Understanding the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury in Florida

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Did you know that bodily injury and personal injury have different meanings depending on context? In a legal context, bodily injury can be most often found in criminal proceedings, referring to someone who has been the victim of a crime. Personal injury, however, is often used in civil court claims, and can include all of the costs incurred as a result of an accident or wrongful death

In insurance, however, both terms can also 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 will likely cover the injuries and losses to the other driver and passengers. Personal injury protection can cover 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 protection insurance, because it is a no-fault car insurance state. That means that you may not 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! We are your local, experienced, law firm! Do not hesitate to call, chat or click here to contact us today!