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New York Court Discusses Serious Injuries Pursuant to the No Fault Auto Insurance Law

New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means, in part, that a person hurt in a collision generally cannot recover damages from the party that caused the collision unless they demonstrate they suffered serious harm. In a recent New York ruling issued in a matter arising out of a collision, the court discussed what constitutes a serious injury and what evidence a plaintiff must offer to prove that such injury occurred. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Syracuse car accident lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in a collision in May 2018. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his left knee and shoulder, and spine due to the accident. He underwent surgery on his left should in February 2019 and on his left knee in August 2019. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, seeking compensation for his injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to show that he suffered a serious injury as required to proceed to trial pursuant to New York’s no-fault insurance law. The court ultimately denied the motion.

Serious Injuries in Car Accident Cases

The court explained that the New York no-fault insurance law provides, in relevant part, that in any action in which one covered party seeks compensation from another covered party for personal injuries arising out the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, there is no right of recovery for non-economic losses except in cases involving serious injuries. In turn, a serious injury is defined as one that causes a permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body part or organ, a substantial limitation of a bodily system or function, or a medically determined impairment or injury that prevents a person from performing the acts of daily life for at least ninety days during the six months following a collision.

When faced with a summary judgment motion under this scheme, the court must then decide whether the evidence of record is sufficient to allow a jury to find that the plaintiff sustained a serious injury. In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant set forth prima facie evidence that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury. In response, however, the plaintiff offered evidence sufficient to raise a material factual dispute on the issue. As such, the court found that the matter must be resolved at trial.

Meet with an Experienced Syracuse Lawyer

Car accidents can cause significant injuries that require extensive care, and people that cause collisions should be held accountable for the losses that ensue. If you sustained injuries in a car crash, you should speak to an attorney regarding what damages you may be able to recover. The experienced Syracuse attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal result available under the facts of your case. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.

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