December 13, 2023
As we have already covered in these pages, every case is unique and no two cases will follow the exact same path. There really is no easy answer to the question:
How long will my New York car crash case take?
The duration of a case depends on the degree of injury, liability issues, the amount and quality of evidence, available insurance, among other factors.
Those injured in a New York car crash are normally required to show a “serious injury” as that term is defined under the Insurance Law. Some of those serious injury categories, for example the “90/180” category, requires the passage of time. Other categories, such as a permanent consequential limitation of use, require a showing that the injury is permanent.
If the parties are not able to reach a settlement without the filing of a lawsuit, the injured person may need to navigate the busy court system, which may entail scheduling delays.
An experienced New York personal injury attorney can help injured pedestrians and motorists receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering after a crash. Assuming the injured person can establish that another person is liable, or responsible, for the crash and related injuries rise to the level of a “serious injury,” this compensation can come in the form of a settlement or verdict.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement occurs when the injured person and the insurance company obligated to pay on behalf of the liable person reach an agreement. This agreement can be reached at any point in the case, before or after a lawsuit is filed, and even during trial while the jury is deliberating.
Such an agreement represents a mutual decision to end the case in exchange for a definite settlement amount. Most cases end with a settlement because the parties, more or less, see eye to eye and want to avoid future risk. An experienced New York personal injury attorney will only recommend settlement if the amount fully compensates the injured person for past and future pain and suffering or is the best possible outcome given the circumstances, including liability concerns and the amount of available insurance coverage.
Once a claim for pain and suffering is settled, it cannot generally be reopened. Being an agreement, the settlement is memorialized in a release which can discharge the liable parties and their insurers from any obligation to pay anything in the future. The release is, in essence, a contract.
If the Parties Do Not Agree
If the parties do not agree to a settlement, the case can go all the way to trial, which requires the parties to go through the litigation stages including pleading, discovery, and motion practice. This process, which can get complicated and is best explained by an experienced New York car crash attorney, can take years but this delay may be necessary if the insurance company is not making a fair offer.
If the case goes all the way to trial, the verdict is rendered by a finder of fact which can be a judge but is normally a jury. A verdict in favor of the injured person can be incorporated into a judgment. Even then, the case may not be over. The losing party can still make a motion asking to have the verdict modified or set aside. The judgment could be appealed to an even higher court.
The attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. have extensive experience helping injured New York motorists obtain maximum compensation. If you are looking for an experienced attorney after a New York car crash, please do not hesitate to give our attorneys a call. We would be honored to review your unique situation to see if we can help.