Understanding the Serious Injury Threshold in New York City

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New York is a no-fault state. That means when you get into a car accident, you might not need to launch a personal injury lawsuit.

In the vast majority of car accident cases, each party’s insurance company will pay their own expenses up to their PIP policy limits regardless of who caused the accident. This will easily cover many minor injuries as if you are legally insured in New York you will be carrying at least $50,000 in PIP coverage.

N0-fault insurance keeps insurance rates low and gets claims paid fast, but it’s not without disadvantages. For example, you will be unable to receive damages for pain and suffering unless you meet New York’s personal injury threshold. 

The Personal Injury Threshold Allows You to Sue

If you meet the personal injury threshold you can launch a lawsuit. This will open the door to receiving pain and suffering damages as well as punitive damages in certain, more serious cases where the defendant not only hit your car, but broke the law while doing it.

To meet the threshold, your accident must cause one of the following: 

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of a bodily organ
  • Permanent loss of a bodily function or system
  • Temporary disability lasting longer than 90 days

Obviously these are very serious, catastrophic conditions that can be life altering. It will be absolutely necessary to pursue a claim in order to help you build a foundation for moving forward. These cases also generate the highest medical bills, which means they might not be covered by your PIP protection.

What does PIP cover?

PIP covers almost everything a personal injury case would cover, with some exceptions.

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • 80% of lost earnings from work to a maximum of $2000 per year
  • Up to $25 per day for household help and transportation expenses

In most no-fault cases these payouts are typically sufficient to help the accident victim move forward.

Medical expenses in New York are quite high. We recommend buying more than the bare minimum of PIP coverage to ensure you can meet those expenses in most cases. 

Get Help Today 

If you have been injured in a car accident and believe you meet the personal injury threshold, don’t delay. Reach out to RLF to get help starting your lawsuit today. You deserve experienced, dedicated representation who can help you get top dollar for your case.

See also:

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in NYC?

How Does the Burden of Proof Work in an NYC Personal Injury Case?  

How Are Lost Future Earnings Calculated in New York? 



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    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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