiple cars or even pedestrians and cyclists. Sideswipe accidents often involve large trucks. According to reports, nearly half of all truck-related crashes are sideswipe collisions. Injuries may range in severity but may include tears, broken bones, brain injuries, or damage to the spinal cord.
  • Rear-end accidents: Rear-end accidents are a common occurrence in New York. They often happen suddenly, leaving individuals unable to brace themselves for the impact. The severity of the accident can range from a minor fender bender to a serious collision with devastating injuries.
  • T-Bone (side impact) accidents: T-bone accidents are some of the most severe types of car accidents because there is less protection offered by the sides of the vehicles compared to the front or rear. They usually occur at intersections.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths in the United States. It is essential to discuss your case with an attorney if you are involved in a car crash in New York.

New York Car Accident Settlement Process

New York is one of around a dozen states that has a no-fault insurance law. In many cases, claims will be processed through your own insurance company if you are injured, or a passenger is injured in a crash. It does not matter who was at fault for the accident. However, there is a $50,000 limit on no-fault insurance claims.

If you are seriously injured, your losses may exceed the no-fault limit. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that was responsible for your harm. While many cases can be settled out of court, there are some instances where your claim will need to go to trial. It is important to work with a litigation attorney who is unafraid to take your claim to court to get the results you deserve.

Understanding ‘No-Fault’ Insurance in New York

New York requires individuals to carry no-fault benefits or personal injury protection. No-fault benefits pay up to $50,000 in economic losses to drivers and all passengers who are injured in your car, as well as any pedestrian who is struck by your vehicle.

New York’s no-fault insurance law prevents individuals from filing lawsuits unless their economic losses exceed the no-fault limit ($50,000). Additionally, non-economic losses may only be claimed when a person reaches the serious injury threshold under state law.

New York’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. It is critical to act promptly to ensure you take legal action within the limited timeframe.

The process can be extremely complicated due to lengthy insurance claim procedures therefore, it is strongly recommended that you speak to an attorney as early in the process as possible to determine your legal options.

It is also advisable to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after the accident. Injuries may not be readily apparent and may surface later. Seeking medical attention immediately can help ensure that all injuries are accurately diagnosed and treated.

Examples of Car Accident Settlement Amounts in New York

Left turn accident victim: King Law was able to obtain a $250,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when a driver turned left in front of her. She sustained a severe neck injury requiring surgery.

T-bone accident victim: A $12,000 settlement was reached for the victim of a T-bone accident. Our client was moving through an intersection when another driver failed to stop and struck her. She was diagnosed and treated for a concussion.

Head-on collision victim: Our firm was able to secure a $100,000 settlement for a client who was injured in a head-on collision. The settlement was the maximum allowed under the insurance policy.

Texting and driving victim: A $105,000 settlement was reached for a car accident victim who was struck by a driver who was texting. The victim sustained substantial back pain and required knee surgery.

Rear-end collision victim: Our firm negotiated a $112,500 settlement for a client who was struck from behind while stopped at a red light. While the impact occurred at a slow speed, the injury was still significant, requiring surgery.

Chain reaction victim: We were able to secure a $90,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was rear-ended in a chain reaction collision. The insurance company was going to offer her substantially less because of a pre-existing condition.

Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer Today

Were you injured in a New York car accident? Contact King Law to speak directly with a car accident attorney. An attorney can help maximize your compensation, ensuring you receive the recovery you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the average car accident settlement in NY?
The average car accident settlement in New York is approximately $287,000. New York’s no-fault laws limit smaller claims from going to court, making the average settlement higher than it is nationwide.
How much money do you get from a no-fault settlement in NY?
You can receive up to $50,000 to compensate you for your economic losses in a no-fault settlement in New York.
How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in New York?
It can take several months to a year or more to settle a car accident claim in New York, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Can you sue for a car accident in NY?
If your economic losses exceed the $50,000 no-fault limit or you meet the serious injury threshold, you may be able to sue for a car accident in New York.
How long does an insurance company have to investigate a car accident claim in New York?
An insurance company has around 30 days to investigate a car accident claim in New York. They have 15 days from the receipt of the claim to ask for additional information and another 15 days to deny or accept the claim.
Are there exceptions to the no-fault rule in New York?
Two of the main exceptions to the no-fault insurance rule in New York are if your economic losses exceed the $50,000 limit or if you meet the threshold for a serious injury. If you meet the threshold for a serious injury, you are able to pursue non-economic losses.
What is the statute of limitations for car accident claims in New York?
The statute of limitations for car accident claims in New York is three years from the date of the accident.
What should I do immediately after a car accident in New York?
There are several steps you should take if you are injured in a car accident. First, you need to report the accident to local law enforcement. Next, you need to seek medical attention immediately for any injuries. Finally, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine your options.