Blog > Accident Lawyer > Tags > How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

Being involved in an accident and suffering injuries can be a stressful and traumatizing experience. Additionally, it can be very expensive. Medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage can turn a small accident into a very costly event.

Personal injury claims occur when the injured person seeks compensation for their financial losses. To sue someone, the injured person must be able to prove that the other party acted negligently and that due to their actions someone was harmed. The injured person can file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company.

Usually, insurance companies offer less money than what is fair, but it is possible to reach a settlement through negotiation. If the responsible party is not insured or it is not possible to reach an agreement, the plaintiff can file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court. Regardless if the injured person decides to file a claim with an insurance company or decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, hiring a personal injury attorney is crucial. Experienced lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies to get a reasonable settlement. If the injured person decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, having an attorney on their side highly increases their chances of succeeding in court. 

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What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a form of civil litigation. Personal injury lawsuits begin when a person who has been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business entity, or government institution seeks recompense for their losses.

In many cases, civil disputes can be resolved outside of court through an informal settlement. However, there are cases in which a formal lawsuit is needed. In a formal lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate evidence to the jury that the other person is legally responsible for their damages. For instance, a police report can serve as proof that in a car accident the at-fault driver acted carelessly and caused the automobile collision. The plaintiff must also provide evidence that supports their claim. For example, if the plaintiff is seeking compensation for medical expenses, they will have to show medical bills and/or medical records. 

Where are the laws that govern personal injury cases?

Personal injury lawsuits are different from other areas of law and the laws that govern personal injury cases are not in statutes. For example, the laws that rule over criminal cases can be found in penal codes. Most laws that rule over personal injury lawsuits come from court decisions. Some states have tried to create statutes for personal injury lawsuits. However, in the majority of states, court rulings continue to be the primary source of law.

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What qualifies as personal injury in New York state?

Contrary to popular belief, personal injury in New York does not solely refer to bodily injury. According to the New York State laws, any harm that is done to the body, mind, or emotions, whether done purposefully or due to the neglect of another party is considered a personal injury. It is crucial to note that in the case of car accidents, certain standards must be completed in order to launch a personal injury claim against another party.

New York is a no-fault state. That means that an injured person is not able to file a lawsuit unless their injuries can be deemed as serious. Here is a list of injuries considered a serious: 

  • A fracture
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of a body organ, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • A significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
  • Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Death

When to sue for an injury?

It is impossible to tell when is the right time to sue for an injury, as long as you are meeting the deadlines applicable to your case. In most cases, the best thing you can do is to file a claim as soon as possible.

In New York, the statute of limitations indicates that personal injury lawsuits can be filed within three years from the date of the event. There are some exceptions that may cause this statute of limitations to increase. However, if you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, you normally have to submit a “notice claim” within 90 days from the day of the accident. If you do not meet the deadlines, your case may be dismissed.

Working with a personal injury lawyer is important because they will help you meet every deadline that applies to your specific situation. 

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What damages can you recover?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Here is a list of recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost earning potential
  • Punitive damages (rarely awarded) 

Is it worth it to sue someone after an accident?

Yes, it is worth it to sue someone after an accident. You do not have to carry all the economic burden that comes after an accident if another person is fully or partially responsible for your financial loss. Another compelling motive to sue the accountable party is to prevent future injuries from occurring.

Property owners and managers, for example, have a duty of care to maintain their properties secure. If a person slips and falls and the owners are sued, they will almost certainly be more cautious in the future.

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What steps to take after suffering an injury?

After suffering an injury the first thing you should do is to seek medical assistance. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries. Once you have done that, the next thing you should do is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Explaining the situation to them and taking action quickly is crucial to gathering evidence that can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., you will find attorneys with vast experience in accident claims. If you want to get the greatest legal advice in New York, do not hesitate to contact us. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case. 

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Blog > Greenberg & Stein > Tags > Attorney vs Lawyer: What Are the Differences?

Attorney vs Lawyer: What Are the Differences?

You have probably heard people using the words “lawyer” and “attorney” to refer to someone who works in the legal field. In many cases, we use both terms as synonyms, but the truth is that there is a difference between these two titles. The main distinction between a lawyer and an attorney is that an attorney is a lawyer who is qualified to practice law in court.

What Is The Difference Between Lawyer And Attorney? I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.
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What qualifies someone as a lawyer?

A lawyer is a person who has graduated from law school and earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. In law school, students will learn to “think like a lawyer” to develop crucial skills like critical thinking. In some cases, students can also opt to obtain a Master of Laws (LLM) degree. This certification focuses on more specific areas of law like international law, intellectual properties, among other areas.

What qualifies someone as an attorney?

Just like a lawyer, attorneys need to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, this means that all attorneys are lawyers. However, what qualifies someone as an attorney is the fact that they took and passed the state bar exam. The state bar exam is a test that usually lasts two or three days. It is designed to evaluate the knowledge about state and federal laws that are needed to become a licensed attorney to practice law in court. This exam is widely known for its difficulty and the long time it takes students to prepare for it. Once a lawyer has passed the bar exam, they will become a member of the State Bar Association and will be allowed to practice law in court.

Attorney vs. Lawyer – What are the differences in roles and duties?

Both lawyers and attorneys can work in the legal industry because they are both professionals who have graduated from law school. However, attorneys are the only ones who can appear in court to represent a client or prosecute parties accused of committing a crime. Attorneys typically have greater job alternatives because many firms or organizations require applicants to have passed the bar test. Nonetheless, working as a lawyer without having passed the bar test is entirely doable.

There are numerous roles available in the legal industry as consultants or advisors for firms or government entities. Most law school graduates begin working as lawyers in law firms with a licensed attorney to broaden their legal knowledge and gain experience while studying for the bar exam. Both lawyers and attorneys normally specialize in one field of law and continue working in that area for the rest of their careers.

What can attorneys do that lawyers cannot?

Attorneys are permitted to practice law in court, however, lawyers who have not passed the bar test are not permitted to appear in court. As a result, attorneys can work directly with clients who, for whatever reason, need to appear in court, either as defendants or as accused. Practicing law without a license is a crime, and anyone found guilty can possibly face a prison penalty of up to 5 years in prison, depending on the state.

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How to choose the right attorney for your case?

If you are looking for an attorney to represent you in court, it is important to choose someone who is not only qualified for your case but also someone you feel comfortable working with. As previously stated, most attorneys will specialize in an area of law. Therefore, if your case is related to a car accident, then you should hire a car accident attorney. It is advisable to speak with at least 3 or 4 different attorneys to learn more about their background, area of expertise, and personality. Look for someone who has experience handling cases similar to yours. You can also ask them about their success rate, their fees and if they work for a law firm you can also ask about the resources their firm offers.

What are other common law terms of distinction?

Besides the terms “lawyer” and “attorney” there are other titles in the legal industry that can be confusing because all relate to laws.

  • Esquire (Esq.): Someone who has passed the bar exam and is a member of the state’s bar association, can use the title “esquire”. Although this is mainly an honorary title, it is commonly seen on business cards and resumes.
  • Solicitor: A solicitor is someone who normally works providing legal advice to clients, helping prepare them for a trial, and providing support in administrative tasks. They rarely appear in court. This term is commonly used in the United Kingdom and other countries.
  • Barrister: This is a kind of professional that usually handles more complex matters. They appear in court but clients do not normally have contact with them, instead, the solicitors are the ones that act as intermediaries between the barrister and the clients. This is another term mainly used in the United Kingdom and other countries.
  • Counsel: This is a person who is also a professional in-law but generally works for corporations or other types of organizations giving legal advice.
  • Advocate: In the United States this term is used to refer to both lawyers and attorneys ignoring the differences between these two titles.

Blog > Greenberg & Stein > Tags > How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?

How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?

It is difficult to predict how long a vehicle accident settlement may take. The length of a vehicle accident settlement can vary greatly according to a variety of reasons. In some circumstances, the settlement process can last anywhere from a few weeks to many months. The intricacy of the incident, the severity of the injuries sustained, and the amount of money involved in the settlement are all elements that will have a significant impact on the settlement’s duration. Going to court is another major event that can have a significant impact on the time it takes to reach a settlement, as going to trial can add months or even years to the resolution of the case.

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What factors affect how long it takes to settle a car accident case?

Severity of the injuries

One of the most deciding factors of a car settlement duration is the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim. To make sure you will receive fair compensation for your injuries, you and your lawyer will have to wait until you are completely healed or you are close to being completely recovered. Reaching a settlement when the victim is still far from being recovered may result in accepting much less money than necessary. Sometimes things may get more complicated and the victim may need a new surgery, some kind of physical therapy that can be costly, or another type of medical care. Therefore, it is always best to wait until the medical expenses are clear. Once you accept a settlement offer, you also accept not to pursue further compensation in the future. 

Evidence gathering

If you are working with a personal injury lawyer, they will probably be investigating the events that caused the accident and trying to get the maximum amount of evidence possible, while you are recovering from your injuries. In some cases, the obtention of the evidence may be difficult and takes time. Sometimes, lawyers will have to work with other professionals like accidents reconstructionists to have a better idea of what happened. Additionally, if you were able to collect the personal information of any eyewitnesses, your lawyer may need to contact and interview them. If many people witnessed the accident, this step may take a long time. 

Negotiating with the insurance company

You will have to wait a few weeks for the insurance company to contact you with their initial offer to settle the case. Typically, the initial offer is far from a fair settlement. As a result, your lawyer will have to begin negotiating with the insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement offer. This negotiation can take several weeks, especially if the amount of money granted by the insurance company and the amount of money requested by your accident lawyer are vastly different.

What are the steps to settle a car accident claim?

An accident claim has some steps that have to be followed in order to receive compensation for your injuries. 

Seek medical care

Even if you feel well, the first thing you should do following a car accident is to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. In many circumstances, injuries are not immediately visible after an accident. If you go to the hospital, doctors will examine you and may order some tests to ensure that everything is in order. Furthermore, all medical records, bills, and documents will be used as proof later in the claim procedure. If you choose not to go to the hospital after an accident, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were probably not as severe as you claim.

Contact a car accident lawyer

Working with a professional is always a good idea. Personal injury attorneys that specialize in car accidents can make a huge difference in the amount of money you could receive. Most experienced car accidents lawyers will also be able to gather useful evidence that will definitely help your claim be more credible. Personal injury attorneys are also used to negotiating with insurance companies and they know their tactics very well. 

Initial settlement offer

The insurance company will send you and your lawyer an initial offer. In most cases, this offer is below what would be considered a reasonable settlement. It is crucial to review this and any other offer sent by the insurance company with your lawyer before accepting a settlement. 

Negotiating with the insurance company

Most likely, you and your lawyer will agree that the initial offer is too low and will not cover all your expenses. Next, your lawyer will start a negotiation process with the insurance company. This process can take some time because the insurance company will always try to pay as little as possible and your lawyer will fight to get fair compensation. If your lawyer manages to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, then your case is practically resolved. In some cases, a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, therefore, you and your lawyer will have to discuss the option of initiating an accident lawsuit. 

Filing a personal injury lawsuit

If your lawyer and the insurance company were not able to reach a settlement, your next step will be to file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits can be long and exhausting legal processes. Fortunately, if you have a lawyer, they will take care of the most tedious parts of the process. Sometimes, insurance companies will try to make a final offer before going to court. They know that a lawsuit can be more costly for them, therefore it is very likely that they will offer a reasonable amount to settle the case before the trial begins. 

Going to court

If nothing has been resolved up to this point, the final step will be to go to trial. Here your lawyer will represent you as the plaintiff. A trial can take years to reach a verdict. If you and your lawyer have built a solid case, it is possible that the jury will award fair compensation for you. Keep in mind that going to court also adds expenses that may or may not be covered by the party that loses the case. 

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Is it better to settle a car accident case or go to court?

Going to trial is not always preferable to settling a lawsuit outside of court, but it will undoubtedly take more time. Because each accident is unique, you should consult with your lawyer to ensure you make the best decision. Consider that if you go to court, you might be able to acquire a decent recompense that the insurance company is probably unwilling to provide you. However, if you lose the case, you will not only not receive any compensation, but you will also most likely be required to pay for the legal expenses associated with a lawsuit.

What factors are most likely to delay a car accident settlement?

  • Severe injuries: As previously mentioned, severe injuries may delay the settlement process because it would not be a good idea to reach a settlement without actually knowing the extent of your injuries and the future costs they may represent.
  • Delays from the insurance company: The insurance company can take weeks to get back to you once you have sent the demand package. Additionally, they can delay other processes on purpose to push you to accept an unfair offer quickly. 
  • Accusations against you: In some cases, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident and were pre-existing. If this happens, you and your lawyer will have to gather the evidence necessary to prove that your injuries were actually caused by the collision. 
  • Multi-vehicle crashes: Collisions that involve more than two cars can take longer to be settled. If more cars are involved, then more investigation and more evidence are needed.

How long does it take to receive payment after a case is settled?

Once a car accident case is settled, it may take about 6 weeks for you to receive your payment. First, you and your lawyer will have to sign the release documents and send them to the insurance company. After that, the insurance company will send a check payable to you and your lawyer. Your lawyer will deposit this check into an escrow account to clear the funds. Once the bank has cleared the funds, unpaid liens and legal fees and costs will be deducted. Finally, your lawyer will send you a check with the remaining amount of money. 

What are the things you need to communicate with your lawyer for the car accident settlement?

To be able to successfully get fair compensation for your injuries after a car accident is necessary to have great communication with your lawyer. You and your lawyer must always be on the same page, if the insurance company makes an offer to settle, it is necessary that you discuss it with your lawyer before accepting anything. Similarly, you need to listen to your lawyer’s advice. They are there to look for your best interests. It is crucial to be completely honest with your lawyer, they need to know anything you know about the accident. That way it will be easier for them to help you. 

If you have recently been involved in a car accident and you need a personal injury lawyer, do not hesitate in contacting us. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. You will find some of the best attorneys in New York. Our legal team has years of experience working with car accident victims. We have represented numerous people in court and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for them. Call us at 212-969-2535 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers to review your case.

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Tags > What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York?

What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York?

Being involved in a car accident is an unpleasant experience that no one wishes to have. However, given the large number of existing vehicles in New York and the rising incidence of car accidents, it is very likely that we will be involved in a collision at some point.

New York is a no-fault state, which means that the only way that someone can sue you after a car accident is if the other party suffered serious injuries. According to the New York State law serious injuries include the following:

  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement 
  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Loss of a body organ or system
  • Permanent loss of the use of a body function
  • Significant limitation of the use of a body function
  • Death
What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York?
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Even if the other party suffered serious injuries as a result of the car collision, they must demonstrate that you were at fault. A jury will not award compensation to the other party if this condition is not met. If their injuries are not considered serious, each driver must submit a claim with their own insurance provider. Each motorist in New York is required by law to have no-fault insurance. No-fault insurance, commonly known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is used to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Personal injury protection does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. No-fault insurance does not cover property damage either.

What happens if the jury awards a verdict to the plaintiff?

If the plaintiff has evidence that you were at fault and the jury finds you to be at fault, you will be held liable for the payment. Nonetheless, liability insurance is available for this purpose. Liability insurance is used to pay for damages incurred as a result of an accident for which you are judged responsible.

In New York, each driver must carry at least $25,000 of insurance coverage for bodily injury and $50,000 for accidents involving one person. For accidents involving two or more people, the minimum is $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death. However, insurance companies will only cover the amount specified in your policy. For example, if a jury awards the plaintiff $40,000 and your liability insurance limit for bodily injuries is $25,000, you are liable for the remaining $15,000. As a result, it is usually preferable to invest a little extra in insurance coverage. A few dollars added to your insurance premium can make a significant impact if you are ever involved in an accident lawsuit.

What happens when someone driving your car gets in an accident?

In the United States, insurance coverage is related to the vehicle rather than the driver. This means that if someone else was driving your car and got into a car accident and was at fault, your insurance coverage will have to pay for the damages. When you give your car to someone else your insurance coverage also protects them in case they get injured. Keep in mind that even if you were not the at-fault driver, the accident will affect your insurance record. This means that when you renew your policy the following year, you could see an increase in your monthly payments. There are some situations where insurance companies usually refuse to pay for the damages caused by someone other than the owner. These are the most common cases:

  • The person who crashed your car took it without your permission.
  • The person driving is excluded from the policy coverage.
  • The driver consumed drugs or alcohol prior to the accident.

If the individual driving your automobile has their own auto insurance policy, their coverage may serve as backup to yours. Nevertheless, the insurance coverage tied to the vehicle will always be considered as the primary protection.

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Can someone sue you after your insurance pays?

Yes, even if they have previously obtained reimbursement from your insurance carrier, the other party may initiate a personal injury claim against you. Your attorney, on the other hand, will utilize this as a defense. In most situations, the lawsuit will be dismissed because when someone accepts a settlement from an insurance provider, they also agree not to seek more money.

How long does someone have to file a lawsuit for a car accident in New York?

The statute of limitations of New York allows individuals to file a personal injury lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. If the other party fails to initiate a lawsuit within this period of time the case will most likely be thrown out of court. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, cases involving wrongful deaths have to be filed in two years or less. Other exceptions include lawsuits involving minors, in this case, the statute of limitations is paused until the minor turns 18. Therefore the lawsuit can be initiated within three years after the 18th birthday of the individual.

How do you beat a car accident case?

The first step is to notify your insurance company as soon as you find out that you are being sued. Normally, if a lawsuit is filed against you, your insurance provider will have one of their accidents attorneys represent you in court. Nonetheless, it is always convenient to contact an accident lawyer on your own. You have the right to consult with them about any doubts you may have. Your accident attorney will review the lawsuit and will explain to you your legal options and the consequences you could face in case you are found guilty. If you recently discovered that you are being sued for a car accident, do not hesitate in contacting us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation with one member of our legal team to review your case.

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Tags > How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Personal Injury Settlement Payout
Personal Injury Settlement Payout

Personal injury lawsuits can take a long time to settle, but when they do, most victims are impatient to get the settlement payment. However, settlement checks are not given immediately after the case is settled. Liens, legal fees, and attorney’s fees will be paid before the plaintiff receives a check with their portion in the mail. 

Following a settlement, there are two common types of compensation. Structured settlements are the first. Structured settlements are paid in installments over a specified time period. Structured settlement payments are preferred by some people because they provide them more control over the money they receive in each installment. The money can be received at various intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. The amount of money paid in each installment may also differ. In some circumstances, payments may be increased over time by modifying the amount paid to match inflation. This option may be especially beneficial for persons who will be undergoing medical treatment over an extended period of time and whose medical bills may get more expensive as time passes. Similarly, payments might be reduced over time. In some cases, the plaintiff may receive a larger amount of the compensation in the first installment to cover medical bills, mechanical repairs, legal fees, or other expenditures, and then continue to receive funds in smaller installments. Structured settlements are quite flexible in terms of how and when money is paid, as long as it is paid. However, once the structure of the settlement is determined, it cannot be modified. Therefore, the settlement structure should be examined with a financial advisor to ensure that the proper selection is made.

Lump-Sum Settlements are the second type of compensation. The victim will get the total sum in a single installment under this type of settlement. This type of settlement is ideal for persons who wish to invest the money they receive because it is likely to be substantial. One disadvantage of this form of settlement is that financial management abilities are required. Some people are terrible with money and end up wasting it all. You can, however, multiply that settlement if you have solid money management abilities and financial understanding. 

What Steps Are Involved in the Settlement Check Process?

Once the settlement has been reached there are some steps before you can actually receive your compensation.

Signing the Release:

The first step after receiving an Order of Settlement is to sign the Release. The release is a legal document that must be drafted by the at-fault party’s lawyer. This document will include all of the payment’s terms and conditions. This document can be short and easy to understand, or it can be long and complex. In certain circumstances, the at-fault party’s attorney makes this document lengthy and difficult to interpret in order to prolong the process. Your lawyer will need to thoroughly analyze the release in order to clarify every detail to you.If your attorney discovers anything with which they disagree, they can contact the defendant’s lawyer to alter the release. If the two parties cannot agree on the terms of the release, a judge will step in to mediate, which will also extend the process. Finally, if both parties’ attorneys have reached an agreement, you will be required to sign it. In most situations, signing the contract also means you agree not to seek additional compensation in the future. To be valid, the document must be signed in the presence of a notary public. After signing, the documentation must be mailed to the insurance company and the defendant’s attorney.

Check is issued by the insurance company:

Typically, the insurance company of the at-fault party is responsible for releasing the check once the release document has been signed and received by them. Insurance companies are required by the law to issue the check as soon as they receive the release. The check will be payable to both you and your attorney.

Check is deposited into an escrow account:

The insurance company will send the check to your attorney’s office and then it will be deposited into an escrow account. The money will remain in the escrow account while the bank clears the funds. Once it has been confirmed that the insurance company has the funds to pay the settlement, your attorney will deduct any unpaid liens from the payment. You can owe liens to a medical service provider due to the accident but if you also owe liens to a party that is not related to the accident you will also be required to pay that lien. For example, outstanding child support obligations are considered a lien that must be paid. Once all liens have been paid, the lawyer will deduct legal fees and costs. Normally, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, this means that they only earn money if their client is granted compensation. Most lawyers fees range between 30 and 40 percent of the settled amount. Nevertheless, the lawyer probably paid for some expenses during the course of the case and these costs will be deducted as well. For example, if you are settled for $200,000 and you had $30,000 pending in unpaid liens, the agreement between you and the lawyer stated that they would receive 33 percent of the settled amount ($66,000) and they spent $7,000 in collecting evidence, hiring expert witnesses, obtaining medical records and other costs, that will leave you with $97,000.

Receive your settlement:

After all liens and legal fees have been paid, your lawyer’s office will mail you a check with the amount of money remaining. You can deposit that check to whichever account you like and use the money to what is more convenient to you. 

How Long After Settlement Do I Get Paid in New York?

It is difficult to predict how long it will take for a settlement to be paid. In some situations, the full procedure can take up to 6 weeks. This time could be greater or shorter depending on the constraints imposed by the county and the judge. If the party obligated to pay the settlement decides to appeal a court decision, the payment procedure could be delayed for months or even years.

Are New York Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

Personal injury settlements for compensatory damages are not taxable. This implies that if you receive reimbursement for medical bills, lost pay, or mental suffering, your settlement will not be taxable. However, if you are granted punitive damages, that portion of the settlement may be taxed.

New York Personal Injury Lawyer

At Greenberg & Stein P.C. We are fully committed to help you in every step of the litigation process. Our lawyers have vast experience handling personal injury claims and dealing with insurance companies that try to delay the payment. Our legal team has successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients and we have provided support in every phase of the process. Filing a personal injury claim and fighting for your rights can be very hard without the help of a professional. Contact us at 212-969-8775 to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers to review your case. 

Blog > Greenberg & Stein > Tags > Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

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Taxable Person Injury Settlements

A personal injury lawsuit can be a long and exhausting process, but it is often essential in order to secure adequate compensation for one’s injuries. Nonetheless, when everything comes to an end, there is one more thing to consider: taxes. It is critical to understand that after receiving compensation, a portion of the settlement may or may not be taxable. For example, compensatory damages, as the name implies, are the sums of money paid to compensate for expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages are not typically taxable. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are frequently taxed. There are, of course, exceptions and some unique instances. It is always a good idea to consult your accountant and attorney if you have any questions concerning your settlement or taxes.

What Type of Settlements Are Not Taxable?

The majority of settlements that reimburse for medical expenditures incurred as a result of a physical injury (personal injury claim) are tax free. 

  • Motor vehicle accident settlements: This kind of settlement is among the most frequent types of non-taxable personal injury settlements. As a result, the amount of money received to pay for medical bills cannot be taxed by the State of New York or the IRS. Keep in mind that this only applies to bodily harm, not property damage. 
  • Slip and fall settlements: Personal injury settlements awarded in circumstances where someone slips and falls as a result of the property owner’s negligence are tax exempt.
  • Wrongful death settlements: This kind of settlement occurs when the deceased person’s relatives submit a lawsuit or claim. In most circumstances, relatives may be compensated for monetary support, medical expenditures, prospective income loss, and death benefits. Most of these damages are deemed compensatory, which means they are not taxable in most situations. 
  • Lost wages: Settlements that award reimbursement for lost wages are not taxable only if the loss of income is directly related to a physical injury or sickness.
  • Other non-taxable personal injury settlements include those obtained in medical malpractice lawsuits, dog attacks, construction or work injuries, and claims involving a defective part or product that caused harm to someone. 

What Kinds of Settlements Are Taxable?

If a portion of the settlement is awarded for a damage that is not considered a compensatory damage, it is subject to taxes. 

  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are legal compensation that must be paid by the at-fault party in addition to compensatory damages for committing a crime or infraction. Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in court. Nonetheless, when someone obtains compensation for punitive damages, they must keep in mind that this portion of the settlement is not tax deductible. 
  • Pain and suffering: This kind of damage is difficult to categorize as taxable or non-taxable. As long as the injuries are evident, the amount of the settlement used to pay for medical expenses is normally non-taxable. However, because pain and suffering are subjective, the portion of the settlement that pays for pain and suffering is tax exempt in circumstances where the emotional anguish is directly caused by the injuries received during the occurrence. If the mental discomfort is caused by an external factor, any payment awarded for this damage is taxable. 
  • Interests: Settlements that accumulated  interest for any reason. The amount earned by the interest is taxable by both the IRS and New York State.

 Do I Have to Disclose a Personal Injury Settlement to the IRS?

When you file your tax return, you must include in your income the portion or portions of the settlement that are not tax exempt. For example, if you earned $100,000 from a personal injury case but only $80,000 is compensatory damages, you must declare the remaining $20,000 in income. If you deducted any out-of-pocket medical expenses from the previous year’s tax return and were later compensated as part of the settlement for these expenses the following year, you must declare this share as income.If you are unsure whether the amount received qualifies as compensatory damages or not, consult with an accountant and your lawyer.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Personal injury settlements are usually paid in two forms:

  •  Lump Sum:The plaintiff receives the whole amount of money awarded in this mode a few weeks after the settlement is achieved. Normally, the amount of money is deposited into an escrow account to clear the payments and guarantee that the payee has enough money. Following that, any pending lains, legal and attorney expenses will be deducted from the settlement amount. Finally, the law firm will give the plaintiff a check for the surplus money.
  • Structured Settlements: This type of settlement mandates the payee to pay the awarded sum in a predetermined number of installments over a set period of time. Payments may increase or decrease over time, or they may remain constant during the agreed-upon term. Similarly, the payment schedule might be agreed upon monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Regardless of the type of payment chosen for the settlement, the rules and regulations for taxable and non-taxable settlements remain the same. 

Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer

For most people, being in an accident and filing a personal injury claim can be a daunting process. In some circumstances, claimants will need to gather evidence to back up their claims, fill out a lot of paperwork, and deal with injuries that may need them to miss work. Finally, when a settlement is made, the majority of people will almost probably have to deal with a difficult tax return. Hiring a personal injury attorney can make things a lot easier. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. You will find some of the best personal injury attorneys in New York. From start to finish, our legal team will guide you through every step of a personal injury claim. Our skilled attorneys have represented many clients and assisted in the recovery of millions of dollars in compensation. Call us at 212-969-8755 to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys to go through your case.

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How Will a Car Accident Affect my Insurance?

car accident affect insurance
New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Have you lately been in a car accident? If you have, you are most likely dealing with a slew of issues relating to the procedures that follow a crash. It is also possible that you are currently wondering if your insurance premiums will rise as a result of the incident you just experienced. First and foremost, you must understand that not all car accidents will result in a rise in your insurance premium. Fortunately for us, insurance companies in New York are forbidden from raising our monthly payments if the accident caused no more than $2000 in material damages, no one was injured, and the claim is within our insurance policy limits. If these prerequisites are not met, or if you have had more than one accident in a short period of time, your insurance rates will likely increase.

How Much Does Car Insurance Increase After a Car Accident in New York?

Your insurance company will identify you as someone who poses a risk to them after you were engaged in an automobile accident that resulted in injuries or considerable property damage. Your insurance premium will go up as a result of this. This increase is typically close to 41% of your previous monthly payment in New York. If you used to pay $200, for example, you would see an increase of $80. Keep in mind that depending on the severity of the damages, this percentage could be higher. In most circumstances, insurance companies will look at your driving record for the previous three years, so accidents before that period will have no bearing on the cost of your coverage. 

Minimum Liability Requirements for Auto Insurance in New York

New York is a no-fault state, which means that if someone is injured in an accident, they can pursue compensation with their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. Personal Injury Protection is the common name for this type of insurance (PIP). All drivers in the state of New York are required to acquire a policy that includes the following coverage.

  • $10,000 for material damages.
  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people.
  • $50,000 for one fatality.
  • $100,000 for two or more fatalities.

If you fail to fulfill these minimal coverage requirements, your driver license and car registration may be suspended.

No-fault regulations were enacted to prevent New York drivers from filing a lawsuit every time they were involved in an accident in order to recover their expenses. You can, however, initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault party if the costs of the collision exceed the coverage of your Personal Injury Protection.

When Car Accident Insurance Premiums in NY Don’t Go Up?

Even if you are involved in an accident, your insurance premium may not increase in some cases. One factor that most insurers consider is whether or not you were at fault. When one of the drivers is at fault, the accident is called a fault accident. In New York, however, culpability might be shared amongst the drivers. If you were not at fault for 50% or more of the accident, your insurance rates are unlikely to increase.

Here’s a list of instances in which your premiums are likely to stay the same:

  • If your car was involved in a hit-and-run accident and it was reported in less than 24 hours. 
  • If your automobile was legally parked when it was hit by another vehicle.
  • If you were reimbursed by the person responsible of the accident
  • If damage was caused by animals, falling objects or missile-like objects.
  • If you were not convicted of a moving traffic violation and the other driver is.
  • if your insurance company was able to recover 80% or more of the losses from the other driver’s insurer by subrogation. 

Choosing a Car Insurance Company in New York

When it comes to purchasing insurance for your vehicle, you may feel overwhelmed by the large number of companies offering policies.Many people buy a policy because it’s from a well-known company, others because the monthly payments are inexpensive, and yet others because it’s the first option that came up. Nevertheless, this should not be the method by which you select the insurance firm in which you will place your faith. We suggest taking these steps before obtaining a policy.

Evaluate different companies: Ask for quotes from different companies. Nowadays, you can compare insurance rates online, but if you prefer you can always speak to an agent or broker. If you are working with an agent make sure this person is licensed by the state you live in, this means that you will be working with a professional. 

Provide accurate information: When you seek a quote, the insurance company, broker, or agent will ask you for information regarding the vehicle you own, especially if you are doing it online. Make sure you have all of the correct information about your car to avoid receiving quotes that aren’t correct.

Choose a coverage that suits your needs: Once you’ve collected many quotes, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each firm or product you’re evaluating. You may be tempted to go with the most affordable choice, but think about if the coverage of that plan meets your needs. Some insurance companies provide more coverage in the event that you are at fault, while others provide more asset protection.

Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney for Your Insurance Claim?

Although there are no laws requiring you to hire an attorney when submitting a claim with an insurance company, engaging a lawyer will almost likely increase your chances of collecting fair compensation sooner. Keep in mind that attorneys are used to dealing with insurance companies and have dealt with a wide range of vehicle accidents. When it comes to negotiating a settlement, their experience will be invaluable. In addition, if your injuries prevent you from gathering information or documentation necessary, a lawyer will assist you in these things. Most importantly, if you are unable to obtain adequate compensation and must initiate a lawsuit, having an experienced attorney on your side is critical to your success.

Get a Free Case Analysis with a New York Personal Injury Lawyer 

Greenberg & Stein P.C. is dedicated to assisting those in need. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you believe you need support with an insurance claim or if you suspect your case will need you to go to court. Our attorneys have dealt with numerous car accident cases and have guaranteed that our clients receive fair compensation for their losses. Call us at 212-969-8770 to schedule a free case analysis with one of our personal injury lawyers.