Will I Gain Interest on My Personal Injury Award?
If you receive a personal injury award from a jury, you may gain interest on the amount. The interest accrues from the jury verdict date until you receive the money, or your attorney enters a judgment.
Just because a jury awarded the plaintiff a specific amount in damages does not mean they will receive it. The defendant has the option of appealing the decision. Depending on the results of the appeal, the award is either reduced, sometimes increased, and occasionally thrown out altogether. A seasoned personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate verdict settlements so that client is assured of a certain amount of money.
Most claims are settled before going to trial, and the plaintiff knows how much they will receive. A New York City personal injury lawyer at Douglas and London will take your case to court if the insurance company or defendant does not agree to a fair settlement.
Statutory Interest Rates
The current interest rate environment is very low. However, those are not the interest rates applicable to personal injury awards. Under New York law, 9 percent is the statutory rate for pre- and post-judgment interest. This is higher than the interest rates in federal courts. Federal courts determine interest based on U.S. Treasury notes’ average yield. This interest rate is at historic lows.
The high-interest rate in New York also means that, with accumulation, the interest could exceed the amount of the award. There have been instances in which the statutory interest rate doubled the award amount.
Because the interest rate is so high, an experienced lawyer can pursue the opportunity to negotiate a settlement post-verdict. The advantage is that this means the defendant can no longer appeal. The injured party receives the compensation they deserve without having to worry about an appellate court decision.
Finally, there is an exception to the 9 percent statutory interest rate, and that is if the defendant is New York City—then it is 6 percent.
Personal Injury Judgment
If the defendant does not pay the judgment promptly, your attorney will put together a document known as a judgment, which is then signed by a Judge. The clerk of the court then enters it.
The judgment outlines the jury verdict. A court order is included in this document, which states that the defendant owes you a particular amount of money. If you are not paid quickly, it permits you to head to court for jury verdict enforcement.
You would receive interest on your judgment starting on the date the county clerk enters it. You continue receiving interest until not only the full verdict damages are paid, but also the accrued interest. This is another area in which your lawyer can negotiate a final settlement using the high statutory interest threat.
Keep in mind that when your lawyer does draft such a judgment, the odds are that the defendants are considering an appeal and may have no intention of paying you. However, if the case does go to appeal and you win, the judgment protects your right to these interest payments. It also allows for legal remedies to come into play to force the defendant to pay your damages and interest.
Personal Injury Damages
The damages, or compensation, on which the interest may accrue includes:
- Medical expenses, current, and future
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
Contact us for a free consultation
A skilled personal injury lawyer at Douglas and London not only holds those responsible for your injuries liable but knows how to negotiate a settlement or verdict so that you receive maximum compensation. We will explain how interest on your claim works, along with ensuring you are kept up-to-date on all aspects of your case.
Arrange a free, confidential consultation by submitting our online contact form or calling or texting 24/7. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation. Hablamos Español.