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When a motor vehicle crash leaves you with major injuries, the benefits available to you under an insurance policy may not feel like enough to get you back on your feet. In most cases, New York prevents car accident victims from filing a lawsuit for damages after a crash, but when accidents leave victims incapacitated or permanently affected, there may be a right to file suit. Contact New York personal injury lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes to find out if you may have a right to sue.
New York is one of a number of states that follows a no-fault car insurance system. The no-fault laws make it so that drivers involved in car accidents may not sue or be sued after a crash unless their injuries can be considered “serious” under the law. New York Insurance Law § 5102 (d) lays out the definition of what types of injuries will be considered sufficiently “serious” for the victim to pursue money damages in court, rather than simply through a claim filed with an insurance carrier.
Let’s focus on one of the categories of injury that is considered serious—the 90/180 day rule. This rule allows victims to file a lawsuit when they’ve suffered:
A 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 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
What does this mean? Effectively, it allows lawsuits to be filed by accident victims who can present medical evidence that they couldn’t live normally for at least three out of the first six months after an accident. Victims would need to present reports from doctors who examined them shortly after an accident that show how the victim was prevented from, say, going to work, performing basic personal hygiene without assistance, or walking or moving normally. Testimony from the accident victim that they were in pain or unable to work would not be sufficient. There must be objective, medical evidence that supports the claim that the victim was incapacitated in some way.
Since the emphasis is on proving the victim’s condition immediately after a crash, medical assessments performed many months or a year after the accident itself tend not to be sufficient. A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence that will convince a judge of your right to sue, such as the results from an MRI, CT scan, or assessment from a medical expert that would support your claim. Manhattan car accident attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes has been fighting on behalf of accident victims for decades and can help you determine whether a lawsuit is the right choice to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
For a no-cost assessment of your New York car accident claim and whether it meets the serious injury threshold, contact the seasoned, aggressive, and trial-ready Manhattan personal injury lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for a consultation on your case, at 212-889-9362, or in Queens at 718-777-5895.