Glossary: Bodily Injury Claim 

Posted: September 23, 2022

Bodily Injury Claim: 

In some cases, a person may file a bodily injury claim after they have been seriously hurt in a New York motor vehicle accident. When an individual files a bodily injury claim, they are typically requesting compensation from the at-fault party’s auto insurance company for injury-related expenses. Claims for compensation can include “pain and suffering” and economic losses.  

Meeting the NYS Serious Injury Threshold After a New York Car Accident 

Pain and suffering includes non-economic damages, such as physical pain and emotional anguish, that someone can experience after a car accident.  To receive compensation for pain and suffering through a bodily injury claim after a New York motor vehicle, an injured person must generally show, among other things, that they suffered a “serious injury” as a result of the car accident. The New York Insurance Law defines a “serious injury” to be a personal injury which results in  

  • death;  
  • dismemberment;  
  • significant disfigurement;  
  • 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 medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment. 

Some of these terms are somewhat vague. For example, determining what qualifies as a “significant limitation of use of a body function or system” is not always clear cut. New York courts have developed an array of rules and guideposts that do not appear in the statutory definition. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can help determine whether an injury rises to the level of a “serious injury” under New York law.   

Not all bodily injury claims require that the injured person establish a “serious injury.” An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can help establish whether or not this “threshold” applies.  

Proving Liability 

When filing a bodily injury claim, an injured person must also generally prove negligence, or fault. That is, they must show that the other motorist was responsible (or in some cases at least partially responsible) for causing the accident. Thus, a bodily injury claim will establish, among other things, that another party caused or contributed to the accident and is thus liable for any resulting injuries. An experienced attorney can help determine what parties are potentially liable and ensure that their insurance carriers are put on notice of a claim.  

Related Blog Articles
Our Achievements
We are proud to announce that William Mattar was named one of 2021’s Best Companies to Work for in New York. As a firm focused on helping people, we understand that this starts with how we treat each other. We’re happy to be recognized for creating such a notably positive work environment!

Start a Free Case Evaluation

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.