A Marine Corps veteran reached a settlement with the state of New York after she filed a personal injury lawsuit. She alleged that she suffered from head and facial injuries after a state trooper hit her with his car while she was riding a bicycle.
The Life-Changing Moment
The victim, who is originally from Virginia and was visiting her family for the 4th of July, was riding her bicycle on the road when the trooper’s car struck her. She was thrown off the bike and into the windshield of the car. At the time of the accident, the police officers who responded to the scene indicated in their report that she had entered into the intersection and that it wasn’t the driver’s fault for hitting her.
She vehemently denies the determination made by the officers and has said that the accident “turned her life upside down.”
Her attorney was able to successfully demonstrate that it was impossible for her to have been in the interaction at the time of the accident. According to court records, it was later determined that the trooper who struck her was turning left and cut the corner too sharply. Both the verdict from the first trial, as well as a determination from the Appellate Division Third Department in Albany, were in favor of the plaintiff. Before the parties returned to court to determine the extent of her damages, the state offered a settlement of $1.6 million, which the plaintiff accepted.
Why Was The Case Brought Against New York?
If a government employee’s negligence caused a car accident, the victims can pursue legal action against the state for the damages that they have suffered.
The Statute Of Limitations
Normally, the statute of limitations for a car accident would be three years in the state of New York. However, if a complaint is being filed against the government, there are often stricter time limits placed on the plaintiffs.
What Does The Settlement Provide The Victim With?
Depending on the circumstances of a personal injury case, a successful outcome in the form of a settlement or verdict may provide the plaintiff with compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Earnings
- Emotional Trauma
- Pain and Suffering
What Would Have Happened If She Had Been At-Fault?
New York operates under what is known as pure comparative negligence. Even if the plaintiff is somehow partially responsible for the accident which caused their injuries, this does not stop them from pursuing the other negligent party.
If they do receive a favorable verdict or settlement, the total amount will be decreased by a certain percentage. This percentage represents the portion of the accident for which the plaintiff was responsible for.
What Should I Expect From My Lawyer?
If you’ve never had to consult with a lawyer before, you may not know what to expect during the process of filing a claim.
First, it is in your best interests to find an attorney who has experience in the type of law that your complaint is involved in. Be sure to ask questions like how long they’ve been in practice, what kinds of results have they obtained for other clients, and what they will need from you during the process before you agree to work with them.
A good lawyer will:
- go over every detail of your accident and the damages that resulted from that accident
- explain to you which parts of your case are the most important and why
- tell you what to expect during the process of pursuing legal action
- estimate how much everything will cost
- give you an idea of how long the process may take
- explain the differences and risks of going to trial vs settling
- inform you of what your case might be worth – although it is important to remember that no one can give you an exact number
You should be prepared to provide photographs of the scene and your injuries, medical records, police reports, copies of your expenses, and anything else that might be relevant to your case.