What Is Considered A Serious Injury In A Car Accident?

man on a stretcher
Posted: November 10, 2022

In New York, in most cases a personal-injury lawsuit stemming from a traffic accident must be predicated on a showing that the injured person sustained a “serious injury.” In other words, to recover for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, the injured person must demonstrate that injuries are “serious” within the meaning of that term.  

This issue can sometimes get complicated, especially where the injured person has “soft-tissue” injuries. Diagnostic tests and documentation of progress during treatment can help determine whether an injury is serious under the law.  

By law, a serious injury is one that causes 

  • 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 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. 

Pay Close Attention to Your Symptoms  

After an accident, someone may not immediately realize they’ve been seriously injured, either because of the shock of what’s happened or the delayed nature of some symptoms, such as those that sometimes accompany whiplash, a concussion, or emotional trauma. 

Certain medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses are generally covered by no-fault insurance in New York but claims for pain and suffering generally require proof of a “serious injury.” If you were hurt in a New York car accident an experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify whether you must establish a serious injury, whether you can show that you sustained  a serious injury, and advocate on your behalf to help ensure you receive maximum compensation.  

New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law 

As discussed, New York is a no-fault insurance state. In most cases, certain injury-related expenses are covered by the no-fault insurance company. The carrier considered to be the no-fault insurance company depends on the circumstances of the accident. In car accidents, there can be a primary and secondary no-fault insurance company. No-fault claims for certain economic losses are distinct from claims for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.  

Hurt in an Accident? Call William Mattar P.C.  

If you were injured in an accident and believe your injury or injuries are serious, you may be looking for an experienced injury attorney who can help you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering. The car accident injury attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. can review your case and help determine your options. You can contact us 24/7 by submitting a contact form online or calling (844) 444-4444.  

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