Motor vehicle collisions in New York can result in severe and life-threatening injuries to vehicle occupants, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and others involved. While we often think about injury victims as adults who may be eligible to file an auto insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation for injuries, it is essential to keep in mind that children can also suffer serious injuries in traffic collisions. From teenagers who are behind the wheel to young kids who are vehicle occupants, an accident may result in the child sustaining debilitating or fatal injuries. What do you need to know about children and car accident lawsuits in New York? Our New York auto accident lawyers have information to help.
Lawsuits Require Child Injuries to Meet the Serious Injury Threshold
You may know that, since New York is a no-fault state, you cannot automatically file a car accident lawsuit. Instead, the state’s insurance laws are designed so that anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident will begin the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim and seeking compensation through personal injury protection coverage. Then, if insurance coverage is insufficient and the injured party wants to file a claim, that injured party will need to show that they meet the “serious injury” threshold under New York law.
New York law says that a “serious injury means a personal injury which results in 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 a 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.”
The “serious injury” threshold also applies to child injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions.
Children Can Suffer Serious Injuries in Collisions
You should know that children can indeed suffer serious injuries in collisions and can be eligible for compensation through a car accident lawsuit. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 600 children under the age of 13 are killed in car accidents every year and more than 90,000 are injured. Many of them suffer incapacitating injuries that can meet the “serious injury” threshold required by New York law with injuries such as:
● Traumatic brain injury;
● Spinal cord injury;
● Bone fracture;
● Organ damage; or
● Traumatic amputation.
Our New York Car Accident Lawyers Can Assist You
If your child was injured in a motor vehicle crash, you should speak with one of our New York car accident attorneys to find out more about filing a lawsuit against the negligent motorist who caused the collision. We can speak with you in more detail about child injuries and the “serious injury” threshold, and we can evaluate your case for you today. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.