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Serious Injury Threshold NY: What laws to know

What is the Serious injury threshold?

Car accidents can be a very stressful and painful moment in our lives. On top of that, the financial burden can make it even more challenging to get up and running again. The legal system has created a classification called a “serious injury threshold” as defined essentially as an injury causing death or dismemberment, but also includes categories more difficult to determine; permanent or significant limited or organ, body party or bodily function (for full legal classification please see New York Insurance Laws ISC § 5102 d). In these cases, the injured party is able to sue the at-fault party, even in a “no-fault state” like New York. 


How to prove serious injury?

The challenge arises with being able to properly define what injuries fall into which categories and this is where experienced legal representation can mean having a case or not. In many cases, a simple conclusion findings report from a doctor is not sufficient to prove serious injury. The medical professional’s methods and details of their findings must be included and the evidence must establish a  very clear connection between the injury and accident. Any preexisting conditions or traumas can make the connection even more difficult to prove so proper medical experts must be consulted.


What is a no-fault state?

No-fault states are a minority of states (including New York) that have insurance laws that attempt to limit a lawsuit between the parties involved. The injured party must go to the insurance company for compensation and follow the guidelines and limitations for these cases. In New York there are three scenarios where a lawsuit can be brought:

  1. If the accident has caused more than $50,000 in injury, up until this amount the injured party must go to the insurance company. 
  2. If the injury is classified as a serious injury.
  3. Property damage (to the car is typically not included in the no-fault restrictions and lawsuits can be brought for payment)


What is included in New York's no-fault system?

Insurance companies can be responsible to cover certain kinds of damages under the no-fault laws. Direct medical associated costs of the accident can be the most significant, but also the property damages to the automobile. Loss of income up to $2000 per month for up to a 3 year period is also included. Lastly, various expenses up to $25 per day relating to the accident and injury.


What are the benefits of pursuing a serious injury lawsuit?

 When an injury that is sufficiently serious has occurred there is the option to bypass the standard no-fault laws and sue the at-fault driver. These cases, with proper legal representation, offer more opportunity to recover funds that normally would not be available. For example, damages resulting in qualities difficult to measure economically, like pain or suffering. There is also no cap (like the $50,000 limit), and cases that might not be covered by insurance might still be an option, for example, if the accident occurred when a felony was being committed, such as street racing or under intoxication.


What is the attorney's role?

Bringing a serious injury threshold case in NY is not an easy task with many fine details with gray areas that can make or break the case. It is extremely important to follow a methodical strategy when approaching the insurance and medical industries. The attorney's role is handling communication, ensuring the case moves forwards and that you recover the proper amount of funds so you do not feel any additional challenges post-accident.

Ribowsky Law is here to help you with all your injury law needs in Queens, NY.

Contact us at: Ribowsky Law 109-12 Jamaica Ave, Richmond Hill, NY 11418

(718) 659-5333   https://www.mrinjurylawyerny.com/


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