IMPORTANT NOTE IN USING THIS GLOSSARY
The definitions provided in this glossary were prepared by Michael W. Goldstein, a New York Personal Injury Lawyer. These definitions are based upon principles of New York Sate law which are current as of the date this page was written. For accidents occurring outside of New York State, the laws of other states may apply, and therefore, the definitions in this glossary may not be correct.
Additional Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Optional insurance coverage that increases the monetary limits under the standard No-fault (Personal Injury Protection) Insurance. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim under this coverage.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
A cruciate ligament of the knee that crosses the posterior cruciate ligament to attach to the femur. The ACL prevents hyper-extension of the knee and prevents the tibia from sliding forward in relation to the femur. Injuries to the ACL, including tear of the ACL are common when the knee is subject to severe trauma from an accidental injury or from a sports injury
Arthroscopic Surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure which enables the surgeon to inspect the injury and repair the damage. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure whereby the surgeon inspects the joint with a miniature scope (camera) inserted through a tiny hole. If damage is detected, it can usually be repaired with surgical tools inserted through another tiny hole, under the guidance of the scope. Arthroscopic surgery is often used to repair traumatic injuries of the knee or shoulder, and sometimes the wrist, ankle or hip.
Legal relationship created when a client hires a lawyer to represent him or her. The lawyer has an obligation to represent the client’s best interests in the legal claim, lawsuit, or other matter for which the attorney is hired. Also, subject to certain exceptions, the lawyer must also protect confidential information obtained from the client in the course of the legal representation.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Coverage on a motor vehicle insurance policy that insures the vehicle owner and authorized drivers for claims made against them for injuries sustained by others due to the negligence or fault of the insured vehicle owner or authorized driver. This coverage provide protection if you are sued by one or more people for their injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident.
The legal principle in some states that permits an accident victim to recover for personal injuries, even if the injured plaintiff shares some responsibility for the accident. For example, under New York’s Comparative Negligence law, subject to certain limitations, an accident victim may recover monetary damages for injures sustained in a New York accident, even if the injured party was partially at fault. However, the recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to the injured party. (compare to Contributory Negligence)
Comprehensive and Collision Insurance Coverage
Optional coverage on a motor vehicle insurance policy that, subject to policy limits and deductibles, protects the insured vehicle against fire, theft, vandalism, collision or other damage to your car caused by stated perils.
Fee arrangement by which the attorney’s legal fee is based solely on the outcome of the case, and not on the amount of hours worked, number of court appearances, time spent preparing the case for trial, presenting the case to the jury, etc. Usually, the fee is calculated as a percentage (or sliding scale of percentages) of the total amount recovered reduced by the costs and disbursements. Contingency Fees enable accident victims to obtain legal representation, regardless of the injured party’s financial ability to pay a lawyer. Most New York personal injury cases are accepted on a one-third contingency fee. This means that the attorney’s legal fee is equal to one third of the gross recovery in the case reduced by the costs and disbursements. If there is no recovery, the client pays no legal fee. Fees and expenses are paid at the conclusion of the case. Under New York law, in the event that there is no recovery in a contingency fee case, the client is responsible for the costs and disbursements incurred in representing the client in the case, including the expenses of the litigation.
The legal principle in some states that prevents an accident victim from recovering monetary damages for personal injuries, if the injured party is partially at fault in causing the accident. Prior to New York State’s adoption of Comparative Negligence, an injured party was unable to recover for personal injuries if the injured party was partially at fault. Some states may still follow the Contributory Negligence doctrine, or a modified version of Contributory Negligence. (compare to Comparative Negligence)
Legal relationship of confidentiality created when a patient is treated by a doctor or most other medical practitioners. Generally, the doctor or other health care provider has an obligation to protect confidential information obtained from the patient in the course of treatment. There are exceptions to this privilege, however such as the health insurers’ right to obtain copies of the patient’s medical records. Also, this privilege is automatically waived when the patient makes a legal claim for injuries caused by an accident or medical malpractice. Therefore, the medical records relating to injuries sustained in an accident or as a result of a medical malpractice can be obtained by the adversary’s attorney and insurance company.
A hip fracture is a fracture of the “neck” of the femur; which is the long bone in the upper part of the leg. The femoral neck is the portion of the bone between the shaft of the femur and the head of the femur.
Medical Payments Insurance Coverage (“Med Pay” Coverage)
Insurance endorsement on many insurance policies issued to owners or tenants of homes, apartments, stores and other premises, that provides reimbursement of an injured person’s expenses for reasonable and necessary medical and hospital treatment, up to the amount of medical payments coverage provided by the owner’s insurance policy. This coverage is often limited to $10,000 or less. The medical payments endorsement, if provided, is usually separate from liability coverage for pain and suffering, etc., and may not require a showing of fault. Therefore, the victim of an accident on the insured premises may be entitled to this coverage, without the need to prove that the policyholder was negligent or at fault in causing the accident. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim under this coverage.
C-shaped disk of cartilage inside the knee joint. The meniscus cushions the ends of the bones in the knee joint, absorbs shock, aids in the stability of the knee joint, and lubricates and prevents excessive friction between the two bones of the leg (the femur and the tibia.) Traumatic knee injuries often result in a partial or complete tear of the meniscus (medial meniscus or lateral meniscus.) A meniscal tear may be caused by direct trauma to the knee, traumatic twisting of the knee, or abrupt turning of the knee joint. As we age, the meniscus may become more susceptible to traumatic tearing due to accidental injury to the knee. Since most of the meniscus has no blood supply, a torn meniscus is usually unable to repair itself by the normal healing process that occurs in other parts of the body. A torn meniscus may cause swelling and stiffness of the knee joint, and sharp pain on certain motions of the knee. If not treated, these symptoms may continue for years.
If the meniscus is damaged due to trauma caused by an accident, such as a trip and fall, or a motor vehicle collision, the torn piece of meniscus may move inside the knee joint, causing pain and dysfunction of the knee, and may cause you to experience popping, clicking and locking of the knee, as well as buckling of the knee, with a feeling of the knee “giving way.” After confirmation of the torn meniscus by MRI and/or the orthopedist’s medical examination, and after evaluating the severity of your symptoms, and other factors, your orthopedist might recommend surgery to correct the torn meniscus. Surgical repair of the torn meniscus is usually performed by arthroscopic surgery, which is much less invasive than traditional surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery may involve repair of the torn meniscus, or meniscectomy (removal of the meniscus).
Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (“MVAIC”)
A New York State governmental agency that provides coverage for accident victims who are not insured by a motor vehicle insurance policy, and whose injuries were sustained due to the negligence or fault of vehicle owners or drivers, in the event that the vehicle that caused the accident is either unidentified (“hit and run” accident) or uninsured. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim against the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation.
No-Fault Insurance (“Personal Injury Protection” or “PIP” Insurance Coverage)
Coverage on a motor vehicle insurance policy that, subject to certain limitations, pays the reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred by the vehicle owner, driver and occupants (and pedestrian struck by the vehicle, if applicable), and lost earnings, subject to certain limitations, sustained as a result of the injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of which driver was negligent or at fault in causing the accident. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim under this coverage.
No-Fault Threshold for “Serious Injury”
The legal principle in some states that prevents motor vehicle accident victims from recovering monetary compensation if the injuries sustained do not satisfy the legal definition of “serious injury.” For example, people injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York State will only be entitled to monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, if the injuries sustained satisfy the legal definition of “serious injury” pursuant to the New York State Insurance Law. This legal requirement is referred to as the “no-fault threshold.” If the injuries sustained in a New York motor vehicle accident, do not satisfy the “no-fault threshold”, the lawsuit can be dismissed by the court.
Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF)
A type of orthopedic surgery used to repair a fractured bone, in those situations where the fracture would not heal properly with a simple cast or splint. In the operating room, the fracture is “reduced”, which means that the fractured bone or bone fragments are realigned to the correct anatomical position. Then, an internal fixation device, such as a metal plate or rod, is attached to the fractured bone or bone fragments with screws or pins to hold the pieces of the broken bone together.
Optional Basic Economic Loss (“OBEL”) Insurance Coverage
Optional coverage in a motor vehicle insurance policy that increases the limits of the standard No-Fault (Personal Injury Protection) Insurance. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim under this coverage.
Property Damage Insurance
Coverage on a motor vehicle insurance policy that insures the vehicle owner and authorized drivers for claims made against them for damage to other vehicles or damage other people’s property arising out of a motor vehicle accident.
Supplementary Uninsured Motorist (“SUM”) Insurance (also referred to as “Underinsured Motorist” Insurance)
Optional coverage in a motor vehicle insurance policy that increases the limits of the standard Uninsured Motorist Insurance. Depending on the limits of SUM coverage purchased, this optional endorsement may provide additional protection for the vehicle owner, driver and occupants for their injuries sustained due to the negligence or fault of other vehicle owners or drivers. This coverage may apply if the vehicle whose driver caused the accident has limits of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage that are insufficient to adequately compensate the injured people who are protected by this coverage. Subject to certain limitations, for those injured accident victims covered by SUM insurance, this coverage may supplement the other vehicle’s Bodily Injury Liability Insurance. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a claim under this coverage.
Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) Insurance Coverage
Coverage on a motor vehicle insurance policy that insures the vehicle owner, driver and occupants for their injuries sustained due to the negligence or fault of other vehicle owners or drivers. This coverage may apply if the vehicle whose driver caused the accident is either unidentified (“hit and run” accident) or uninsured. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make the claim under this coverage.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Insurance coverage that pays an employee’s medical and hospital expenses (subject to a fee schedule and authorization by the insurance company or the Workers’ Compensation Board), and partially pays for lost wages due to injuries sustained in the course of employment. Also, Workers’ Compensation benefits may include a lump sum payment for permanent injuries. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the required legal papers to make a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Defense
New York legal principle that generally prevents an employee from suing his employer for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Therefore, if the employee’s accident was caused solely by the injured person’s employer or co-worker, the workers’ compensation benefits are usually the exclusive remedy. However, if a person, business, etc. other than the injured person’s employer or co-worker was partially or entirely at fault in causing the accident, the injured person may sue those responsible parties for his or her injuries.
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The New York personal injury, accidental injury, serious accident, or other personal injury legal information contained in this website is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship or lawyer-client relationship. We recommend that you discuss your accident case with a Personal Injury Attorney or Accident Attorney in New York promptly, since there are strict time limitations that apply to New York personal injury litigation.
This website is not intended to solicit clients for accident cases outside of New York State. However, we do represent accident victims who live outside of New York, who sustained fractures or other serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision, hit & run accident, uninsured motorist accident, under-insured motorist collision, motorcycle collision, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, roller blade accident, in-line skating accident, premises accident, trip & fall accident, construction site accident, or on the job accident that occurred in New York State, as well as wrongful death or accidental death caused by a NY accident.
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