What Is an Appeal?

If you are involved in an NYC auto accident, you may seek out an attorney to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party on your behalf. In New York, in order to have a viable claim for the personal injuries you sustained in the auto accident, you must prove that you sustained a serious injury, sometimes referred to as New York’s threshold law. Injuries that will easily meet the “threshold” to constitute a serious injury include fractures and the need for surgery. But what about lesser injuries that still caused you a great deal of pain?

Injuries that are soft tissue in nature, such as back and neck disc herniations or bulges can sometimes lead a defense attorney to file what is commonly referred to as a Summary Judgment Motion or a Threshold Motion. What the defense is arguing is that your injuries did not rise to the level required in NY to qualify for money damages in a lawsuit. And if the court agrees and dismisses your case, then what?

Well, the next step is an appeal. In New York, if the Supreme Court dismisses your personal injury case based on the defendant’s threshold motion, you have the right to appeal to the NY Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

The law firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC recently successfully appealed the lower court’s ruling that its auto accident client was not entitled to any recovery after the defense moved for summary judgment on threshold. The Appellate Division decided that the Plaintiff had raised a triable issue of fact to defeat the defendant’s summary judgment motion and reversed the Supreme Court’s decision. More specifically, the Appellate Division held that the Plaintiff’s physiatrist had directly addressed and explained the Plaintiff’s prior spinal injury by comparing the MRIs taken following a prior accident with those taken after the accident at issue.

Additionally, the Appellate Division looked to the fact that the Plaintiff had submitted his deposition testimony that he missed work for five to six months following the accident, as well as affirmed evaluation reports documenting that he remained partially disabled and unable to work safely or effectively due to his injuries during that period.

Accordingly, the client’s case was reinstated and will proceed to trial.