A Long Island man crossing Larkfield Road in East Northport was struck by a pick-up truck and badly injured. The injured man retained our law firm to represent him in an effort to collect compensation from the man who hit him. We investigated the case and overcame the objections of the defendant to force an early settlement of the full insurance policy of $100,000.
The Fact Pattern for this Pedestrian Accident in Suffolk County
My client waited for the light to change so he could cross Larkfield Road in East Northport. As he walked in the cross walk, the driver of a pick-up truck making a left turn struck him and knocked him to the ground. The driver said he did not see my client, but the accident happened in the middle of the afternoon on a perfectly clear day. Police and an ambulance rushed to the scene of the accident.
Since my client was a Vietnam Veteran, the ambulance took him to the VA Hospital in Northport. Doctors there transferred the man to Stony Brook Medical Center where he underwent surgery to repair his badly broken hip. He returned to the VA Hospital to recover from the surgery.
To Settle or to Go to Trial in a Car Crash Case?
The driver tried to argue that our client was at fault and deserved the blame for the crash. The insurance company initially resisted accepting any liability. We investigated the case and collected our client’s medical records. We built a strong case of liability against the driver who struck our client. Our evidence and arguments overwhelmed the insurance company’s objections.
We also documented the extensive injuries and treatment that our client underwent. We assessed the case as having a value of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, one that at trial could even bring $1 million. However, the driver only had a $100,000 insurance policy on the vehicle and limited income and assets to pay a court award beyond the insurance policy.
In this and similar cases, we present our clients with a choice. We can work for an immediate settlement paying the full amount of the insurance policy – in this case $100,000 – or we can go to trial. While there are always risks associated with going to trial, we could expect to win much more than the $100,000. We could then attach a judgment to the defendant’s income and assets to collect any award over $100,000. But if the defendant has limited income and assets, the ability to collect more money is reduced. In this case, we investigated the ability of the defendant to pay beyond the insurance policy and found that he had limited income and assets and no real ability to pay for damages.
At the Schlitt Law Firm, we commit ourselves to developing the case so we can maximize the compensation that our clients receive. We always present a trial assessment of each case and advise our clients on the advantages and disadvantages of settling a case or proceeding to trial. The decision to accept or reject a settlement always rests with our client.
In this case, our client decided to take the $100,000 insurance policy rather than wait the two plus years for a trial at which it was unlikely that he could collect more than the $100,000. We made sure that our client received a rapid payment.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may want to consult a New York personal injury attorney experienced with settling and winning car accident and pedestrian cases. I would be glad to answer your questions and assist you. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email me. You can also visit my website or read more on my blog, New York Law Thoughts.
Carol L. Schlitt
New York Personal Injury Attorney
This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney. Remember, past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in the future.
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