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New York's "serious injury" threshold for no-fault car accidents

New York is one of many states with no-fault insurance laws. These regulations mean you first seek compensation from your own insurance for medical expenses and lost income, unless you sustain a “serious injury.” If your injury passes a certain threshold, you can file a lawsuit or liability claim against the negligent driver.

How can you know if your injuries meet this lawsuit threshold? For answers to this question, keep reading below.

Serious injuries

New York laws about no-fault insurance clearly state what injuries qualify as serious. Serious injuries under New York law include:

  • Wrongful death
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement
  • Facture
  • Permanent loss of use of a body function, organ, member or system
  • Limitation of a body function, organ, member or system

Other injuries or impairments may qualify if they prevent you from performing your usual daily activities for 90 days or longer after the accident.

If your injuries do not qualify 

Maybe your injury does not meet the necessary threshold. In this case, you will be limited to compensation up to $50,000. You will also not be able to receive damages for non-financial losses such as pain and suffering. When it comes to paying for vehicle repairs, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver, file a lawsuit or work with your own collision policy if you have it. 

If you need help

No-fault laws in New York can be confusing, especially when it comes to what qualifies as a serious injury. For example, what exactly counts as a “significant” limitation of a body function? If you are trying to prove you have a serious injury, you should expect a battle with the insurance company or defense attorney. You may need to get a personal injury attorney to represent you and help you prove your serious injury. If you are able to prove this, you can sue for full compensation.


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