What Is New York’s Serious Injury Threshold?

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • To file a lawsuit after a car accident, you must meet the New York serious injury threshold or have a basic economic loss exceeding $50,000.
  • “Serious injuries” are legally defined by statute in New York.
  • If you don’t meet the threshold or have less than $50,000 in basic economic loss, you’re limited to compensation through your no-fault PIP insurance.
  • As an important exception, the serious injury threshold does not apply to victims of motorcycle accidents in New York.

What Is the New York Serious Injury Threshold?

New York is a no-fault state, which means car accident victims must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Even if the other driver is at fault, New York law requires that most drivers first turn to their PIP insurance to cover basic economic losses up to $50,000 per person.

However, you may file a personal injury lawsuit or auto liability insurance claim against the at-fault driver if your basic economic loss exceeds $50,000 or if you sustained a “serious injury.” Under New York law, a serious injury is defined as one that results in:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • A fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of an organ, limb, function, or system
  • Permanent limitation in an organ or limb
  • Significant limitation of body function or system use
  • A non-permanent injury that prevents you from performing regular activities for at least 90 of the 180 days immediately following the accident

An important exception to the New York no-fault PIP rule exists for motorcycle accidents. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, you can sue the at-fault driver without filing a PIP claim first. No matter the circumstances of your case, our New York personal injury lawyers can help.

Factors Considered in Determining Serious Injuries

While some injuries are easy to categorize, others are less clear and require medical documentation to determine whether you meet the “serious injury threshold,” sometimes referred to as the SIT. Factors that may help determine if you meet the New York SIT include:

  • Imaging test results
  • Percentages indicating your lost range of motion
  • Clinical determination of the injury’s permanence and severity
  • Daily impact on your quality of life
  • Visible disfigurement that a reasonable person would find objectionable

Ultimately, you will bear the evidentiary burden of proving your injuries and the at-fault party’s liability. However, without legal support, it can be difficult to show that you meet the SIT. Our skilled legal team can answer your questions and gather evidence to prove that you sustained a serious injury under New York law.

What Happens If You Don't Meet the New York Serious Injury Threshold?

If you do not meet the New York serious injury threshold and your basic economic loss is less than $50,000, you are limited to no-fault PIP coverage. You can claim compensation for economic losses up to the limit, including medical bills, lost income, and certain qualifying expenses related to your injury. However, PIP does not cover non-economic damages, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Contact Our Chopra & Nocerino Law Firm in New York

Chopra & Nocerino is a top-rated personal injury law firm with the skills and resources needed to demand the full and fair compensation you deserve. We are real New Yorkers who refuse to back down when at-fault parties and their insurers try to minimize the value of our clients’ claims. Over the years, we have won hundreds of millions in high-value case results for injury victims throughout the five boroughs.

Call (855) NYC-HURT or reach out online to schedule a free case review with our experienced New York auto accident lawyers. Para servir mejor a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad, ofrecemos servicios en español.

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