The New York Serious Injury Threshold Law

Thousands of car accidents happen every day. Fortunately,most of them will only result in slight property damage,like scratched paint and small dents. The majority of people will get out of it virtually unharmed. A few cases will result in injuries ranging from small bruises to deadly brain trauma. Not all of these injuries can trigger a lawsuit. The state of New York limits the types of injuries that can be admitted in court.

Serious Injuries Defined

It is fair to say that injured persons will always think of their condition as serious. However,NY has a far stricter definition that must be adhered to. Anyone who wants to launch a suit due to an auto accident should consult a lawyer and discuss whether their case passes the test. If the threshold is not satisfied,then insurance companies will not be obliged to cover the damages,and injured persons may not seek relief from the courts.

Included in the list of serious injuries are those that result in death,dismemberment,fractures,loss of a fetus,significant disfigurement,permanent loss of a body part,and permanent limited use of a body part. Temporary impairments may also be considered if it persists for at least 90 days within a 180-day window following the occurrence of the injury.

Rationale and Application

This threshold was put in place to curb the number of frivolous lawsuits flooding the courts in the state. Some of the items mentioned in the definition are clear-cut. It would be easy to determine inclusion in those categories. Others,however,are far more subjective. It’s hard to say what constitutes significant disfigurement,for example,so the courts are left to decide based on their appreciation of the facts. Consult a car accident attorney to learn more about New York’s serious injury threshold.


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