THE “SERIOUS INJURY THRESHOLD”

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THE “SERIOUS INJURY THRESHOLD”

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Understanding New York State’s “Serious Injury Threshold”

An injury from a car accident can range from mild to severe, from sprains to traumatic brain injuries. All are unfortunate. But it’s important to understand New York’s Statute entitled the “Serious Injury Threshold”. Your ability to file a personal injury claim after an accident depends on whether your injury breaches this threshold.

What New York State Considers A Serious Injury

Section 5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law defines a “serious injury” as any of the following conditions:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of 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
  • 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

Although the first 6 are straightforward, the last three can be somewhat confusing. Common injuries including (but not limited to) strains and soft tissue injuries may breach this threshold if the effect of the injury resulted in: a limitation of use of a body organ or member; a significant limitation of the use of a body function or system; the inability to perform daily routines for at least 90 days following one’s accident. To truly know if your injury breaches this threshold and enables you to make a personal injury claim, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who practices in the jurisdiction your accident took place.

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