What Is Serious Injury Threshold In New York?

by William Mattar | April 26th, 2022

Injured patient at the doctorIn New York State, most motorists and pedestrians injured by another driver can make a claim for pain and suffering only if they sustained a “serious injury.”

There are exceptions, but in most cases, the injured person must show a “serious injury,” which is defined to include: 

  • death;
  • significant disfigurement;
  • dismemberment;
  • a fracture;
  • loss of a fetus;
  • permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system;
  • permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
  • significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
  • a non-permanent injury preventing you from performing your daily activities for not less than 90 days within the 180 days immediately following your accident.

Some of these categories are self-explanatory, but others are not so clear. For example, in reality, it can sometimes be difficult to identify when someone sustained a “significant limitation of use of a body function or system.”

Everybody is unique, with different medical histories and daily activities. The courts have developed some rules to help differentiate when someone has a “serious injury” and when someone does not.

An experienced attorney can review your case and help you determine whether you may have a qualifying injury, which would permit you to make a claim for pain and suffering.

Proving a Case for a Serious Injury

For those who feel they’ve suffered a “serious injury,” it is normal to expect an argument from either the insurance company or the counsel for the driver who was at fault. They’ll want you to prove the relationship between your injury and the accident.

As such, medical diagnoses must be well documented.

Why Hire an Attorney

It can be tough to achieve a settlement for pain and suffering on your own because it may require you to deal with the insurance company and the attorney it hires. A personal injury lawyer can gather evidence that can be used to support your claims.

You can concentrate on healing and regaining mobility, which can help you overcome limitations and return to normal daily activities.

New York Serious Injury Threshold Exceptions

While some New York motorists have to establish that their injuries qualify under one of the above “serious injury” categories in order to recover from pain and suffering, motorcyclists do not. This means that motorcyclists can bring a claim against the at-fault motorist regardless of the severity of the injury.

There may be other exceptions that an attorney can identify for you. For example, you may be able to succeed in a lawsuit if your economic damages exceed a certain threshold.

Hurt in a Car? Call William Mattar

If you have been injured and believe that your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, feel free to speak with a car accident attorney at William Mattar, P.C. to discuss your legal options.

Every situation is unique, and an automobile accident attorney can examine the facts and decide who may be responsible for your damages. Call William Mattar, P.C. today at (716) 444-4444 or fill out our secure online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

We have a team of seasoned attorneys ready to advocate for you.