As a Long Island car accident lawyer, I have represented hundreds of car accident victims and seen a wide array of injuries, but there are certain injuries that I see over and over again. Some of these injuries entitle you to financial compensation while other less severe injuries will not. Here is a list of the most common types of injuries and an explanation of which will and won’t entitle you to receive financial compensation.
Back and Neck Sprains and Strains: This type of injury refers to injury to the muscles surrounding your back and neck. Even a low impact car accident can cause sprains and strains. However, these types of injuries rarely entitle you to financial compensation in New York due to our Threshold Law. However, it is possible this injury will meet the serious injury threshold, thus entitling you to financial compensation if you are unable to carry out a substantial percentage of your normal activities for any 90-day period within the first 180 days of your car accident.
The courts will generally look at your work history first. If you have not missed 90 straight days it is extremely unlikely you will qualify for financial compensation. If you have missed 90 straight days, the court will next look at your other activities to make sure you were unable to substantially and effectively perform all of them. Ultimately, this is a judgment call that will be made by a judge.
Herniated Discs: A herniated disc is another type of injury that is very common following a car accident. A disc refers to the rubbery cushions between each vertebra in your back and neck. A disc is a little bit like a jelly doughnut with a soft center surrounded by a harder exterior shell. A herniation of the disc refers to the tearing of that harder exterior shell, which in turn causes the softer jelly-like substance to escape, often causing pain.
If it can be related to your accident, a disc herniation can entitle you to compensation if you have long-lasting loss of range of motion or nerve damage. Only a doctor can substantiate this type of injury.
Fractured Bones: A fracture is a medical term for a broken bone. There are many types of fractures ranging from a hairline fracture to a comminuted fracture. A fracture meets the threshold for serious injury in New York and does entitle you to compensation. The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on the severity of the injury.
Torn Cartilage, Tendons and Ligaments: Soft tissue tears are common in car accidents, especially tears of the shoulder and knee. If this type of injury can be related to your car accident, it will often meet the threshold for serious injury.
The best way to determine if your specific injury meets the threshold for serious injury is to have an experienced car accident attorney review your case. The consultation is usually free.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.