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Personal injuries are physical, mental, and emotional injuries inflicted on a person. One may receive a settlement payout or compensation for such injuries through filing a personal injury lawsuit.

What is Personal Injury?

In the state of New York, personal injury refers to any harm or injuries inflicted intentionally or through negligence upon a person. Common examples of physical personal injuries include assault, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and car accidents. Non-physical personal injury can include defamation, inflicting emotional distress, false arrest, and invasion of privacy.

Personal Injury Legal Criteria

In a personal injury case, the court will assess the following three factors: liability, intention, and negligence.

  • Liability: The perpetrator must be held liable for their actions, meaning they are responsible. Liability does not take into account a person’s mental state or intentions, it is simply a declaration of responsibility.
  • Intention: The defendant must have committed the act of personal injury on purpose and with a specific outcome in mind. Common examples of intentional personal injuries include assault, inflicting emotional distress, false imprisonment, and battery.
  • Negligence: Negligence refers to a defendant’s failure to act in a manner that is deemed ‘acceptable’ for a ‘normal’ person in a certain circumstance. For example, in workplace accidents, an employer may have neglected to maintain certain safety standards and thus endangered an employee.

Negligence is most commonly listed in personal injury claims.

Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Damages are paid by the liable party to compensate the plaintiff for any losses sustained due to the personal injury. A plaintiff can receive damages if they win their case. Personal injury damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Mental distress; and
  • Burial costs.


Liability essentially refers to responsibility. In personal injury cases, the liability can be placed on individuals and entities. If an employee injures themselves at work due to employer negligence, liability is placed on the company. In this case, under New York laws, the employer will pay medical care and replacement wage damages to the employee. These damages would typically be covered by company insurance.

Additionally, product owners can also be held liable. This is known as product liability. If a product causes a user injuries, the court considers the owner of the product liable for the injuries.

The same applies to property owners. ‘Premise liability’ laws state that if a property owner’s negligence causes injury to someone legally on their property, the owner is liable.

In New York, the most common type of personal injury case involves car accidents. The party deemed liable for the accident will have to compensate all other parties for sustained injuries.

Statute of Limitations

In New York, a victim of personal injury has three years since the day of the incident to report the incident. However, if the victim of the incident is deceased, their family must report the incident within two years.

As such, if an individual does not file a claim within their three year deadline, the court will likely refuse to hear the case. This means that they will lose their right to compensation.

Insurance Settlement Payouts

New York is a ‘no fault factor’ state. This means that insurance companies are required to pay for damages that their client is liable for. For example, auto insurance companies must pay for the costs of their client’s accidents, regardless of whether or not the client was at fault.

Additionally, New York follows ‘pure comparative fault’. This means that in an incident, both parties may be held partially responsible. As such, both parties may be liable for a certain percentage of damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is personal injury law the same as tort law?

A: Yes, another term used for personal injury is tort law. Tort law covers acts that cause injuries and liability concerns.

Q: Is the statute of limitations different for medical malpractice incidents?

A: Yes. Similar to most states, New York has statute limitations specifically for medical malpractice injuries.

Q: Do personal injury claims protect animals, specifically dogs?

A: In the state of New York, there are no laws in place that protect dogs under personal injury. However, if a dog causes harms a person, the dog’s owner(s) will be held liable. In these cases, plaintiffs must prove that the owner knew of their dog’s dangerous behaviors. This is also known as the ‘one bite rule’.

Q: If my personal injury claim involves government negligence, is the process different from a typical personal injury claim?

A: Yes. In New York, negligence by the government resulting in personal injury requires a more complex filing process. First, you should file your claim with the specific government agency you believe to be liable. If you are filing a claim against a city in New York, you have up to 90 days to file. However, if you are filing a lawsuit against a city in New York, you will have up to one year. Moreover, if you are filing a claim against New York state, you will have up to 90 days.

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has been involved in a personal injury incident, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.

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