So, you’ve been injured in an accident. Whether it was a slip and fall at the grocery store or a car accident on the highway, you’re likely wondering what kind of legal claim to file. Do you file a personal injury claim or a bodily injury claim? What’s the difference? We’ll break down the differences between personal injury and bodily injury claims in Florida, so you can be well-informed before filing a claim after an accident.
Looking for Florida attorneys experienced with bodily injury claims? Speak with one of Herman & Wells’s personal injury lawyers at (727) 821-3195.
How Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Differs From Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
If you are in an accident in Florida, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will help pay for your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is mandatory in Florida, so all drivers must have it. If you are injured and someone else is at fault, you may also be able to file a bodily injury liability claim. Bodily injury liability coverage helps protect you if you are sued for injuries that you caused to another person. It can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that you are liable for. PIP coverage does not provide this type of protection.
What Qualifications Are Needed to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
In order to file a personal injury claim in Florida, you must be able to prove that you were injured as a result of another person’s negligence. You must also meet the applicable statute of limitations, which is typically two years. In addition, you will need to provide evidence of your injuries, including medical records and receipts for any related expenses.
Florida’s Serious Injury (Tort) Threshold
Personal injury claims in Florida are governed by what is known as the “serious injury” threshold. In order to bring a personal injury claim in Florida, you must be able to prove that you have suffered a serious injury. A serious injury is defined as an injury that:
- Causes death;
- Results in permanent disability or disfigurement; or
- Prevents the injured person from engaging in gainful employment for at least 90 days.
If you have been involved in a car accident and have not suffered a serious injury, you will not be able to bring a personal injury claim against the other driver. Instead, your only recourse will be to file a property damage claim with your own insurance company.
How Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Works in a No-Fault State Like Florida
In Florida, people who are injured in car accidents can file personal injury claims if they were not at fault. This is different than other states, where people might have to sue for bodily injury. In a no-fault state like Florida, bodily injury coverage will help to pay for the injury expenses incurred by the policyholder if they caused the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To be clear, bodily injury liability coverage will be used to pay for the victim’s injuries, not the at-fault party’s injuries.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Requirements in Florida
In Florida, bodily injury liability coverage is not technically required to drive a car legally. If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or committed certain traffic violations, then you may be required to have BI coverage on your auto insurance policy. That being said, Florida residents should have a minimum of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in BI coverage.
While bodily injury liability coverage is required in many states, the only required types of car insurance in Florida are personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. Drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in coverage for both.
As the name implies, bodily injury liability coverage is designed to help protect the “body” of the person who has been injured by a negligent driver in Florida. So if you get injured in a car accident caused by a driver who has BI coverage, you’ll be receiving money for your medical expenses from their insurance company.
Benefits of Bodily Injury Coverage in Florida
This coverage helps to protect drivers in the event that they are involved in an accident and someone is injured. Without bodily injury coverage, drivers would be personally responsible for any damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. With bodily injury coverage, the insurance company will cover these costs up to the limits of the policy. This can help to protect drivers from financial ruin in the event of a serious accident.
How To File a Bodily Injury Claim in Florida
Bodily injury claims in Florida can be filed if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Depending on the state and who is to blame, filing a bodily injury claim following an accident might take several days or weeks. To file a bodily injury claim, you’ll need to gather evidence and documentation of your injuries, damages, and losses. You’ll also need to prove that the other party is at fault. The following steps will help you file a successful bodily injury claim in Florida:
1. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
After an accident, it’s understandable that you’ll feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. You may be tempted to try to handle the insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit on your own. However, this is not advisable. There are many benefits to having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side after an accident. A personal injury lawyer can.
- Advise you of your legal rights and options
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence
- Deal with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Fight for maximum compensation for your injuries
If you have been involved in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your personal injury claim.
2. Go Get Treated for Your Injuries ASAP
Many personal injury claims hinge on the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident. If you wait to seek medical treatment, you may find that your injuries are not as severe as you thought and that your case is weaker as a result. It is always best to seek medical attention right away after an accident so that you can make a clear claim with accurate documentation of your injuries.
3. Compile All Pertinent Medical Records
It is important to compile all pertinent medical records if you are injured in an accident. This information will help your personal injury lawyer build a strong case on your behalf. The records will show the extent of your injuries and how they have impacted your life. Without this evidence, it may be more difficult to obtain a fair settlement from the insurance company.
4. Prepare & File Your Bodily Injury Claim
Your personal injury attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that all of your documentation is submitted correctly and on time. The process of filing a bodily injury claim can be long and complicated, but with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you will be able to get the compensation you deserve.
5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer If You Get a Low Settlement Offer
If the insurance company has offered you a low settlement, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate a higher settlement and can also take legal action if necessary. There are many benefits to having legal representation after an accident. A personal injury lawyer will know what to expect in the settlement process and will be able to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Additionally, a personal injury lawyer can handle all of the legal paperwork and negotiations on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Factors Impacting When or If You Can File a Bodily Injury Claim in Florida
Personal injury claims in Florida can be a tricky and confusing process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the state’s laws. There are many things to consider when filing a personal injury claim, such as the statute of limitations, which is the time frame in which you have to file your claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years from the date of the accident. This means that if you were in an accident on January 1st, 2020, you would have until January 1st, 2024 to file your personal injury claim.
Another factor that can impact when or if you can file a bodily injury claim in Florida is the experience and skill of the lawyer you choose to represent you. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the ins and outs of the personal injury claims process and will be able to navigate it effectively on your behalf. They will also be able to advise you on what to do in order to give yourself the best chance at a successful outcome. If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible so that you can understand your rights and options under Florida law.
How Are Bodily Injury Settlements Calculated?
As mentioned earlier, bodily injury claims in Florida are based on the state’s “no-fault” insurance system. This means that, regardless of who is at fault for an accident, each driver’s own insurance company pays for their personal injury expenses up to a certain limit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If an accident was caused by someone else’s negligence and resulted in serious bodily injury, the victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover additional damages.
Bodily injury settlements are typically calculated using a combination of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In Florida, the average bodily injury settlement is between $15,000 and $30,000. However, settlements can vary widely depending on the severity of the injuries involved. For example, settlements for victims who have suffered permanent disabilities or disfigurement may be significantly higher.
Schedule a Free Consultation With One of Our Personal Injury Lawyers
Bodily injury claims and personal injury claims are two different things. Bodily injury insurance coverage is a sort of liability insurance that can help you if you hurt someone else in an accident, while personal injury refers to a type of civil lawsuit against the person or company responsible for your losses. If you’re curious about whether or not you have bodily injury coverage or need help filing a claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and help guide you through the process.
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