Legislature Debates Change To Definition of Serious Injury

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on March 25, 2011

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers, NY Insurance Issues

Buffalo personal injury lawsuits involving automobile accidents require that the victim suffer a “serious injury” before recovering damages.  The definition of serious injury under New York State Law has remained unchanged since the 1970s.  The New York State legislature is currently considering adding a new category to this definition.

Currently, a serious injury is defined as death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;  permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or 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 ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

The legislature is considering two new categories to add to this definition:  “a complete tear or rupture of a nerve, tendon, ligament, cartilage or muscle”; and “a tear, rupture or impingement of a nerve, tendon, ligament, cartilage or muscle which results in a significant impairment of a body organ, member, function or system.” Neither of these categories require a finding that the injury is permanent.

If you have suffered a serious injury and have any questions, please feel free to call us with your questions at 716-542-5444.

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