Any fracture (the tip of your pinky finger; for example) that is caused by a motor vehicle collision meets the "serious injury" threshold in NY. Did you know that a herniated disc w/spinal fusion and the implementation of screws and a bracket may not. How absurd and offensive. Your friend needs a qualified personal injury attorney asap. If there is a lawyer in the case, then to be blunt, something is wrong here. Good luck.
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Your friend should speak with an attorney ASAP. Many personal injury attorneys, such as myself, offer free 30 minute consultations to discuss the details of her case.
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In a New York motor vehicle accident, In order to have a cognizable claim, an individual must suffer as a result of the auto accident what the law defines a Serious Injury. You should consult a local attorney to speak with them about the particular facts of you case.
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That argument failed in Ives v. Correll, 211 A.D.2d 899, 621 N.Y.S.2d 179 (3d Dept. 1995) but the decision suggests that it could work with the correct facts. There are probably cases directly on point.
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Your friend should contact a local personal injury attorney. You can find many competent attorneys through the AVVO website or contact the erie county bar association's lawyer referral. Our firm would be happy to give your references as well.
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A herniated disc, more often than not does not satisfy the "serious injury" threshold to qualify as a sustainable claim that would withstand a motion for summary judgment. However, it is quite probable that the ankle fracture would be a direct consequence of the back injury, thus satisfying the basis for a claim. Consult with a personal injury attorney right away. Ask your treating physician if a narrative report could be drafted connecting the disc herniation as the probable cause of your ankle fracture.
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