Serious Injury Threshold in Personal Injury Cases

On June 14, 2014, in Personal Injury, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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!

 

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Evaluating a Personal Injury Case

There are several factors that need to be considered in determining what the value of a Personal Injury case is.  Multiple attorneys can have varying opinions with regards to the same case.  That is because some attorneys will lend more weight to certain factors that other attorneys decline to.  At the end of the day however, the initial evaluation of the case can determine whether the client obtains the best possible result.

Most attorneys would agree that the multitude of factors that must be considered when evaluating a Personal Injury case can be placed into three groups.  These groups are Liability, Damages and Venue.

Liability is the determination of which litigant was responsible for causing the incident that led to the lawsuit.  Liability can be placed solely on the shoulders of one party, or can be divided between the parties by assigning  percentages of fault based upon the facts of the case.

Damages are the injuries and losses incurred by the Plaintiff.  Severity of the injury, length of time medical treatment is required and loss of wages are some of the prominent damages that are regularly seen in Personal Injury cases.

Venue refers to the location that the case is going to be tried.  Past verdicts play a significant role in determining what a future case will be worth in the same county.

This is an over simplification of what goes into the evaluation process for a Personal Injury case.  It is highly advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney in trying to decide the value of one of these types of cases.

Personal Injury Attorney on Long Island

If you have been injured in an accident of any type, and have questions on how to proceed with your case, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC  at (516) 858-2620 to speak with an attorney who can help you.

 

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