Written by attorney Valentine Joseph Wallace

New York Auto Accidents: did you suffer a "serious injury"?

Even when the auto accident was 100% the other party's fault, if your case doesn't satisfy the New York Insurance Law criteria defining a "serious injury" (as interpreted by the NY Courts), it may end up being dismissed by the Court, resulting in zero compensation from your accident case.

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Car Insurance companies' lawyers routinely ask the courts in New York to dismiss an auto injury case "on threshold", meaning, on the basis that the injury is not a 'serious injury' under the statutory definition. There has been a great deal of litigation, and a fair amount of disagreement among the courts (which have differed upstate from downstate), about what the definitions contained in Section 5102(d) mean, and it's very hard to say hypothetically, except on a case-by-case basis. For practical purposes, you should be aware of these "threshold" requirements if you've been injured in an auto accident case, and ask your lawyer how this "threshold" will be met by "objective medical evidence" in your case. This is an evolving and complicated area of the law, and the need to cross this "threshold" challenge should be anticipated early on.

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