Passenger Injured in Motor Vehicle Accident
Passengers injured in motor vehicle accidents should be aware of the procedures that are in place to process medical treatment and litigation. Some people do not realize that No-Fault will cover the medical expenses for a passenger of a vehicle; not just the driver. It is important to notify the medical providers that the injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident so that the No-Fault forms are completed in a timely fashion. This will avoid time consuming corrections after the fact. As far as litigation is concerned, one particular point often evokes feelings of discomfort on the part of passengers. It is quite often in the best interest of the passenger to file the suit against the driver of the vehicle they were in as well as the driver of the other vehicle. This is due to the fact that a question of liability may exist which is indeterminable at the time the lawsuit is filed. In order to ensure that the passenger will be compensated for the injuries they sustained, the driver of both vehicles should be named as Defendants. More often than not, this means that passengers should have a different personal injury attorney than the driver of the vehicle they were riding in. There are extenuating circumstances that are exceptions to this thought however. One thing is for sure though. Seeking the advice of legal counsel as soon after the accident as possible can strengthen your case. Not because the attorney will change or shape the story of what happened, but rather, because the attorney will guide the processing of the case from the onset to help expedite your claim and move you towards any possible recovery.
Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one were involved in a motor vehicle accident, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to an attorney today!
Car Accident Verdict
Barclay Taylor v. Ilenia Cangelosi & Joseph Robles, No. 15650/12 (Kings – Supreme)
Plaintiff alleged that he was driving east across New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, when the rear of his vehicle was struck by a car being driven by Ilenia Cangelosi. Plaintiff alleged that his vehicle was pushed forward and struck the rear of another vehicle. Plaintiff sued the driver for negligent operation and the vehicle owner for vicariously liability.
Plaintiff claimed that he sustained a herniated disc and two bulging discs. He underwent about 12 months of physical therapy and several injections of painkillers. He eventually underwent a percutaneous discectomy (a procedure that involved removing part of a disc). Plaintiff also claimed that, as a result of his injuries, he was unable to work for four months, suffers permanent residual pain and can’t lift heavy objects or perform rigorous tasks. He also said he must use a cane, may need to have a pain-relieving device implanted in his spine and may need undergo spinal fusion.
Plaintiff sought recovery of $15,000 for past medical expenses, $850,000 for future medical expenses, $885,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1.35 million for future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel argued that Plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury and his current pain may be caused by diabetes and/or obesity.
The jury found that Taylor sustained a serious injury and determined his damages totaled $1.5 million.
Not every car accident verdict will be seven figures. But not every injury will warrant seven figures. The important thing is that your car accident verdict compensates you for your degree of injuries sustained in the car accident.
Car Accident Attorneys
Car accident cases are very common in New York. The volume of cars on New York roadways will only mean that car accidents will continue to occur in very high numbers If you or a loved one are involved in a car accident and need legal assistance, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 today!
Car Accident Injuries
An interesting decision was made in Cattan v. Sutton, 2014 Slip Op 05764 (8/13/14). The case involved an automobile accident in which Defendant made a motion for summary judgment. The full case can be read at the aforementioned site. The ruling in this case points to the fact that a driver having the “right of way” does not necessarily mean that the driver is exempt from being a proximate cause of an accident. The possibility exists that there can be more than one proximate cause of an accident. It is important to note that a duty for each driver exists. That duty is to see what there is to be seen through the proper use of the driver’s senses. This duty exists even when the driver has the “right of way.”
This ruling is important in evaluating a personal injury case stemming from an automobile accident. Just being injured by another driver who engaged in improper conduct on the road is not enough. Comparative fault must be eliminated. By doing so, a Plaintiff’s case is made stronger and the likelihood of success is increased.
New York Personal Injury Attorneys
As always, if you have been in an automobile accident and seek the assistance of an experienced attorney, please call The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 today to schedule a free consultation!
Often times in Personal Injury cases, the injury itself becomes an issue. Not all injuries are sufficiently damaging to be considered “serious” under New York Insurance Law, section 5102(d). The facts of each particular case will determine whether or not each claimed injury meets the threshold of a “serious injury” under this statute. In order to cross the threshold and satisfy the statute, the nature of the injury itself must be a “permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member” or “significant limitation of use of a body function or system.” These standards were interpreted by the Court in Toure v. Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., 98 N.Y.2d 345, 350, 746 N.Y.S.2d 865 (2002) and later strengthened by the Courts in Perl v. Meher, 18 N.Y.3d 208, 936 N.Y.S.2d 655 (2011) and Adler v. Bayer, 77 A.D.3d 692, 909 N.Y.S.2d 526 (2d Dep’t 2010). Patrick Higgins, Esq. discusses the significance of these cases in great detail in The Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Action in New York State.
Understanding the categories of injuries and the way in which the law views each type of injury can be a daunting task. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to help clarify any questions you may have about whether or not your injury will pass the threshold of a “serious injury” under New York Insurance Law, section 5102(d).
Just for informational purposes; there also exists a 90/180 rule. This rule includes injuries that cause an injured victim to miss 90 out of 180 days from work. This particular post is not directed towards explaining this category but it is important to be aware of.
As always, if you need assistance with any aspect of your Personal Injury case, including threshold questions, please call (516) 858-2620 to speak to a Personal Injury attorney today!