Are mandatory settlement conferences required for damage recovery in Brookhaven New York?

Mar 17, 2020 7:05 PM ET

The first line of payment for damages resulting from a car accident in New York occurs through insurance companies.  Since New York is a “no fault” state, there should not be a significant waiting time for reimbursement to any accident parties who sustained vehicle damage directly related to the accident. When an accident results in injury, the driver who is at fault needs to contact the local police station as soon as possible.  The victims who were injured can seek compensation through their insurance company as well, and anything over the insured amounts, if the costs of medical expenses and other fiscal damages are higher, will have to be negotiated through insurance settlements, or perhaps through a legal claim in court, either can be filed with the assistance of an experienced attorney.  Any accident causing personal injury that results in more than $1,000 in damage to property must have a written report filed within ten days with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.


Settlement conferences

Some states require settlement conferences before accident cases are allowed to utilize court time. New York does not require mandatory settlement conferences to court litigation in motor vehicle accident cases, unless a malpractice claim arises out of post-accident related medical treatment.  The purpose of a settlement conference is to negotiate a fair settlement offer and resolve a case, but an attorney will need to discuss settlement options with all accident parties in advance. 


Statute of limitations.

Under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules Section 214, anyone injured in a car accident (driver, passenger, motorcycle rider, bicyclist, pedestrian) must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the date of the crash. Any type of vehicle accident can cause serious injury and may not be evident until sometime in the future well after the date of the accident. Because there is a limited amount of time to initiate a legal claim for damages after an accident, it is important that victims seek physical medical evaluation.  If something does show up at a later date, the statute of limitations will start when it is documented by a physician.


Settlement amounts.

Considerations by accident victims and attorneys, when deciding fair settlement amounts after an accident, may include:1) percentages of fault assigned to each party; 2) evidence to support damage costs; 3) insurance coverage information; 4) car repairs, 5) past and future medical expenses; 6) pain and suffering, 7) funeral costs and 8) current and future lost wages or impacts of job loss.



New York Law, contributory negligence needs to be determined for expenses above “no fault” insurance coverages to be paid, along with compensation for pain and suffering. 


Seek legal counsel.

It is best to consult with an experienced New York attorney for best results after an accident toward any type of settlement or legal action in court.

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