Restitution vs. Insurance Claims

When you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s actions—or inactions—you may be entitled to compensation for your expenses and losses. But where that compensation comes from is a matter that needs to be addressed by a skilled personal injury lawyer who understands that every case is unique, and who works to obtain justice for victims from every possible source.

Restitution for your injuries

In New York, restitution is payment made by a person convicted of a crime to his or her victims. Restitution is not meant to address future losses or pain and suffering, but rather to repay victims for their losses. This type of payment is available for those whose personal injuries result from a criminal action, such as drunk driving, reckless driving, assault, murder, or other such action.

A criminal judge may order restitution if the court considers it is necessary for rehabilitation to make the victim whole again, and if the victim suffers financial losses because of the crime. Restitution is meant to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, property damage, and any other specific and direct financial loss imposed by the criminal action.

Restitution is ordered to be paid to direct victims of crime as well as indirect victims, or people who suffered because of criminal actions but not the recipient, such as the family members of those lost because of a drunk driving accident. Government entities, victim compensation programs, and other victim service organizations may also receive restitution payments if ordered by the judge.

Insurance claims payouts

Insurance coverage should pay for or reimburse you for any property damage or medical costs you sustain from your personal injury, less a deductible. There is no need for a criminal element to be present for you to collect an insurance payout, and while some people can handle this on their own, insurers are notoriously difficult to deal with and attempt to award the least amount of compensation in any claim.

Bills begin to pile up immediately after an injury occurs. Insurance can be viewed as low-hanging fruit, and the first line of financial defense against mounting losses. But insurers—medical insurance companies, car insurance companies and life insurance companies—all want to get all these claims handled as quickly as possible and for as little payout as possible, and most people settle their insurance claims for less money than they are worth. This is especially common in auto accident cases, where people usually need to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Your personal injury lawyer can help make sure all of your losses are fully covered by your insurance company, as dictated by your policy, and that you are not leaving money on the table that you need to address your economic damages.

Which to choose?

If there is a criminal aspect to the cause of your injury, you can file for both insurance money and criminal restitution. Keep in mind that all negligence is not necessarily criminal, even when the case involves medical malpractice, birth injuries, or a wrongful death. Your personal injury attorney can help you determine the root elements of your case and pursue the fullest scope of compensation from insurance, backed by the financial stability of restitution, if warranted.

Recover financially from your personal injury with an experienced Bronx injury lawyer

Even if you accepted an insurance payout, you may still be eligible for restitution if your injury was the result of a criminal action. The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn can help. Our personal injury law firm has 30 years of experience representing clients throughout the Bronx, all boroughs, surrounding counties and Long Island who have been wronged.

Call us at 718-409-5500 or contact us online to schedule your risk-free initial consultation.

Attorney Evan Kohn
About the Author: Evan Kohn
Evan W. Kohn is an experienced personal injury attorney serving the New York City area. He handles cases ranging from auto accidents to personal injury, Slip and falls, truck accidents, and medical malpractice.