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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, March 30, 2020

What Is New York's Serious Injury Threshold?

Being injured in a car accident is a scary and overwhelming experience. You are in pain, need medical treatment, see the costs of medical treatment piling up, and, all the while, you may have sustained a loss in wage due to missed work. It is a lot to handle physically, mentally, and financially. The good news is that, if you have been injured by a negligent driver in New York, you may be able to seek monetary compensation from the at-fault driver for the harm you have sustained. New York, however, has a threshold you must meet in order to recover this compensation from the at-fault driver. It is referred to as the “serious injury threshold.”

What is New York’s Serious Injury Threshold?

In order to seek compensation for your injuries from the party at-fault in causing the accident, your injuries must meet New York’s “serious injury threshold.” While most people would say that the injuries they sustained in a car accident are, of course, “serious,” the injury must satisfy the serious injury threshold as it is set forth under New York’s state insurance laws. Should your in juries fail to meet this threshold, the at-fault driver or, the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver will not be responsible for compensating you for your auto accident injuries.

New York law defines “serious injury” as any of the following medical conditions:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of body organ, member, function, or system: New York court’s have interpreted this to mean total loss of use only.
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member: You must be able to present solid medical evidence of a reduced range of motion or limitations as to your organ or member function had you not been injured.
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature preventing the injured party from performing substantially all of the material acts making up a person’s usual and customary daily activities for a minimum of 90 days out of the 180 days immediately following the accident which caused the injury or impairment.

There are several potential problems you may face in proving that your injuries meet the serious injury threshold. One of these is the lack of medical evidence. Receiving consistent medical care for your injuries is critical to establishing the validity of your claim. Any treatment gaps or failure to receive treatment for an injury you are claiming as the result of the accident will be met with skepticism, at minimum, by the court should you fail to receive consistent medical treatment. Additionally, any pre-existing or intervening medical issue you may have may make it difficult in meeting the serious injury threshold. Your medical records must be clear in establishing that the accident caused your injuries.

New York Personal Injury Attorney

Those who have been injured in an auto accident often are in desperate need of financial compensation for the losses they have sustained. The physical toll an accident can take on a person are severe. The resulting expenses that are incurred because of the need to receive consistent, often serious, medical intervention can quickly pile up. At the Law Office of Ryan Goldstein, we take on the legal battle for our clients seeking full and fair compensation for their losses so that they can focus on their health and well-being. Contact us today.


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