Personal Injury That Pertains To NY State Law

Personal injury is a legal term that describes a physical or emotional injury. A personal injury lawsuit seeks to hold another person, company, or entity responsible for your injury. Personal injury doesn’t include property damage. However, many lawsuits also demand compensation for property damage arising from the same incident that caused you harm.

The area of law governing personal injury claims is known as tort law.

Negligence is a major concept in the law. Negligence basically means someone was careless and caused another person harm. It does not mean someone intentionally hurt another person.

Personal injury claims are typically based on the allegation that the other person was negligent. To be negligent means a person failed to uphold their duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person. Their failure to act carefully then caused an accident, which resulted in another person getting hurt. In some cases, you might claim the other person was grossly negligent, which is more significant bad behavior. Gross negligence is like recklessness.

There are two types of parties in personal injury lawsuits: plaintiffs and defendants.

Plaintiffs are the injured parties and their loved ones. They try to hold the defendants liable for their damages. They are responsible for proving the defendants are responsible. In other words, they have the burden of proof. There can be one or many plaintiffs. When there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of plaintiffs, it might be a class action or mass tort claim. During a class action, all of the plaintiffs are certified as a class and represented in one lawsuit. But in a mass tort, each plaintiff brings their own lawsuit, though they often share knowledge and resources.

The defendants are the people who allegedly caused the plaintiffs’ harm. There can be one or many defendants. Defendants can put up a defense on their own or with the help of lawyers. They are not required to prove they did not cause the accident. However, defendants benefit from providing evidence that supports their lack of liability and creates doubt.

Section 5104(a) of the New York Insurance law provides that a plaintiff must prove that he or she has either incurred a “basic economic loss” of more than $50,000.00, or has suffered a “Serious Injury” as defined within Section 5102(d), to have a viable personal injury lawsuit arising out of a car accident. Section 5102(d) provides that the following types of injuries qualify as “Serious Injuries”: (i) Death, (ii) dismemberment, (iii) significant disfigurement, (iv) a fracture, (v) loss of a fetus, (vi) the permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system, (vii) a permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member, (viii) a significant limitation of the use of a body function or system, or (ix) a non-permanent medically-determined injury or impairment that prevents an injured person from performing substantially all of their usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 of the 180 consecutive days immediately following an accident.