Automobile Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury, and tragically, they can result in traumatic injuries and even death.  In addition to the potential for disability, accident victims often experience substantial pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage. 

Tarver Law Firm routinely handles motor vehicle accidents with the understanding that this is not an everyday experience for you.  We will guide you through every step of the process.  By getting to know you and thoroughly understanding your accident case, we can provide you with excellent legal representation.

Persons injured in a motor vehicle accident need to understand many things, including New York State's No-Fault Law.  Generally, it states that an injured persons' accident-related medical bills, including lost earnings and incidental costs, up to $50,000.00 are paid; these expenses are often called economic damages.

Obviously, when a person has been severely injured in a motor vehicle accident, he or she may also suffer non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, as well as expenses or economic loss above $50,000.00.  Under these circumstances, the Insurance Law of the State of New York mandates that you suffer what it calls a  “serious injury” in order to recover them. 

On the other hand, if you do not suffer a “serious injury” as New York State law defines it, then regardless of how much pain and suffering you experience from your motor vehicle accident, you are precluded from asserting a personal injury lawsuit.

To determine whether you have sustained a "serious injury", you must turn to, and evaluate, what that phrase means pursuant to New York State law; for, New York has defined it.  If, however, your injuries do not meet the definition of "serious injury", also sometimes known as the serious injury threshold, then you cannot bring a lawsuit. 

In New York, a person must establish that he or she incurred basic economic loss exceeding $50,000.00 or sustained a “serious injury" in one of the following categories:

  1. Death;
  2. Dismemberment;
  3. Significant disfigurement;
  4. A fracture;
  5. Loss of a fetus;
  6. Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
  7. Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
  8. Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
  9. 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.

Given the vague language above that is open for interpretation, this is a heavily litigated area of law.  For this reason and others, hiring and retaining an attorney who knows this area of law and has experience litigating these cases is very important.  Contact Tarver Law Firm today for a free consultation. 

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