New Case Decision Restores Car Accident Lawsuits

You may not have even known that in the last few years, it has often become impossible to have a successful lawsuit for relatively serious injuries caused by a car accident. But you may have found out if your car accident case was rejected by a lawyer because you did not have a fracture (broken bone).

New York State No-Fault law provides that if you are injured in a car accident (only car accidents), you cannot file a lawsuit unless you have a serious injury. The No-Fault statute states that a fracture is a serious injury but provides very difficult to interpret language to determine whether other injuries are serious.

This has led to recent court decisions requiring doctors to treat a car accident patient in a manner to prepare for a lawsuit, beginning with the first medical examination. Instead of simply providing proper medical care, the courts have required doctors not only to prepare for a lawsuit but also to know how to do that.

It is not surprising that doctors rarely knew that they even had to perform examinations in a certain way for lawsuits. I have not found any doctors aware of the court decisions until I told them.

Often, people injured in a car accident call a lawyer weeks or months later and did not have the benefit of a lawyer who could advise the treating doctor. It is also not surprising that doctors did not know what to do and when told, they often didn’t want to cooperate.

Consequently, cases serious enough to require surgery but without a broken bone have been dismissed by the courts because they were not proved to be serious. Because cases were getting dismissed, insurance companies stopped settling car accident cases. The result is that many lawyers stopped taking car accident cases.

If you were injured in a car accident within the last three years and could not find a lawyer interested in representing you, you should talk to a lawyer again. If you have a current car accident lawsuit, your lawsuit just got a lot better. There is now very good news for car accident victims.

The New York State Court of Appeals in the case Perl v. Meher said that doctors no longer need to treat car accident patients for lawsuits and can once again return to practicing medicine. Now, preparation for a lawsuit can be done much later and after a lawyer has been retained.