Everyone knows you can get injured when you get into a motor vehicle, operate dangerous equipment, or climb up on a scaffold at a work site. The risk of a serious physical trauma (impact) is inherent in all those activities. I have represented countless victims of such accidents.
But sometimes big injuries can also result from small traumas. For example, I once had a client who suffered a serious injury when one of those drive-thru bank teller windows closed on her hand as she was reaching in for her money. The glass window closed on her hand fairly slowly, and only bruised her hand. But the bank customer later developed a very serious injury known as RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), also known as complex regional pain syndrome, a rare disorder of the sympathetic nervous system characterized by chronic, severe, permanent pain.
Who would have thought that such a minor trauma could cause such a serious condition? Even so, under principles of New York injury law, if we could prove that the bank teller negligently closed the window on my client’s hand, my client was entitled to full compensation for her RSD.