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New York Court Discusses the Serious Injury Threshold in Car Accident Cases

People hurt in motor vehicle collisions will often endure significant emotional and physical pain and psychological trauma. As such, they will frequently pursue civil claims against the parties responsible for their harm in an effort to recoup compensation for their losses. Pursuant to New York law, however, a plaintiff in a car accident case can generally only recover compensation for their noneconomic harm if they can demonstrate they suffered a serious injury. Recently, a New York court examined the serious injury threshold in a matter in which it ultimately determined that the plaintiff set forth sufficient evidence to meet the threshold. If you were injured in a car accident, you might be able to recover compensation, and it is prudent to speak to a Syracuse personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was riding as a passenger on a bus owned by the defendant company when it collided with a taxi operated by the defendant driver. The accident occurred after the defendant driver cut off the bus and then attempted to shift into another lane. The plaintiff suffered injuries to her right hand in the accident.

Reportedly, the plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants, seeking compensation for her harm. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the grounds that she failed to meet New York’s serious injury threshold as required to recover damages. The trial court denied the motions, and the defendants appealed.

New York’s Serious Injury Threshold

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court rulings. The court explained that the plaintiff’s complaint asserted that she sustained a serious injury to her right hand. The defendants demonstrated, prima facie, that she did not suffer a serious injury via the report of an orthopedic surgeon that opined that the plaintiff had a normal range of motion and failed to offer any objective evidence that she sustained an injury or disability due to the accident.

In response, however, the plaintiff demonstrated a triable issue of fact existed by offering the reports of her doctor and another physician, which stated that her injury required surgical repair and that she had significant limitations that continued three years after the accident. As such, the court ruled that it was clear that the plaintiff demonstrated sufficient evidence that she sustained a serious injury to proceed to trial.

Confer with a Seasoned Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney

Motor vehicle collisions can cause a variety of economic and noneconomic losses, and people injured in crashes brought about by another party’s negligence have the right to pursue damages. If you were hurt in a car accident, you may be able to seek redress from the responsible party, and it is wise to confer with an attorney. The seasoned Syracuse personal injuryattorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are adept at helping accident victims protect their interests, and if you engage our services, we will zealously pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case.  You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a meeting.

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