Motor Vehicle And Highway Civil Charges

5.33B – Limitation On Lawsuit Option

5.33B Limitation On Lawsuit Option

A. Introduction
In order to recover damages in this case, plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that [he] [she] sustained injuries which fit into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Death;
  2. Dismemberment;
  3. Significant disfigurement or significant scarring;
  4. Displaced fracture;
  5. Loss of a fetus;
  6. A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.

If you find the injuries caused by the accident do not come within one of these categories, your verdict must be for the defendant. If you find the injuries caused by the accident do come within one of these categories, your verdict must be for the plaintiff.

B. Significant Disfigurement or Significant Scarring (Type 3)
In this case, the plaintiff alleges and has the burden to prove that he/she suffered a significant disfigurement or significant scarring as a result of the motor vehicle accident. An injury shall be considered a significant disfigurement or significant scarring if a reasonable person would find that the disfigurement or scarring renders plaintiff’s appearance unattractive, objectionable, or as the subject of pity or scorn, or that such condition individually or collectively substantially detracts from plaintiff’s appearance or impairs or injures the beauty, symmetry, or appearance of the plaintiff so as to render the bearer unsightly, misshapen or imperfect deforming him/her in some manner. You shall consider as factors in making this determination the appearance, coloration, existence, size and shape of plaintiff’s disfigurement or scar[s] along with the characteristics of surrounding skin and the remnants of the healing process and other cosmetically important matters.

C. Permanent Injury (Type 6)
In this case, the plaintiff alleges that he/she suffered a permanent injury as a result of the motor vehicle accident. An injury shall be considered permanent when the body part or organ, or both, has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.

Plaintiff must prove this claim through objective, credible medical evidence. Objective proof means the injury must be verified by physical examination or medical testing and cannot be based solely upon the plaintiff’s subjective complaints. Credible evidence is evidence you find to be believable



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