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Serious injury is questioned in a car accident case


This is a case resolving the motion filed by the defendant for a summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff did not suffer any “serious injury” in the car accident which preceded the filing of this instant case. The defendant alleged that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff do not belong to the same category as that which was defined under the New York State Insurance Law. Plaintiff was not able to submit any opposition to the motion.

This case sprang from the incident which occurred on April 8, 2010 in Westchester wherein the parties were involved in a motor vehicle accident which led to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. According to the plaintiff, he sustained the following damages: partial tear of the left shoulder and spinal injuries.

Under the law, it is required that the movant for a motion for summary judgment must make a prima facie case showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of material issues of fact. He must be able to establish his claim by tendering evidence to prove that the court must decide in his favor.

A motion for summary judgment requires that there must be no triable issue of fact presented by the movant. Thus, in this case, the defendant must prove, by competent and relevant evidence that the plaintiff did not sustain any serious injury which could have been the possible result of the vehicular collision between the parties.

On the other hand, the plaintiff must provide an objective proof of the injuries he sustained. An example of such evidence is a sworn MRI and CT scan tests. These tests must be paired with the physician’s observations during the physical examination of the Bronx plaintiff. There could also be factors that may override the plaintiff’s claim of serious injury such as: gap in the treatment, intervening medical problem, or a pre-existing condition which interrupted the chain of causation between the accident and the claimed injury.

The Court ruled that the plaintiff must demonstrate through competent, objective evidence, a “medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature” which would have been caused the alleged limitations on the plaintiff’s daily activities. This is required in order for the “medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents a person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitutes such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred and eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment” clause.

In determining if the plaintiff is entitled to receive damages based on said clause, it is a must that the evaluation has an objective basis and the evaluation compares the plaintiff’s limitation to the normal function, purpose and use of the injured body organ, member function or system.

The Court ruled that the defendant in this case has established a prima facie case that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury within the categories of permanent loss of a body organ, member, function or system, a significant limitation of the use of a body function or system and a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevented a person from normally performing his daily activities. The plaintiff failed to provide proof of the extent of the damage or injury brought to him by the incident. Also, the evidence revealed that the plaintiff has formerly experienced a motor vehicle accident which has contributed to his present state.

On the other hand, the plaintiff failed to raise the issue of fact through objective medical evidence or any other type of evidence.

The Law Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates has long been litigating Spinal Injury Cases and other cases for damages resulting from vehicular accidents. Their army of competent and diligent attorneys has been in the front line of battling spinal injury litigations for the best interests of their clients. You may contact or visit their law office for a better understanding of said office’ efficiency in rendering legal services.

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