Personal injury is a type of civil case built against a negligent party that causes a victim to suffer injuries and financial losses. Bodily injury coverage is a type of auto liability policy. Under some circumstances, you might recover compensation for a personal injury by filing a bodily injury claim.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident or another type of incident, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand legal terminology and explain your options for seeking compensation. They can also clarify the difference between a personal injury case and bodily injury coverage.
Understanding the Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Bodily Injury Coverage
Car accident victims frequently confuse the terms “personal injury” and “bodily injury.” You could encounter both terms while pursuing compensation after a crash. Understanding the difference between personal and bodily injury could help you navigate the claims process and seek the money you need to cover your damages.
Personal Injury Cases
Almost any injury that occurs because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness could support a personal injury case. These cases focus on proving negligence and holding the negligent party responsible. Victims generally seek fair compensation through a liability insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
Bodily Injury Coverage
Bodily injury coverage is part of a driver’s auto liability policy. Many states require a minimum amount of bodily injury insurance. For example, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, drivers in the state must have at least $15,000 for bodily injury coverage for one crash victim, $30,000 for all victims hurt in a crash, and $25,000 for property damage.
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You May Be Able to File a Bodily Injury Claim in Your Personal Injury Case
Since car accidents are a type of personal injury case, many personal injury victims file a bodily injury insurance claim to recover compensation. Other types of personal injury cases also allow victims to recover compensation for injuries to their bodies and related expenses, even if they do not always call it “bodily injury coverage.” Some homeowner’s insurance claims also use this verbiage.
If you demand compensation based on bodily injury coverage, it will be a part of your insurance claim based on the at-fault party’s liability policy. You will need to provide documentation to show your injuries and related expenses. This could include:
- Your relevant medical records
- Medical bills
- Paperwork showing time missed at work
- Documentation of your prognosis and future care needs
- Expert opinions about your future ability to work and earn a living
If you work with an attorney, they will develop a compelling case to show the accused party caused your injuries and is, therefore, liable. They can gather evidence and document your economic expenses and losses.
How to Recover Compensation in a Personal Injury Case
There are usually two ways to recover compensation in a personal injury case. These include filing an insurance claim, which could include bodily injury coverage, and suing the liable party.
The reasons why a personal injury victim might need to sue vary widely. If your attorney recommends taking this step, consider their advice and discuss why they believe it is necessary. Some common reasons to file a lawsuit include:
- The deadline to file a lawsuit is quickly approaching
- The insurer denied your claim
- The liable party refuses to accept responsibility
- There are significant discrepancies in each side’s story
- A fair settlement seems impossible to negotiate
Time Limits Apply for Suing Liable Parties
Each state sets a statute of limitations, which creates a general deadline for suing the liable party after an injury incident. This could be as short as one year from the injury date. Other states offer several years for accident victims to file a lawsuit. Certain exceptions to the statute of limitations could give you less time to file, though.
Missing this deadline or other key timelines in your case could jeopardize your right to sue and seek fair compensation. Discussing the applicable deadline in your case with an attorney as soon as possible after your injuries are stable helps ensure you understand the time constraints. It also gives your legal team time to gather evidence that proves you deserve compensation.
Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Bodily injury insurance only covers certain damages—those related directly to your injuries and treatment. The recoverable damages in a personal injury case cover a wider range of expenses and losses.
Each case is different, so there is no way to predict a possible value of your case based on averages or similar cases. Instead, the value of your case will be based on the damages you suffered.
Some common recoverable damages in a personal injury case include:
- Medical treatment and related expenses
- Ongoing care and support costs
- Current and future lost income
- Diminished earning capacity if the victim cannot return to work
- Property damages, such as a crashed car
- Pain and suffering
- Lost life enjoyment
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
Wrongful death damages are also available for families whose loved ones died from an injury that another party caused. Personal injury law firms generally handle these actions, as well.
Speak to a Lawyer About Your Personal Injury Case for Free
The Morris Bart law firm provides free initial consultations for victims hurt because of someone else’s negligence. We have offices across the Gulf South, representing clients hurt in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas. Discuss your case and get legal advice and guidance from one of our personal injury attorneys for free today.
Contact us now for your complimentary case review. We never ask our clients to pay our attorneys anything upfront or out-of-pocket.
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