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Typical Personal Injury Settlements in New York

Settlements in personal injury claims in New York vary widely depending on specific case circumstances. That said, a lawyer is best suited to evaluate and give the most accurate picture of what to expect.

However, understanding the median range or average payout can also help you know what to expect in a case. This guide can help shine a light on New York personal injury settlements and help you manage your expectations.

Personal Injury Verdicts Relatively High In New York

The national median in personal injury claims awards stands at $35,550, a far cry from New York’s median award of $287,628. One reason New York verdicts tend to be high is that there are favorable juries, especially in lawsuits filed in urban areas.

However, it’s important to note that most claims do not end in court verdicts. The most complex cases go this far, and the most complex cases will have relatively huge settlements.

“Your lawyer’s evaluation may advise the decision to go to trial of your case. In most cases, they will reach a consensus with the defendant’s lawyers on an out-of-court settlement to avoid the uncertainties of going to trial,” says Attorney Neal Goldstein of Goldstein & Bashner.

Factor Determining Verdicts of a Claim in a New York Personal Injury Claim

While you are more likely to get favorable verdicts in New York than in some states, they are not issued arbitrarily; the figures depend on several factors, as presented in court. These factors include:

Severity of Injuries

The more severe the injuries, the costlier it will be to treat them, pushing up economic damages.

Also, severe injuries result in much more pain and suffering, emotional distress, and psychological pain and are more likely to result in disfigurements or disabilities, which constitute non-economic damages.

In most cases, non-economic damages often form the largest portion of recoverable damages.

The Defendant’s Financial Muscle

Jurors will more readily issue generous verdicts if the defendant has considerable financial muscle. For example, a victim is likely to get a favorable outcome when the defendant is a big corporation.

However, it is also important to consider that entities with massive financial power have access to the best defenses, so you may need to fight harder to recover compensation from them.

As such, it may not be wise to go against them without the help of a New York personal injury lawyer.

Recoverable Damages

Victims often recover economic and non-economic damages in a successful personal injury claim. The recovery of these damages, also known as compensable damages, ensures the victim gets as close to their pre-injury self as possible.

Besides compensable damages, victims can seek punitive damages against a defendant for injuries resulting from willful or fraudulent conduct, gross negligence, or conduct exhibiting a blatant disregard for the safety of others.

Your Level of Fault

New York holds victims accountable for their part in an accident through its comparative negligence approach to fault. Under this principle, the injured party can claim compensation even when they are 99 percent at fault in an accident.

However, what they take home will be relative to their percentage of fault. For example, supposing the victim is 99 percent at fault and the court issues a $200,000 verdict, the victim can only receive $2,000 as compensation.

Claiming responsibility on your part is among the most commonly used tactics by the defendant’s legal team to minimize a victim’s settlement value, and the best strategy to protect yourself in such situations is working with a New York personal injury lawyer.

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