Car Accident: Appeal Won for Woman Injured

When you have been injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to determine what your next step should be. It is often necessary to pursue legal action against the other driver in order to receive adequate monetary compensation for your injuries. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria – which has represented thousands of accident victims over the past six decades – has a team of experienced attorneys who will vigorously represent you in pursuing a claim against the negligent parties and their insurance companies. Even with the most skilled attorneys representing you, however, there are times when a judge or jury may not rule in your favor. When you receive an unfavorable verdict in those cases, you may be able to appeal the decision. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s appellate attorneys can review your case and help get you the results you deserve. Read on to learn about a car accident appeal that Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s attorneys won for an injured client after her injury claims were dismissed.

In a personal injury suit commenced in the Niagara County Supreme Court, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria represented a woman who was injured when her car was struck by a vehicle that ran a stop sign. The plaintiff alleged that she sustained serious injuries in the accident, and sought monetary compensation from the person who hit her. The defendant moved to dismiss the suit, claiming that the plaintiff had not been seriously hurt. The Supreme Court agreed and dismissed plaintiff’s claims. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria appealed this decision to the New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department. John A. Collins, a senior partner in the firm, represented the plaintiff on the appeal. On November 10, 2016, the Fourth Department ruled in the plaintiff’s favor, reversed the Niagara County Supreme Court’s order, and reinstated plaintiff’s claims.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court improperly dismissed her claims alleging that, as a result of the accident, she had permanent and significant physical limitations. Regarding the permanent consequential limitation of use, the appeals court agreed, stating that plaintiff raised a valid issue of fact by submitting the affirmation of her orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon measured “significant rotation in the flexion, extension, and rotation of plaintiff’s cervical spine three years after the accident and opined that those restrictions are permanent.”

Regarding the category of significant limitation of use, the court concluded that the defendant’s own proof raised an issue of fact. The defendant submitted evidence showing that the plaintiff’s orthopedist and another physician found a herniated disc in the plaintiff’s cervical spine after reviewing an imaging study. The defendant also submitted other evidence that demonstrated the extent of the plaintiff’s limitations due to the disc injury, including medical records showing the plaintiff’s range of motion loss. The court also concluded that the plaintiff’s cessation of medical treatment did not destroy her claim, as she offered a reasonable explanation for why she chose not to continue treatment. The Fourth Department therefore reversed the Niagara County Supreme Court’s order and reinstated the plaintiff’s action regarding the permanent consequential limitation of use and significant limitation of use categories of serious injury.

About John A. Collins

John A. Collins is a senior partner in the Accidents and Personal Injury department at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. He practices in the areas of Civil Appellate and Motion Practice. Mr. Collins has argued appeals before several courts, including the New York Court of Appeals, all four departments of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.