Auto insurance: How Car Accident Settlements Work

Auto insurance: How Car Accident Settlements Work


Hi everybody, my name is arcade freshman and I'm. A personal injury trial lawyer here in Brooklyn new york and I'm coming today from my office in Bensonhurst, and I wanted to talk to you about something that I believe you care about.

As a viewer, I've had a lot of clients, and a lot of prospective clients call me and say: how do car accident settlements work? How do these insurance companies decide how much to pay out in a car accident settlement? So I wanted to make an article and answer this important question that you and a lot of other viewers have so how do car accident uh settlements work.

Basically, the insurance company of the car that you are suing has an adjuster assigned and that adjuster is a claims adjuster, and that is somebody that is working for the insurance company. It is almost as if you hire us or you hire an attorney.

That attorney is representing your interests right that's; a person that's in your corner, fighting for you to get the absolute maximum compensation that they can and the adjuster is exactly the same thing before the insurance company.

The adjuster is like an advocate and an employee, a representative, a defender of that insurance company and their goal is essentially to pay out as little as possible and to save their money, whether it's, Geico Allstate, state farm, or a smaller company.

Everyone's in the business to save their money, even if you, as a claimant right you as an injured person, are able to show them that you were seriously injured and they were at fault for that injury.

They don't really care, they'll, come up with some other excuse right and just pay as little as possible. Now, if they have a large policy, let's say they have a million dollars in insurance, and you can show that you have life-threatening injuries.

You've been in a coma. You have a brain injury. I mean at some point. They have to offer you a high amount because the case just commands it, but what they usually try to do in most cases is they try to step around the law and step around the facts, to try to offer you as little as possible and they try to see if they can get away with it and there's, really two ways that they could get away with its number one they can get away with it by delaying, because even if, ultimately, they'll have to pay you.

Let's, say a million dollars. Well. Why should they pay you a million dollars today if they can delay and take depositions and ask for medical records and authorizations and keep you in this discovery swamp for years and years, and then they can just pay that or maybe even a little bit less Three-four years from now.

Meanwhile, their money is in the insurance company. You know investment bank and it's growing and making interest. Of course, they're going to do that. You know so it's, really important to get a lawyer that understands how this works and to really be able to put pressure on them and that that's, really important.

That's kind of what we've been doing like before the pandemic. We've been pushing all our cases towards trial. We've, been I myself, tried, seven cases in 2019 and I tried one case before the pandemic that ended in February of 2020, but now, with the trials being paused, one of the things that a lawyer can still do is take article depositions on Zoom take to speak to their clients on zoom and find out the clients human stories to be able to tell that story to the adjuster.

Send demand letters where you're demanding settlement and if they're, not paying a fair settlement, then litigate the case put it on the calendar, and get it ready for trial. For when the pandemic ends.

We could take the case to trial and obtain the maximum amount from a jury, so these are all things that a lawyer can be doing like just keep prosecuting the cases and keep trying to settle the cases. Now.

What if you have a smaller case? What, if you have a case where you got treatment for you, know three months and you have some a bulging disk or herniated disc, but it's. Nothing too serious. You can still obtain a substantial amount if you qualify in new york to meet the serious injury threshold, then, depending on the venue, whether it's, Bronx or Westchester, or Brooklyn, you can file a lawsuit now filing a lawsuit.

What that does is they might have one adjuster on the case originally, and that adjuster might say this is a no-pay case or we're, offering you two thousand dollars nuisance value as soon as you file that lawsuit they assign a litigation adjuster.

A different person - and now you're talking to this litigation adjuster, so we've had so many cases where we & # 39, re, being told no pay. We're, not going to pay anything. We file a lawsuit and one or two weeks later we get a phone call.

Oh, you're filing a lawsuit; okay, there's, a new litigation adjuster on this case, and now we'll offer you ten thousand. Fifteen thousand just to get rid of the case, so that's, that's. What's? One thing that a lawyer can do.

Another thing is, if you really think the case has underlying merit, then go ahead and take depositions go ahead and put it on the trial calendar and then take it to a jury. There have been so many cases where the insurance companies have said.

You know this case is worth fifteen thousand. This case is worth twenty thousand, nothing more and then you take that case to a jury and a jury gives you a verdict of 200 000 or we even had one case where we got a call saying that they had a witness and the witness was going To say that our client was at fault and in reality, we deposed that witness in discovery, and he said the exact opposite.

You know this case is worth fifteen thousand. This case is worth twenty thousand, nothing more and then you take that case to a jury and a jury gives you a verdict of 200 000 or we even had one case where we got a call saying that they had a witness and the witness was going To say that our client was at fault and in reality, we deposed that witness in discovery, and he said the exact opposite.

He said the insurance company, the driver of the truck, was at fault, and then I remember them calling when I filed the lawsuit trying to offer 15 or 20 000 to settle the case. But ultimately that case was settled for and 750 thousand dollars.

So the difference between what they offer you and the ultimate result can be just huge, so in summary, to find out how these settlements work. It's, really important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, but usually, the insurance companies will look at several factors, such as the severity of the injury, the liability of who was at fault.

How much policy do they have some cars in new york? Only have 25 000 and not a penny more, whereas others might have a million-dollar policy with excess or umbrella beyond that million. So when you add up on you stack all the policies they could have five or ten million, or even more than that.

So obviously, there's a potential for more there and just factors like that. One of the other things that they look at in determining how much to settle for is the type of lawyer you have if they see that you have a lawyer.

That's going to go to trial. Then they can be a little bit more scared. If you have a lawyer who's, going to maybe even threaten them or file a bad faith, lawsuit against them for not negotiating the faith in the case in good faith, then they get a little bit scared.

They offer you more money. We've had so many cases were just sending a demand letter that mentions bad faith gets a policy limit, offer or gets them to take the case more seriously and start negotiating it in good faith.

So you know these are just some of the things that you have to look for. If you have any questions, let us know we'd be happy to answer any questions. We're thinking about doing life, a youtube live where you can go on, life and ask us questions, and we can answer and have a discussion with you and also uh.

We're, starting a podcast where you can come on it's called trial stories, where you could listen to a podcast about certain trials that we've done, and we get into some of the nitty-gritty uh stories And uh uh of trials that we've uh, that we & # 39, ve won and interesting cases, and - and it comes not only the stories of the case which is very interesting but also the types of law involved.

So you might hear about the law with respect to a slip and fall the law with respect to falling on ice, the law with respect to car accidents, truck accidents, so it gets into all of new york law. Okay.

I hope this has been helpful. Have a great day ask us any questions. We'd be happy to answer. We'd be even happy to create an article that answers. Your question personally has a great day. Everyone stay safe, bye,

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