Thursday, August 4, 2011

Auto Accident "Serious Injury" Law

            If one is injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York, then he or she might be entitled to No-Fault insurance benefits for economic losses (generally up to $50,000), regardless of who was at fault, and if one is a driver, passenger or pedestrian.  A lawsuit for negligence can also be brought, but only if economic losses exceed $50,000, or if a “serious injury” has been suffered.  According to Article 51 of the New York State Insurance Law, the following constitutes a “serious injury”:

(1)   Death;
(2)   Dismemberment;
(3)   Significant disfigurement;
(4)   Fracture;
(5)   Loss of a fetus;
(6)   Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
(7)   Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
(8)   Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
(9)   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.

Salvatore R. Marino, Esq.

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