Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to represent or provide legal guidance.
The law is a funny thing. While it may seem like a severe injury is a pretty obvious thing to define, the law sees that definition and raises it by a few litigious degrees.
Truth be told, defining a serious injury really is not all that simple. That is because we each define the terms ‘severity’ and ‘injury’ in dramatically different ways. An injury that might debilitate one person may be quite manageable to another. It is for these reasons and more that we must allow the law to guide our understanding of what a severe injury means, as defined within the legal world.
Under New York State Insurance Law § 5102 (d), a “severe injury” is defined as one in which the victim has suffered any one of the following personal injuries:
If the victim of an accident loses a limb, internal organ, or functions such as eyesight or hearing, they may file a personal injury claim. Individuals may also consider filing a personal injury claim if dismemberment, loss of a limb, or organ damage dispose or cause them to suffer resultant long term disabilities. This includes the inability to function as they once did.
The loss of life that results from another person’s negligence, carelessness, recklessness, or oversight is categorized as a wrongful death. Behaviors that may have contributed to a person’s death even if they were intentionally carried out, are also considered wrongful.
A severe injury may be declared in cases in which a victim has been severely deformed or maimed, to a level that most individuals would consider negatively altered. Such disfigurement speaks not only to one’s physical appearance, but the emotional and economic results of appearing in a way that elicits adverse reactions from prospective employers and the world at large.
Bone damage, most often as a result of fractures and breaks, are the most frequently experienced severe injuries that affect individuals involved in personal injury cases.
People who are unable to work, are deemed unemployable, or cannot be adequately trained because of a severe physical or intellectual disability, are said to severely disabled and injured. A disability can only be classified as permanent if it lasts for a year at a minimum or is expected to cause the individual’s death.
The inability to ambulate, feed, toilet, bathe, and get dressed independently must last for at least three months after an injury in order for it to be considered severe in New York State.
If the loss of a fetus is definitively proven to be the result of an accident, it is considered a severe injury.
If you’re injured in an accident, you should contact a firm that practices personal injury law in NYC. You should make the call if you have been hurt in any type of accident. Your personal injury lawyer will help you determine if you meet the criteria for the state’s severe injury threshold, or not. Remember, this is not a matter that can be decided on your own. These situations need the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the law and can help you in the ways you deserve.