Do I Have To Prove I Suffered A “Serious Injury” In A Motorcycle Accident?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on August 6, 2012

in Buffalo Car Accidents

For Buffalo personal injury lawsuits involving cars, the injured party is required to prove that his or her injury is a “serious injury” as that term is defined in New York State law.  This is not usually the case when the injured person was riding a motorcycle.

For accidents involving cars, the New York State No Fault law requires the injured person’s own insurer to pay the initial medical bills and lost wages in most cases.  The injured person, however, cannot successfully sue for additional damages unless he or she can prove a “serious injury.”  The definition of serious injury includes a variety of categories, some very concrete (for example, a fracture or amputation), others much vaguer and more subjective (significant limitation of use of a body organ or member, unable to perform usual and customary activities for a certain amount of time).

Motorcycles, in most cases, are not covered under the No Fault law.  While this means that motorcyclists often do not receive any payment of their initial medical bills and lost wages through their own insurer, it also means that an injured motorcyclist does not have to establish that his or her injury fits within one of the categories of “serious injury” in the New York State No Fault law.  All that is required to successfully pursue a personal injury lawsuit is that the motorcyclist be able to prove an injury caused by the accident that resulted in damages.

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