What is a Fair Settlement in a Car Accident Case?

It should come as no surprise that your idea of a reasonable settlement is vastly different from that of the insurance company who must pay for your injuries. You need the right firm that knows exactly how to make that settlement happen. Let the Ahearne Law Firm show you how we can help turn a bad accident into a real recovery. Some things you need to know:


The first challenge to any auto accident case is that the Plaintiff must establish that the Defendant(s) are liable for the Plaintiff’s injuries. A Plaintiff can only recover damages after they establish that the Defendant(s) are liable for those damages.

Because New York is a comparative negligence state, this means that the Plaintiff may share in a percentage fault in an auto accident and still recover. Many auto accidents, in fact, do not result in 100% liability attributable to the Defendants(s) for the simple reason that an accident involving two or more vehicles, by nature, often requires that each contribute to the accident to some degree.

In New York, an injured plaintiff can recover from a negligent Defendant regardless of the amount of the Plaintiff’s fault. This means that a Plaintiff who is 70% at fault for an accident can recover for damages caused by the Defendant(s) who were 30% at fault, but Plaintiff’s recovery would be reduced by their 70% of the fault. Thus, in this example, if $100,000 in damages, the plaintiff will recover only $30,000.


The term Damages refers to the amount of money that a Plaintiff can recover for their injuries. Types of damages include:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages and/or loss of income

  • Property damage

  • Pain & suffering

  • Out of pocket litigation expenses (not legal fees)

Once liability is established, proving damages is often an entirely separate battle in any lawsuit. In New York, many Courts require what are called “bifurcated trials” which means a single trial is cut into two trials; one for liability, and if Plaintiff wins, then a second trial on damages.

In any settlement discussion or damages trial, the Plaintiff must show, by verifiable proof, the extent of their damages. This often requires numerous medical exams by both Plaintiff’s and Defendants’ experts, medical bills, proof of employment and lost wages, proof of time out of work, tax returns, impact on one’s quality life, and anything else that can show the extent of a Plaintiff’s physical and psychological injuries and financial losses.

How The Ahearne Law Firm Can Help

In New York State, insurance carriers cannot be held liable for denying good claims, which too often emboldens carriers and leads to the denial of many good claims and extensive litigation.

We have spent years litigating against these carriers. We know their tactics, their budget management schemes, and breaking points. We are your voice and we are a loud one at that. We provide clients a clear path and plan of attack and we go into your case organized and focused in a manner that instantly sets the tone and puts the Defendants squarely on the defense.

We prepare your case in full in advance and file once we have everything needed to cut through the slow drag within the Courts that all Defendants seek to create because they do not want to pay you a dime. We go right after liability and damages from day one, letting insurance carriers and their defense firms know that you won’t back down and that you are entitled to and demand the maximum recovery possible for your damages.

Contact us (845) 763-4100 today to begin your free case evaluation.

Let us show you how we can help turn a bad accident into a real recovery.


Get The Ahearne Law Firm on Your Side

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