An NYPD officer died seventeen years after he was critically injured in a New Year’s Eve car crash.
While in transit between New Year’s Eve duty in Times Square and plainclothes protection for former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Sergeant Donald “Scotty” Conniff was struck by a drunk driver who had apparently run a red light. He spent his remaining years in a New Jersey rehabilitation facility. During his law enforcement career, which he began as a transit officer in 1992, Sgt. Conniff made over 100 arrests and became a supervisor at the Ninth Precinct in the East Village.
NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said Sgt. Conniff “was an exceptional cop who gave his life for the people of New York City.”
Serious Injuries in New York
The Empire State has a no-fault insurance law that applies to “fender benders” and other low-impact vehicle collisions. In these cases, drivers may obtain compensation for their economic damages without proving who caused the crash.
However, in the event of a serious injury, victims may also be entitled to compensation for their non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and lost enjoyment in life. Article 5102(d) of the New York Insurance Law defines “serious injury” as:
- Death: There is no time limitation, as it is not unusual for victims to succumb to their injuries months or years after the crash.
- Significant Disfigurement: As a rule of thumb, scars and other disfiguring injuries on hands, faces, and other visible areas are more likely to be considered “serious,” but that is only a rule of thumb.
- Dismemberment: The loss of an arm or leg is one of the most serious injuries a person can sustain.
- Fracture: Most all fractures sustained in a car crash require metal pins or screws and extensive physical therapy.
- 90/180 Rule: This rule applies to any injury of whatever kind that “prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities.” The days do not have to be consecutive.
Other serious injuries under 5102(d) are the loss of a fetus, the permanent loss of a body organ, and “significant limitation” of a bodily function.
Serious injuries have life-altering results, for both the victims and their families and friends. For a free consultation with aggressive personal injury attorneys, contact our office. An attorney can arrange for you to see a doctor, even if you have no money and no insurance.