When a person is hit by a car, the spinal injuries that they incur are likely to be serious in nature. However, pursuant to New York State Insurance Law § 5102, in order for an injury to be considered serious, it must be so pervasive that it required that person to restrict their lifestyle for 90 of the first 180 days following the injury. That means that the burden to show that they have incurred a serious bodily injury falls to the complainant. The only way to demonstrate a serious bodily injury is to have a board certified doctor perform tests that show definite results. These results must demonstrate that the person has incurred an injury that is both severe and invasive enough to limit the use of a limb. Alternately, in the case of brain or spine injuries, the complainant must be able to show that the injury has rendered them unable to perform tasks that they considered day to day activities prior to the accident.
This became the goal of a man who worked in New York State as a security guard for a school. One day while he was directing traffic for parents who were dropping off and picking up their children, he observed a woman driving a car in the bus lane. When she pulled in, a bus had pulled behind her preventing her from backing up. The Bronx security guard approached her vehicle to help guide her out of the driveway. As he approached, she suddenly put the car in forward gear and struck him. He contends that the force of the impact propelled him up onto the hood of her car and that he sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the accident. This accident occurred on March 12, 2012 at around nine in the morning.
As it turned out, the woman who was driving the car, had borrowed it from her long term boyfriend. The Manhattan boyfriend had rented the car from ELRAC. ELRAC is in the business of leasing automobiles. During the course of the investigation into this case, the security guard determined that the boyfriend had a restricted license at the time that he had rented the car from ELRAC. He contends that if ELRAC had not rented the car to a person that had demonstrated that they were likely to operate the vehicle in a manner that would cause harm to another, that he would not have been injured by the car. He contends that ELRAC had a responsibility to ensure that the persons who rented cars from them would operate those vehicles in a safe manner. The fact that the man’s license was restricted should have been an indicator to them that the man was a less safe driver.
The company, ELRAC stated that while they do have an internal policy that should have prevented this man from being able to lease one of their vehicles, it is a moot point because that man was not even driving the vehicle at the time of the collision. Further, they contend that the security guard did not incur a serious injury under the definition of the Insurance Law of New York. That definition states that for a person to have incurred a serious injury under the law, they must have been deprived of the use of a limb, suffered a spinal injury, or suffered a brain injury. These injuries must be so severe that they limit that person from conducting daily activities that they had done before the accident. In this case, ELRAC also contends that the injuries are treatable and so are not permanent by nature of the law. The court determined that there was not enough evidence presented to grant a summary judgment and that the security guard had demonstrated that there were facts in question that should be determined by a trial.
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its medical malpractice Lawyers, have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our spinal injury lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a personal injury Lawyer, you could lose precious compensation to help your family.