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What is Bodily Injury?

May 5, 2023 |
What is Bodily Injury? If you have been injured in a car accident, but are unclear about what bodily injury means, the following information may help you. There are a variety of injuries that can occur in a car accident, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious ones like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis. We will discuss what constitutes bodily injury in Florida, whether compensation is available for bodily injury claims, and how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you maximize your compensation.

What is a Bodily Injury in Florida?

Bodily injury is physical damage or pain inflicted on the victim of a car accident. Injuries to the body are also commonly referred to as physical injuries. Any pain or injury may qualify as a bodily injury. In some cases, the injury may be easily visible, such as a cut or a broken bone. However, a bodily injury could also refer to an internal injury, such as a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. Due to this, you are always advised to seek medical attention after being involved in a car accident, regardless of whether you feel fine. Sometimes, it may take several days or even weeks for some injuries to manifest their full symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention to identify any injuries you may have sustained to ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment.

What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?

The term 'personal injury' refers to an injury that occurs when one is hurt physically, psychologically, or emotionally in a car accident, as opposed to a bodily injury which is a physical injury to one's body. Personal injury can include bodily harm and mental or emotional harm sustained because of an accident. The following are a few examples:
  • Back Injury 
  • Whiplash
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Mood disorders including depression 
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) resulting from the car accident
On the other hand, any physical harm resulting from an accident is considered a bodily injury. Here are a few examples:
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Loss of a limb(s)
  • Injury to the brain 
  • Injury to the spinal cord

The “Serious Injury” Threshold

The "serious injury" threshold governs personal injury claims in Florida. You must be able to prove that you have suffered a serious injury to bring a personal injury claim in Florida. Serious injuries are defined as:
  1. An injury that results in permanent disability or disfigurement.
  2. An injury that prohibits the injured party from engaging in gainful employment for at least ninety days following the injury.
  3. An injury that causes death.
A serious bodily injury is usually caused by traumatic accidents, such as motorcycle collisions or trucking accidents when the forces of impact are high. The severity of injuries sustained following a car accident will determine whether they are considered a bodily injury or a serious bodily injury. It is defined as serious bodily injury when a victim suffers extreme physical pain as well as bodily damage, these are referred to as severe bodily injuries. 

Serious Bodily Injury as Defined by Florida Law 

Florida Statute 316.027 defines serious bodily injury as an injury to any person, other than the defendant, that involves a physical condition that creates: a substantial risk of death, a protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, a serious personal disfigurement. To qualify as serious bodily injury, your physical injury must meet the following criteria:
  1. Your injury may take a long time to heal. 
  2. Your injury may be permanent and may never heal completely. 
Furthermore, a serious bodily injury under Florida law can include:
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Severe burns
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Loss of vision
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck injuries
  • Serious disfigurement
  • Loss of a limb
  • Severely broken bones
  • Deep cuts or lacerations
  • Permanent scars
In this regard, the physical damages awarded in a claim are also determined by the classification of the injury as a bodily injury or a serious injury.

Impact of Florida's no-fault Insurance on bodily injury settlements

Bodily injury liability insurance (BI) is not mandatory in Florida in most circumstances. It is important to note, however, that under Florida Statute 324.023, if a driver is convicted of a DUI, he or she is required to carry BI coverage for three years after the return of driving privileges. Following a DUI conviction, the minimum coverage for bodily injury must be $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. A bodily injury liability policy covers bodily injury to third parties caused by negligent driving. The insurance does not cover injury to the driver who acted negligently. Injury claims such as this would be covered by the PIP policy of that driver.

How Can The Ward Law Group Help? 

A car accident is one of the most stressful experiences in life. Especially, if you have sustained a serious bodily injury. When the consequences are long-term, such as those caused by car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, and truck accidents, a car accident attorney with extensive knowledge, experience, and resources, can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your legal claim. The truth is insurers know that accident victims who represent themselves have limited resources and understanding of the real value of their cases. Consequently, victims without legal representation are faced with settlements that take longer to reach and often receive lower compensation for their injuries compared to those who hired expert legal representation. If you hire an experienced attorney to assist you with your claim, you are more likely to receive the maximum amount you are entitled to. An attorney who specializes in car accident law can assist you with the following:
  • Make sure you are aware of your legal rights and options.
  • Gather evidence and conduct an investigation of the accident.
  • Take care of all insurance matters on your behalf.
  • Ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries
A car accident attorney can protect your rights and guide you through every step of the legal process until you receive the compensation you are entitled to following a car accident. The good news is that our team of expert car accident attorneys at The Ward Law Group is ready to assist you. 

Do You Need Help Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Claim? 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident recently, and you are interested in seeking compensation, our team will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve! Call us today! 855-DOLOR-55