Filing a Lawsuit After a Rear-End Collision


Rear-end collisions can result in serious and life-threatening injuries, particularly when they occur at high speeds. If you suffered a severe injury in a rear-end crash, you may be wondering about your eligibility to sue the liable motorist who caused the collision. Given that New York is a no-fault state, people who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions need to seek compensation initially through an auto insurance claim. However, if your injuries meet New York’s “serious injury” threshold, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.


Rear-End Collisions Can Result in Severe Injuries


In New York, rear-end crashes can lead to very serious injuries that can result in temporary and permanent disabilities. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is an injury of the neck that frequently results from rear-end accidents and is often associated with this type of collision. The Mayo Clinic explains that whiplash happens as a result of a “forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.”


Yet rear-end crashes can lead to many types of serious and even deadly injuries, including but not limited to the following:


● Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions;

● Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs;

● Bone fractures;

● Facial injuries and disfiguration;

● Internal bleeding;

● Organ damage;

● Amputations;

● Lacerations; and

● Contusions.


Injuries Must be Severe to File a Claim


While whiplash may result in a significant disability in some circumstances, more common whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision may not necessarily meet the “serious injury” threshold required to file a lawsuit after a New York car accident. However, just because whiplash is an injury that is commonly associated with rear-end collisions does not mean that it is the only injury. As we noted above, rear-end motor vehicle crashes routinely result in a wide variety of injuries, and many of them can be severe.


In order to file a lawsuit for the injuries you sustained in a rear-end collision, beyond being able to show that another party is at fault for the harm you have suffered, you will need to prove that your injuries are “serious” according to New York Insurance Law § 5104. That statute defines a “serious injury” to include one or more of the following:

“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 one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”

Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer Today

Were you recently injured in a rear-end traffic collision? Our New York auto accident lawyers can speak with you today about your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.

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