Did you know that bodily injury and personal injury can have different meanings depending on context? In a legal context, “bodily injury” is most often found in criminal proceedings, referring to someone who has been the victim of a crime. “Personal injury” is used in civil court claims, and includes all of the costs incurred as a result of an accident or wrongful death.
In insurance, however, both terms can have different meanings. Bodily injury insurance typically covers the expenses of the person who did not cause the accident, but was injured from it. If you caused the accident, this insurance may cover the injuries sustained by the occupants of the other vehicle and their losses. Personal injury protection covers your own injuries and losses after an accident, whether you were at fault or not.
Whether you are required to carry bodily injury insurance, personal injury insurance, or both, depends on your state. In Florida, for example, bodily injury insurance is not required, but all drivers must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury insurance, because it is a no-fault car insurance state. That means that you cannot hold the other driver liable after a car accident in Florida unless the crash resulted in serious injury to you. While most minor accidents may fall under the no-fault umbrella, your injuries may meet the serious injury threshold if you experienced permanent injury, significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of a bodily function.
If you have been in an accident, the window in which to pursue civil action is limited. In most cases, Florida law only allows an action to begin within four years from the date of the accident. Do not wait! Our experienced team of local attorneys is here to answer your questions. We know local experience matters! For more information, please reach out to our office. You may call, chat, or contact us at any time. Put our team to work for you!