• Leitner Varughese

Common “Serious Injuries” in New York Car Accident Cases

Since New York is a “no-fault” state when it comes to motor vehicle collisions and car accident claims, injury victims who suffer harm in crashes caused by negligent drivers need to meet a “serious injury” threshold in order to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. While New York Insurance Law defines the types of personal injuries that meet the “serious injury” threshold requirement, it is still important to understand what some of these injuries might look like in practice after a collision. The following are examples of common injuries incurred in car crashes that are likely to qualify as “serious injuries” for which the injured party can file a lawsuit.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are many different kinds of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and some are more serious than others. Many TBIs occur in car accidents and result in temporary and permanent disabilities, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). While a concussion that heals relatively quickly may not necessarily rise to the level of a “serious injury” under New York law, many TBIs that have long-lasting effects can allow an injury victim to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver.

Spinal Cord Injury

Under New York law, injuries that result in “permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system,” or “permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member” are understood to be serious injuries. Many spinal cord injuries (SCIs) fit this definition, particularly those that result in partial temporary or permanent paralysis.

Broken Bones

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) explains that a “fracture is a broken bone,” and that there are many different types of fractures that can range greatly in terms of their severity. New York law specifically lists a “fracture” as a serious injury. Accordingly, if you broke a bone in a car crash, regardless of the level of severity or the type of bone break, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.


Pregnant women can suffer many different kinds of serious injuries in a car crash, but one of the losses that is specifically defined as a “serious injury” under New York law is “loss of a fetus.” According to an article in the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, “injuries unique to pregnant occupants involved in motor vehicle crashes include placental abruption, uterine rupture or laceration, and direct fetal injury.” Many different types of injuries to pregnant women in car crashes can affect the pregnancy, and ultimately may result in a miscarriage. A miscarriage is precisely the type of loss that is defined as a “serious injury” according to New York Insurance Law.

Contact a New York Auto Accident Lawyer for Help

If you sustained a devastating injury in a motor vehicle collision and need help determining whether you have met the “serious injury” threshold to file a lawsuit, one of the experienced New York car accident lawyers at our firm can assist you. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to learn more about your options for seeking financial compensation.


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