• Leitner Varughese

Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York?



Anyone who has been injured in a motor vehicle collision in New York is likely wondering about their ability to seek financial compensation for losses and, more specifically, their eligibility for filing a car accident lawsuit. It is important to understand that New York is a no-fault state for purposes of motor vehicle collisions, which means that a person cannot simply decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver after a crash. Instead, you will need to look to New York law and work with an attorney to determine your eligibility.

Meeting the “Serious Injury” Threshold

To be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit in New York, an injured person must be able to prove that their injuries are “serious” under New York law. You can look to New York Insurance Law § 5104 for more details about the serious injury threshold.

Proving That You Have a Serious Injury as New York Law Defines it

The New York law cited above specifically identifies all of the following as characteristics of “serious” injuries that are typically sufficient for a car accident victim to file a lawsuit:

● Results in death;

● Dismemberment;

● Significant disfigurement;

● A fracture;

● Loss of a fetus;

● Permanent 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 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Getting a Medical Assessment as Soon as Possible

While your healthcare provider’s definition of what constitutes a serious injury is not necessarily the same as the definition used by New York law for purposes of car accident lawsuits, it is essential to get a medical assessment as soon as you can so that you will have medical evidence to support your case. In addition, if your healthcare provider knows about the particular types of injuries considered to be “serious” enough to file a car accident lawsuit, your healthcare provider can help you to understand your likelihood of having a serious injury.

Having a New York Auto Accident Lawyer Evaluate Your Case

Beyond seeking an assessment from a healthcare provider, you should also have a car accident lawyer in New York evaluate your case. By looking at the details of your case and your medical records, our New York auto accident lawyers can help you to know with more certainty about your eligibility for suing the driver who caused your injuries in a collision.

Contact Our New York Car Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love got hurt in a motor vehicle collision, it is critical to seek advice from a New York car accident attorney as soon as possible to begin the process of filing an insurance claim and to determine your eligibility for seeking financial compensation through a lawsuit. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today to learn more about how we can assist you.


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