Under New York law, there are certain categories of injuries that can take a case outside the limitations of the “no fault” laws that would otherwise apply (and limit the injured person’s recovery substantially). Of course, as with everything else concerning Syracuse car accident cases, the insurance company that insured the careless driver will probably argue that the case should stay within the confines of no fault – thus saving them a payout on an injury claim caused by their negligent or reckless insured. Ultimately, these issues are resolved by a judge (and a jury if the case proceeds that far) – at least in cases in which the injured person retains counsel and fights for his or her legal rights, rather than allow the insurance adjuster to decide what is or is not due the victim.
Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in a recent case were the parents of a minor child who was allegedly injured in a car accident caused by the defendant driver. The wreck happened when the car in which the child was riding was struck from behind by the defendant driver while waiting to turn left. Neither the minor child nor his mother (who was driving the car) sought medical care immediately after the accident. However, both later complained of injuries that they believed were caused by the crash. The parents filed suit against both the driver and owner of the vehicle on the minor’s behalf, and the mother sued in her own right, as well, seeking monetary compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses caused by the motor vehicle accident.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint. The Supreme Court of Broome County partially granted the motion, thereby dismissing the mother and the child’s claims of serious injury under the permanent consequential limitation of use category and dismissing the mother’s claim of serious injury under the significant limitation of use category. The defendants appealed the trial court’s denial of the remainder of their motion; the plaintiffs cross appealed.