Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | March 25, 2023 | Personal Injury
The terms used in car accident cases can be confusing. For example, someone might assume that bodily injury and personal injury mean the same thing. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but the terms have different meanings when discussing a personal injury claim.
The term “personal injury” includes bodily injury and harm caused to a person’s emotions because of negligence or other wrongdoing. “Bodily injury” refers to any injury to the body.
Common bodily injuries in personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Injuries to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
- Back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Soft tissue injuries
Knowing the difference between bodily injury vs. personal injury is helpful when filing insurance claims for a car accident in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Personal Injury Protection vs. Bodily Injury Insurance Coverage
The laws requiring automobile insurance differ by state. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Drivers must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage.
However, Florida does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury coverage. Bodily injury coverage is liability insurance. Several key differences between PIP vs. bodily injury coverage impact how much money you can recover for a car accident claim.
PIP Car Accident Claims in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
PIP provides coverage regardless of who caused a car crash. Therefore, most people file a claim with their PIP provider. However, no-fault insurance does not cover all types of personal injury damages in a car accident case.
You can receive up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages for a PIP insurance claim. The benefits are limited to $2,500 if your injuries do not require emergency medical attention.
Liability Car Accident Claims in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
If the driver has liability insurance, you might be able to file a claim against the driver. However, your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold, and you must prove that the other driver caused the car accident.
Accident victims can sue another driver for damages if they sustain serious injuries. Florida statutes define serious injuries as injuries that result in permanent impairments, significant disfigurement, or death.
If you have a claim against the other driver, you are not limited to damages only for your physical injuries. You can demand compensation for all personal injuries.
Types of Personal Injury Damages
Personal injury damages include loss of income and medical expenses. However, they also include other economic damages, including out-of-pocket expenses, long-term care, and diminished earning capacity.
Furthermore, there is no cap on the amount of economic damages you can receive for a car accident claim. The car insurance provider is only liable for damages up to the policy limits. However, you can sue the at-fault driver for the remaining damages.
Additionally, personal injury includes non-economic damages. So, you can demand compensation for:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
The economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory damages because they compensate you for actual losses. However, a jury could also award punitive damages.
These damages do not compensate you for losses. Instead, the monetary award is a punishment for the person who caused your accident. Only a few cases meet the qualifications for punitive damages.
How Much Is My Claim for Bodily Injury and Personal Injury on Palm Beach Gardens Worth?
The value of your personal injury damages depends on the facts of your case. Cases involving traumatic injuries tend to have higher damages. However, injuries are only one factor that impacts how much a personal injury claim is worth.
Factors that impact the value of your car accident case include:
- The type of injuries sustained
- Whether the injuries caused permanent impairments
- The amount of your financial losses
- Your appearance before and after the injury
- Whether you took steps to mitigate damages
- Your percentage of fault, if any, for causing the car accident (i.e., contributory fault)
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The parties involved in the case
- The strength of the evidence proving fault
The best way to know how much your personal injury and bodily injury damages are worth is to talk with an experienced Palm Beach Gardens personal injury attorney. You might be surprised to learn your claim is worth much more than the settlement offer from the insurance company.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC in South Florida For Help Today
For more information, please contact the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, or Palm Beach Gardens personal injury law firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC, at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We proudly serve Martin County, St. Lucie County, Palm Beach County, and its surrounding areas:
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Port St. Lucie
1100 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Ste 202
Port St Lucie, FL 34986
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Palm Beach Gardens
300 Avenue of the Champions Ste 220
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418