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Serious Injury Threshold in New York and Keeping Clients Informed

One of the most daunting tasks as a personal injury attorney is explaining to a client whether or not their case will be successful. Countless times, I have been asked the same question — “Do I have a case?” The answer to that question is one that many attorneys struggle with, and oftentimes, no matter the answer, a client may still not fully understand.

My approach is quite simple – explain the law to the client and how it applies to their case.

How “Personal Injury” Is Defined

Under the New York No-Fault Insurance Law, a plaintiff in a personal injury action arising out of an automobile accident must establish that he/she suffered a “serious injury,” which is defined as a personal injury which results in one of the following:

  • death,
  • dismemberment,
  • significant disfigurement,
  • fracture,
  • loss of a fetus,
  • permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system,
  • permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member,
  • significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or
  • 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 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Keeping Clients in the Loop

So what does this law mean to a person who has been injured in an accident and who’s life has been turned upside down? Does this mean if they haven’t broken a bone, their case is going to be dismissed? The answer is of course “No,” but the key is keeping your client informed of the process. Your client should know what lies ahead, as well as any obstacles you may face. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to assure them of your ability to maximize their recovery based on your experience and success. Make sure the client understands this law, and answer any questions they may have. Your client will not only appreciate your honesty, but will appreciate your keeping them informed.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., we have extensive experience handling personal injury claims with over 150 years of combined experience. Regardless of the type or severity of the harms and losses that have been done to, its clients, Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. treats each case with the same genuine care, concern, compassion and understanding that have made clients feel like family for over 30 years. For cases involving personal injury, construction accidents, workers’ compensation and medical malpractice, Schwartzapfel Lawyers know how to fight…and how to win! Contact us today by calling 1-888-575-6410 or by filling out our online contact form.