Personal injury is an area of law focused primarily on disputes related to personal rights, specifically regarding physical, mental, and emotional damage.

Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Premises liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death

There are many other types of personal injury claims as well, and with the help of a qualified attorney, those who are injured can fight for a settlement that covers medical and other expenses.

What type of compensation can injured parties in Buffalo, NY, expect from a personal injury settlement?

The Law In New York

It’s important to understand that settlements are dependent on a range of factors, such as the type of accident, the type and severity of injuries, and current and anticipated costs. For example, you could expect very different settlements for a case of food poisoning versus a slip and fall accident or a wrongful death case.

In the state of New York, the minimum car insurance drivers are required to maintain is liability coverage, which includes up to $25,000 for bodily injury or $50,000 for bodily injury resulting in death. It must also include $50,000 for two or more persons sustaining a bodily injury or $100,000 for two or more persons suffering death.

Unfortunately, this number doesn’t account for any additional punitive damages, such as pain and suffering, and because the liability is capped, it may not be enough to cover ongoing medical expenses and other losses. Settlements in personal injury cases tend to be higher than the national average in New York.

National and State Averages

As of 2022, the national average payout for bodily injury related to an auto collision was just over $24,000. In New York, the settlements tend to be larger because of no-fault insurance laws.

Drivers are required to carry liability insurance that pays without any fault being assigned, so smaller claims are often simply paid. The cases that go to court are those with damages exceeding required liability coverage.

Recent Buffalo Settlements

In Buffalo, in particular, there have been some very high-dollar settlements in recent years. For example, in 2020, a police car responding to a call was driving 80 mph when it struck two people walking along Main Street.

One woman, Chelsea Ellis, suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was rendered quadriplegic by the accident. In 2023, she was awarded a settlement of $43 million, the largest payout for a personal injury lawsuit in the city’s history at the time.

In 2012, Richard Metcalf, Jr. was arrested for burglary and, while in holding, was the victim of excessive force by deputies, resulting in his death. In April of 2024, the family received the largest civil judgment in Erie County history in the amount of $95 million.

Factors That Could Impact Compensation

When it comes to compensation for personal injuries, there could be a range of factors involved in reaching a settlement. The severity of the injuries is a major factor. While car insurance in New York will cover up to a certain amount, for example, any damages that exceed set limits will require a lawsuit.

The impact on the injured person is another consideration, particularly if a person cannot work or loses function. The cost of treatment is also calculated, as is the anticipated recovery time. Emotional and psychological suffering could play a role as well. Finally, the cost of the lawsuit itself might be rolled into the settlement amount.

How To Fight for a Fair Settlement

While there are no guarantees when you take a personal injury case to court, the best way to fight insurance companies for the compensation you deserve is with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Contact The Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyers At O’Brien & Ford PC For Help Today

For more information, please contact the Buffalo personal injury lawyers at O’Brien & Ford PC to schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer. We have a convenient office location in Buffalo, NY.

We proudly serve all throughout Erie County and the state of New York.

O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
4549 Main St, Suite 201
Buffalo, New York, 14226
(716) 222-2222