The phrases bodily injury and personal injury might sound the same, but they mean different meanings. In general, bodily injury involves the harm someone encounters to their body after an incident, while personal injury relates to civil court claims in which a person is seeking damages.
Bodily injury may be addressed during criminal court proceedings in which someone claims to have been the victim of a crime, such as an assault. Bodily injury liability (BIL) usually covers the costs of a person who did not cause an accident but was injured in it. Personal injury protection (PIP) covers a person’s injuries and losses after an accident regardless of fault.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You with Bodily Injury and Personal Injury Claims
Most people involved in accidents, whether they be automobile crashes or premises liability incidents, can be entitled to several different kinds of damages. Damages may be either economic or non-economic.
Economic damages are well-defined and easy costs to calculate, such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Household services
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost or reduced earning capacity
Non-economic damages are far more subjective and, thus, harder to quantify. They could include such considerations as:
- Emotional anguish
- Reputational damage
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Worsening of prior injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
An attorney can identify the different kinds of damages that you could be entitled to in a personal injury case. Bodily injury liability (BIL) could pay for any injuries or death of another person in an accident, but Florida law requires only taxis to have BIL (Florida Statutes § 324.032).
They must have at least $125,000 per person and $250,000 per accident. Other drivers are required to have $50,000 in property damage liability, although BIL is not required, and some drivers may add it.
Differences Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury
Some significant differences between bodily injury and personal injury include the following:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers all injuries stemming from an accident, while BIL applies only to lawsuits against a person for their liability in an accident. BIL will include legal representation for a person who was at fault in an accident, but PIP will not.
- BIL protects you if you are sued, while PIP only covers medical costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses up to $10,000. A person who purchases BIL also has to have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage in accordance with Florida Statutes § 627.727. The same does not hold true for PIP.
Florida Statutes § 324.021 lays out the financial responsibility of both policies. UM covers injuries a person sustains in the event of a serious accident where someone else is liable, while BIL covers family who lives with a person and people who drive their vehicle with their permission.
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Please keep in mind that many personal injury attorneys will not charge you for an initial consultation. This means there is no risk in sitting down and discussing your case with a lawyer.
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Kinds of Bodily Injury and Personal Injury Claims in Florida
Various kinds of incidents could trigger a bodily injury or personal injury claim. Lawsuits could be filed in all the following situations:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Slips and fall accidents
- Drownings and pool injuries
- Dog bites or other animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability claims
- Workplace accidents
Elements of a Personal Injury Case
When a person has been in any kind of accident that caused personal injury, they could recover damages for their losses. Proving fault, however, will require that person to prove all four of the following elements:
- Duty of care: A duty of care means a person should have shown a certain degree of care for another person in the situation that occurred. For example, a driver may have been obligated to provide a safe distance for you to travel and violated that duty.
- Breach of duty: It will need to be proven that an alleged offender somehow violated their duty of care, usually through negligence or recklessness.
- Causation: The alleged offender’s negligence must directly cause a person’s accident and their injuries. This is especially important to counter any claims that you were at fault for your injuries.
- Damages: You will have to demonstrate that you suffered one or more of the damages listed above.
You have a limited amount to file a lawsuit, so delaying the filing of your case could ultimately prevent you from recovering anything at all. Time limits in legal cases are known as the statute of limitations, and they can be found in Florida Statutes § 95.11.
The statute covers several kinds of claims, and “an action founded on negligence” or “an action for injury to a person” must be filed within four years of an accident, while a wrongful death case must be filed within two years. It becomes critical to get an attorney involved as soon as possible so they can properly investigate your accident and begin working to hold the negligent party accountable.
Find Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Anybody facing a bodily injury or personal injury claim in Florida can contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Glen B. Levine and Marc Anidjar are committed to helping injured Florida residents and visitors seek and recover compensation for their accident losses.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers. We will work tirelessly to make sure you can seek recovery for every loss you have incurred. We aim to help you get back on your feet.
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Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today for a Free Case Review
Call 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine right now. Should you be unable to visit our office, we are more than willing to come to you, even if you are confined to a hospital bed. We can explain the difference between bodily injury and personal injury and other legal matters that relate to your potential case.
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