Serious Physical Injury
Posted By Thomas J. Foley
In order to have a successful, motor vehicle, personal injury lawsuit in New York State, a person’s injuries must meet a minimal “threshold” as defined by law. New York State law spells out nine (9) different categories of injuries that meet the threshold. For example, one of the categories is suffering a “fracture.” Thus if you are in a car accident, and suffer a fractured bone, your injuries have met the threshold as defined by law. This means that the defendant in your case will not be able to make a motion to dismiss your case on the grounds of non-serious injuries. The more difficult cases are those car accidents where a person suffers a soft tissue injury. These types of injuries are infinitely more common than fractures, but much harder to prove. The determination of whether an injury or injuries meet the threshold in the context of a soft tissue injury is very fact sensitive. The basic components of this claim are (1.) a medically determined injury; (2.) the injury was causally related to the accident; (3.) objective proof of the injury, such as an MRI, CT scan, etc; (4.) objective complaints of pain; (5.) a relatively significant impact on a person’s life. Every day in our State, the Courts are addressing the question as to whether or not a person’s injuries meet the threshold. At Foley Griffin we are constantly reviewing these cases to help make sure that our client’s case will ultimately be successful. In order to successfully represent our client’s we make sure that we are always current on serious physical injury decisions.