How to Get More Money From a Car Accident Settlement in NY

how to get more money from a car accident settlement

Being injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault can turn your life upside down financially. Medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs—the costs add up fast. You deserve full compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but they’ll try every tactic to lowball or deny you proper payment.

At Held, Held & Held, our seasoned Brooklyn personal injury attorneys know all the games insurers play. We’ve spent decades battling them to maximize settlements for our clients rather than letting them get bullied into lowball offers. With our aggressive representation and proven negotiation strategies, we’ll force the insurance company to pay up.

This guide covers tactics for getting more money from your car accident settlement, from accurately calculating damages to positioning your case for maximum leverage at the negotiating table. When you’re represented by Held, Held & Held, insurers know they can’t take shortcuts on paying what you truly deserve.

How to Properly Calculate Compensation

Before entering any negotiations, you need to understand the full extent of your damages and what complete compensation looks like.

This goes well beyond just your current medical bills and property damage. An experienced car accident lawyer will examine:

Economic Damages

  • Lost wages from missed work, now and in the future
  • Future estimated medical costs for ongoing treatment
  • Replacement services like childcare if you’re incapacitated
  • Vehicle repair costs or replacement value
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident

Non-Economic Damages

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, PTSD, anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement

By accurately calculating both your economic damages and more subjective non-economic damages, you establish a true baseline for what full compensation should cover. Going in undervalued gives the insurer leverage to lowball you from the start.

Negotiating a Case’s Value with an Insurance Adjuster

With the groundwork laid, the real back-and-forth negotiations begin between you (or your attorney) and the insurance company’s adjuster. A few keys to an effective negotiation:

  • Never accept their first offer – it will always be unreasonably low
  • Substantiate every single element of damages with documentation
  • Highlight emotional aspects like pain/suffering in addition to bills
  • If liability is disputed, be prepared to present proof of their insured’s negligence
  • Point out consequences of not settling fairly like potential court costs

How New York Laws Affect Car Accident Compensation

One factor that can significantly impact your settlement leverage? New York’s no-fault insurance laws. These require drivers to file injury claims through their own policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage first, regardless of fault.

There are limits to these PIP benefits, however. Once you incur at least $50,000 in recoverable damages or suffer a “serious injury” like broken bones, you can pursue an injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Having an experienced NYC personal injury attorney who understands these liability thresholds and acts strategically to meet them can open pathways to higher compensation that may be unavailable otherwise.

How to Get a Higher Value for Your Car Property Damage

While your health and injury recovery must take priority, the property damage component of your settlement can still grow if handled properly:

  • Get repair estimates from reputable mechanics, not just what the insurer claims
  • If your vehicle is totaled, obtain valuations beyond just Kelley Blue Book
  • Keep records proving any upgrades or accessories affecting your car’s value
  • Demand compensation for sales tax and fees on your replacement vehicle

Don’t simply go with whatever lowball offer the insurer gives for repairs or replacement costs. Take the time to research and validate the proper valuations to maximize this part of your claim.

More Auto Accident Settlement Negotiation Tips

Negotiating for top value on your car accident injury settlement takes patience, documentation, and firm resolve. Here are some additional tips from the experts at Held, Held & Held:

1. Don’t Be in a Hurry

Rushing the process signals to insurers you’re desperate for a quick payout. Take the time needed to build the strongest case.

2. Don’t Accept First Offers

The initial offer is rarely fair compensation. It’s simply an insurer’s opening bid in the negotiation.

3. Always Have Good Documentation of Your Damages

Keep detailed records of all related medical bills, repair estimates, lost wages, and expenses to validate your demands.

4. Follow Through with Medical Treatment Guidelines

Any lapses in recommended care can be spun as evidence you’ve recovered or your injuries aren’t as severe.

5. Review Your Car Insurance Policy

Ensure you understand and leverage every helpful coverage like PIP, MedPay, rental car reimbursement, etc.

6. Be Patient but Persistent

Negotiations can drag on, so continue pressing your case firmly while the process plays out.

7. Hire an Attorney Early

A skilled lawyer negotiates better from the start and can move the case to litigation if needed.

Accepting a Car Accident Settlement Offer

Once the insurance company’s offers start approaching full and fair compensation, your attorney can advise whether continuing prolonged negotiations is worthwhile or if accepting a settlement is prudent.

Signs a settlement may be your best option:

  • The insurer seems to have reached their final offer ceiling
  • You’ve accounted for all present and future damages satisfactorily
  • Going to trial could undermine the value with added costs/risks
  • Extended litigation could drag out access to much-needed funds

Ultimately, the decision lies with you as the client on whether to settle or take your chances in court. With guidance from an experienced personal injury firm like Held, Held & Held, you can make the most informed decision possible.

Get Experienced Legal Help Negotiating Your Brooklyn Car Accident Settlement

From properly valuating your damages to relentlessly negotiating with insurance adjusters, you need a tenacious advocate protecting your rights after any car accident in Brooklyn or the surrounding New York boroughs.

At the law offices of Held, Held & Held, our skilled personal injury attorneys have spent decades battling against bad-faith insurance tactics to secure maximum compensation for our clients. We know all the games these companies play and leverage our expertise to prevent you from being victimized twice.

Don’t try negotiating with profit-driven insurers alone and risk walking away with an unfairly small settlement. Let us handle them from start to finish, pursuing proper accountability through negotiation or litigation as needed.

Contact Held, Held & Held today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your accident, your injuries, and your legal options for pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve under New York state law.

Author Bio

Edward Held is the founding member of Held, Held & Held, a family-owned multi-practice law firm in Brooklyn, NY. With more than 40 years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including personal injury, real estate, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and estate law.

Edward received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School and is a former President of the New York Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has been admitted into the Supreme Court of the United States and the New York State Courts.

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