Jury Verdict Research’s recent study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing the nationwide median is $34,550.
New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and mid-sized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering.
Only permanent injury cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to fewer lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.
- Get settlement value statistics for New York car accident cases
Below, I summarize recent reported settlements and verdicts in New York auto accident cases. These cases should be used for informational purposes only and not as a guarantee of what your own settlement payout might be.
Guirguis v. IMA Express Cab (2020 – Brooklyn)
Accident: While driving near the intersection of East 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the plaintiff was stopped in traffic. The defendant rear-ended the plaintiff’s van.
Injuries: The plaintiff sustained a herniated disc and a torn shoulder. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to address the torn shoulder. The defense expert claimed that the shoulder tear was not a trauma-induced injury.
Verdict: The jury awarded the plaintiff only $25,000 because they found that his injuries were not permanent.
Estate v. Hanasab (2020 – Nassau County)
Accident: While operating a motorized scooter, the plaintiff decedent was struck by a car attempting to make a right turn onto the same side of the street he was on. The plaintiff died four days later of his injuries. His widow sued both the driver and the Town of North Hempstead for creating conditions on the road that endangered her husband.
Injuries: The plaintiff sustained multiple fractures to his rib and clavicle. He also suffered internal bleeding. Four days later, he sustained respiratory distress and died.
Verdict: The jury ruled in favor of the estate, finding both defendants liable. They found the town 70 percent liable, while the defendant was 30 percent liable. They determined that the damages amounted to $2,797,683.72.
Barragan v. NYCTA (2020 – Brooklyn)
Accident: While attempting a right turn onto 60th Street in Brooklyn, a New York City transit bus struck a pedestrian. The lawsuit alleged that the traffic signal permitted her to walk across the street and that the bus driver should have yielded right of way.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered tears to her rotator cuff and meniscus. She also broke her left leg. The plaintiff also suffered multiple herniated discs. Her injuries required physical therapy, steroid-based injections, and two arthroscopic surgeries. The plaintiff continued to suffer knee, shoulder, neck, and back pain. She claimed she would need further surgery to her right knee, spine, and left shoulder.
Verdict: The jury determined that the plaintiff’s damages amounted to $10,600,000.
More Settlement Information: Average knee injury settlements
DeStefano v. Schumacher (2020 – Bronx)
Accident: The plaintiff claimed that he was negligently struck by the defendant’s vehicle while he was a pedestrian. He filed a complaint against the driver in the Supreme Court of New York, 12th Judicial District, Bronx County.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered serious and permanent injuries.
Verdict: The parties settled this case for $325,000.
Mawuena v. Elseyf (2020 – Bronx)
Accident: While stopping at a red light at an intersection in the Bronx, the plaintiff man’s vehicle was rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle. His wife was a passenger in his vehicle. Their lawsuit alleged that defendant was negligent. The defendant conceded liability.
Injuries: The wife suffered a closed-head injury and multiple disc herniations and bulges. Despite undergoing physical therapy, she continued to experience residual headaches and pain in her neck and back. Her husband also suffered herniated discs and bulges, but a torn meniscus as well. He had arthroscopic surgery performed on him.
Verdict: The jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $400,000. Each plaintiff received $200,000. However, their actual recoveries were the reduced stipulated limits. This consisted of $65,000 to the wife, and $95,000 to the husband.
Rostata v. The New York City Transit Authority (2020 – Queens)
Accident: The plaintiff, a nurse manager, fell while walking down a subway station stairway in Queens. She alleged that the New York City Transit Authority negligently created a dangerous condition that caused her to fall. The plaintiff claimed that a step’s right edge was damaged. Defense counsel contended that she failed to exercise due caution.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered a broken right ankle. She had it operated on when she was brought to the hospital. The plaintiff underwent physical therapy for 13 weeks. Her pain failed to resolve completely, and she experienced difficulty in her work.
Verdict: The jury found the New York City Transit Authority 54 percent liable, while they found the plaintiff 46 percent liable. However, before damages were awarded, the parties negotiated that the New York City Transit Authority pay $195,000.
More Settlement Information: average settlement for broken ankle
Francis v. Ebrahimi (2020 – Queens)
Accident: A woman plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended by a trailing car. Both the motorist and plaintiff sustained injuries and sued the defendants for negligence.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered tears to her right shoulder rotator cuff and glenoid labrum. For nine months, she underwent physical therapy. Arthroscopic surgery was then performed on her right shoulder. She underwent physical therapy for ten more months. The plaintiff claimed that her injuries made it difficult for her to do basic tasks such as bathing or cleaning.
Verdict: The motorist’s claim was resolved through a pretrial settlement. The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, finding that she suffered permanent limitations of her shoulder. They determined her damages amounted to $305,000.
Grosso v. Long Island Rail Road Company (2020 – Brooklyn)
Accident: While working as a Long Island Rail Road Conductor, the plaintiff injured himself after he attempted to open a stuck locomotive cab door. He sought damages for future pension contributions lost, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and wages lost.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered an elbow injury, which his employer claimed was his fault. They claimed he was the only cause of the accident, his injuries, and damages.
Verdict: The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. They awarded him $1,925,000 in damages.
Jiles v. Diallo (2020 – Brooklyn)
Accident: A taxi, stopped at an intersection in Brooklyn, was rear-ended by a minivan. The plaintiff, in this case, was the passenger, while the cab driver and tortfeasor were the defendants. The plaintiff claimed that both drivers were negligent in operating their vehicles.
Injuries: The plaintiff broke his nose and suffered a deviated septum. He also suffered soft-tissue back, neck, and right shoulder injuries. The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair his nose. He underwent 20 physical therapy sessions to treat his soft-tissue injuries. He claimed that he suffered hypogeusia and olfactory difficulties. The plaintiff also claimed that he has found it difficult to work as a consultant. The defense contended that the plaintiff has founded restaurants and traveled abroad after the accident.
Verdict: The jury found the cab driver 80 percent liable, and the tortfeasor 20 percent liable. The damages amounted to $75,000.
Singh v. 911 LLC (2020 – Brooklyn)
Accident: In this premise liability case, a laborer fell off a 25-foot ladder that was leaning against the supporting wall of a courtyard. The ladder turned over while the plaintiff was using a jackhammer on the courtyard’s concrete surface. The plaintiff suffered multiple injuries to his wrist, skull, elbow, and leg. He sued the premises owner, claiming failure to provide a safe work environment.
Injuries: The plaintiff broke his orbital, his maxillary sinus, his right femur, his right wrist, and his right elbow. He was transported to the hospital, where he had external fixation devices secured to his elbow, leg, and wrist. For four weeks, he was hospitalized. He underwent an estimated one week of inpatient rehabilitative care. He sought physical therapy after his discharge. The plaintiff claimed that he now has a hard time moving his leg, elbow, and arm. He now used a cane. The defense contended that the plaintiff exaggerated his residual effects and could walk without a cane.
Verdict: A pretrial settlement was negotiated, in which the defendant’s primary insurer tendered its $1,000,000 policy. Their excess insurer would pay $2,175,000 from a $10,000,000 policy. The settlement amounted to $3,175,000.
More Settlement Information: Average broken femur case
Estate v. Visiting Nurse Service of New York (2020 – Bronx)
Accident: The estate alleged that the nursing home failed to recognize the decedent’s condition. They also allege that the nursing home did not follow accepted procedures. The estate alleged medical malpractice because of negligence. They sought compensation for damages.
Injuries: The decedent sustained personal injuries, economic loss, mental anguish, and wrongful death.
Verdict: The settlement amounted to $500,000.
Commentary: This was likely a case where the negligence and breach of the standard of care were pretty clear. Restrictions on attorneys’ fees in New York make it hard to find a lawyer who will take these cases.
Ortiz v. Watson-Brown (2020 – Manhattan)
Accident: While riding his motorcycle in Manhattan, the plaintiff initially contacted a vehicle that stopped abruptly to drop off a passenger. Upon falling onto the street, he was then struck by a transit bus. The plaintiff sued the motorist, the bus operator, and the bus company for negligence. The bus company’s counsel contended that they did not strike the plaintiff who they claim had been speeding. The motorist also claimed that she was driving carefully when she stopped to drop someone off.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered an avulsion to his left leg, which led to compartment syndrome. He also dislocated his left shoulder. The plaintiff was hospitalized for over a month. One day after the accident, he underwent surgery on his left leg to remove damaged tissue and close his wound. The plaintiff sought physical therapy after being discharged. He suffered a disfigured leg, which needs corrective surgery. His physician also recommended surgery to reconstruct his shoulder.
Verdict: The motorist’s defense provided a $25,000 coverage. The plaintiff’s counsel settled claims against the bus operator and the New York City Transit Authority, who would pay $1,200,000. The total recovery amounted to $1,250,000.
Poletayev v. Danna (2020 – Bronx)
Accident: In this case, a police cruiser T-boned the plaintiff’s vehicle while he was driving through an intersection. The plaintiff alleged that the officer ran a stop sign which caused the collision. He also claimed that the officer was not responding to a police emergency at the time.
Injuries: The plaintiff suffered several disc herniations, a right shoulder rotator cuff tear, and right shoulder trauma. For six years, he underwent physical therapy and pain management that included steroid-based injections. He then had multiple surgeries on his back and shoulder. The plaintiff continued to have a hard time standing up for extended periods. He has not gone back to work following the accident. The plaintiff claimed that he needed medical care for life that includes spinal surgeries and further injections. Defense counsel contended that his injuries were not serious. Their expert neurologist also opined that there was no evidence that there were any neurological injuries and that his injuries resolved.
Verdict: On the day of jury selection, the parties negotiated a $3,449,990 settlement that the city would pay.
Mahabir v. Ramkissoon (2018 – Bronx)
Accident: Plaintiff was driving through an intersection in the city when Defendant ran a red light at the cross street and violently t-boned Plaintiff’s vehicle into parked cars on the opposite side of the street. Plaintiff had one witness to support his version of the accident.
Injuries: Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a partial tear of his rotator cuff in the left arm which required physical therapy and then arthroscopic surgery with debridement. Plaintiff missed 26 weeks of work and claimed that he suffered continuing pain and physical limitations. The defense disputed that Plaintiff actually torn his rotator cuff.
- Verdict: The jury awarded Plaintiff total damages of $600,000.
DeMegilo v. Sweet Express LLC (2018 – Nassau County)
Accident: Plaintiff, a construction laborer, was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended very hard by Defendant who was driving a large delivery truck. Fault was fully conceded and damages were the only issue.
Injuries: Plaintiff did not go to the hospital or request any other medical treatment immediately after the accident and first sought treatment 2 days later. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered partial tears of 2 ligaments in his left knee for which he underwent arthroscopic surgery and meniscectomy surgery. Plaintiff’s expert testified that he will eventually require knee replacement surgery. Plaintiff also claimed that he suffered a herniated disc with nerve impingement. His injuries left Plaintiff on crutches for 2 months and required 12 weeks of physical therapy. Plaintiff was also out of work for 6 months. The defense countered that the accident did not involve enough force to cause the alleged injuries and suggested that Plaintiff’s conditions were pre-existing issues.
- Settlement: $375,000. A settlement was reached with the insurance company, AIG, in pre-trial mediation.
Vasquez v. Bruckner Lumber & Supply Co. (2017 – Bronx)
Accident: Plaintiff was making a left turn in her sedan at a busy intersection in the Bronx with double left-turn lanes. The defendant was driving a delivery truck and also turning left in the adjacent lane. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant strayed into her line and side-swiped her car. Defendant contested liability and argued that Plaintiff was using her cell phone and not paying attention.
Injuries: Following the accident, Plaintiff was taken to a hospital and received minor treatment for pain in her back and left shoulder. Plaintiff eventually claimed that she suffered a tear of her rotator cuff and glenoid labrum in the left shoulder. Plaintiff also alleged disc herniations in her L3-4 and L5-S1 discs and a bulge in her L4-5 disc. Treatment for the herniated discs involved 3 months of physical therapy. The shoulder injuries allegedly required 2 arthroscopic surgeries and follow-up therapy.
- Settlement: $325,000. Pre-trial mediation.
Tejeda v. Potts (2017 – Queens)
Accident: Plaintiff was hit in the side rear while making a left turn on a green arrow. The defendant allegedly ran a red light. Defendant disputed this version of events but gave contradictory statements.
Injuries: Plaintiff alleged multiple disc herniations with nerve impingement and radiculopathy, which required extensive therapy and eventually back surgery. Plaintiff alleged that he continued to experience pain which limited his physical activities.
- Verdict: $1.1 million.
Schreiber v. John Willis Co. Inc. (2017 – Suffolk County)
Accident: Plaintiff was stuck on the side at an intersection while Defendant was making a left turn and failed to yield right of way. Defendant was arrested and charged with DUI.
Injuries: Plaintiff alleged L4-5 and L5-S1 disc herniations. He underwent 2 years of physical therapy and epidural steroid injections. Plaintiff eventually had to have spinal fusion surgery followed by another 12 months of therapy.
- Settlement: $925,000
Gubitosi v. Hyppolite (2017 – Suffolk County)
Accident: Plaintiff was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended by Defendant who was operating a taxi. Fault was admitted.
Injuries: Plaintiff alleged C3-4 and L4-5 disc herniations and a labrum tear in his hip. Plaintiff had 2 separate arthroscopic surgeries on either side of his hip. The second surgery had to be repeated due to complications. The back injuries were treated with physical therapy but Plaintiff contended that he will eventually require spinal fusion surgery. The defense disputed the injuries and claimed that they were degenerative.
- Verdict: $2.2 million
Ciullo v. Chen (2017 Queens)
Accident: Plaintiff was driving through an intersection in a parking lot when he was hit by Defendant who executed a poor turn without yielding implied right of way.
Injuries: This case presented somewhat unique injuries because the Plaintiff alleged that the accident aggravated his pre-existing injuries. Specifically, Plaintiff had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder 3 months before the accident and spinal fusion therapy on herniated discs a year earlier. Plaintiff alleged that the accident compromised the spinal fusion and reinjured his recently repaired shoulder requiring additional surgery and therapy.
- Verdict: $300,000.
Mead v. Guarasci (2017 Niagara County)
Accident: Plaintiff, a stay stay-at-homein her late 20s, was hit on the side when Defendant ran a red light at an intersection. Responsibility for the crash was admitted.
Injuries: The accident fracture a bone in Plaintiff’s knee which had to be surgically repaired with rods and screws. Plaintiff was in the hospital for 10 days and underwent months of physical therapy. Plaintiff suffered continued pain and limp in her walk.
- Settlement: $300,000. Pre-trial mediation.
Young v. Crouse (2017 Oneida County)
Accident: Plaintiff, a 24-year-old electrician, was a passenger in a truck that was rear-ended by Defendant shortly after coming to a stop at a stop sign. Responsibility for the collision was admitted.
Injuries: Plaintiff did not seek treatment initially. He eventually alleged C3-4 disc herniation and dis bulges of his C4-5 and C5-6 discs with spasms. Plaintiff’s treatment was limited to just 3 months of physical therapy. Plaintiff was advised not to return to work and claimed to have continued pain in his neck. The defense contested the injuries.
- Verdict: $250,000.
Fernandez v. Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (2016 Kings County)
Accident: Defendant pulled out of his street parking spot without seeing the Plaintiff who ran into the Defendant’s hospital transport van. Defendant contested fault and asserted that the Plaintiff was speeding.
Injuries: Plaintiff claimed cervical and lumbar disc herniations. After 10 weeks of physical therapy, the Plaintiff underwent spinal fusion surgery. Plaintiff claimed to have continuing pain in his neck that limited his ability to work and would require him to retire early. The defense contested the injuries as pre-existing and suggested that the car accident did not involve enough force to cause them.
- Settlement: $2.5 million.
2014 Personal Injury Jury Verdicts in New York
Here are some older verdicts we posted before we updated the page.
- July 2014, New York: $100,000 Settlement: A 46-year-old social worker entered a local deli in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. Within just a few steps inside she tripped and fell over a cash register and fallen ceiling tiles. The owner of the deli was inspecting the building’s roof when the accident occurred, as the building had been burglarized the night before. She sustained multiple tears in her left knee, a left ankle strain, lacerations to her right knee, left elbow trauma, and a sprain to her right foot’s big toe. She underwent arthroscopic surgery for her left knee but was informed by her orthopedist that the knee’s condition will deteriorate and she will require a total knee replacement. The woman sued the deli owner, claiming the deli should have been closed and its door locked until the debris was cleared. Plaintiff claimed the Defendant’s negligence created a dangerous condition. Defendant argued a sign was posted indicating the deli was closed but did acknowledge the door was unlocked. The matter continued to trial. But the parties agreed to a settlement during jury deliberation in the amount of $100,000.
- May 2014, New York: $1,830,000 Verdict: A 30-year-old homemaker presented to a local hospital with complaints of difficulty breathing with chest and back spasms. The physician noted the woman had undergone a lobectomy earlier that month and suspected infection and consulted with her surgeon. The surgeon ordered a psychological study, which suggested the woman was suffering anxiety. After seeing no improvement, she returned six weeks later where a CT scan revealed an accumulation of air and fluid in her pleural cavity as well as a fistula that had developed between her lung and pleural cavity. Her surgeon conducted a procedure to address only the infection. Six weeks later she underwent a procedure to address the fistula which required an Eloesser flap – the creation of a fist-sized hole to allow access to her pleural cavity on the upper portion of her back by removing several ribs. The woman sued the surgeon for failing to diagnose her infection. Plaintiff claimed the infection should have been diagnosed during her first hospitalization when the examining doctor first suspected its presence. Plaintiff claimed had an antibiotic been administered and drainage performed, the infection would have been resolved. Defendant denied liability, claiming he appropriately managed her first hospitalization. A jury found the Defendant negligent and awarded the Plaintiff $1,830,000.
- May 2014, New York: $17,000 Verdict: A man was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on East 28th Street in Sheepshead Bay. While stopped at the intersection with Avenue W, the vehicle was rear-ended. He sought treatment shortly after the collision for pain in his back, knees, neck, and shoulders. He was ultimately diagnosed with cervical and lumbar sprains, a partial tear in his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, and tears to his right knee. Eventually, he underwent a total replacement of his right knee. He sued the driver for negligent operation of his vehicle. Plaintiff claimed his injuries caused consistent pain and limitations. While the Defendant did not dispute liability, he contended Plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury. Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s injuries were minor and nothing more than soft tissue injuries. A Kings Supreme jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded him $17,000.
- March 2014, New York: $4,873,703 Verdict: A 40-year-old man was experiencing recurrent falls and sought the opinion of a neurologist. A series of tests were conducted, and the neurologist opined that the condition was a result of myasthenia gravis – a disorder that produces fluctuating fatigue and weakness of the muscle. He prescribed the man a medication that stimulates the nerves and advised he will probably need to have his thymus removed to prevent the disorder from worsening. Two years later the man underwent removal of his thymus, was prescribed additional medication, and required to undergo bi-weekly plasmapheresis sessions. Two years following his surgery he sought a second opinion. The second neurologist school-sponsoredfalls were a product of cataplexy. His medications were progressively altered, and he found his falls ceased when the original treatment ceased. He sued the first neurologist for medical malpractice. Plaintiff claimed Defendant misdiagnosed his condition, which led to years of distress and unnecessary treatment. Plaintiff claimed his plasmapheresis treatment resulted in an infection that resulted in hospitalization. Defendant contended Plaintiff’s allegations and maintained he indeed suffered myasthenia gravis and claimed Plaintiff’s improvement was a result of the initial treatment. A New York Supreme jury found in favor of the Plaintiff for $4,873,703.08.
- January 2014, New York: $225,000 Settlement: A 42-year-old man was driving on the westbound side of the Cross Bronx Expressway when he was rear-ended. He was taken by ambulance to St. Barnabas Hospital and treated for neck, back, and shoulder pain. He was later diagnosed with cervical and lumbar disc bulges, as well as a sustained a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff, which led to a development of tendinitis. His injuries required at least eight months of physical therapy, acupuncture, and epidural injections. He sued the driver and his insurer, Progressive, for negligence. Progressive did not contest liability, and the parties agreed on a $225,000 settlement.