What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?

Cogburn Law
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Madeleine Jones
March 11, 2019

After an accident that causes injury, you will likely hear the terms of personal injury and bodily injury often. Some may use these terms interchangeably, but they have entirely different meanings under Nevada insurance law. A common mistake as an insurance policyholder is to purchase personal injury protection when one really means bodily injury coverage. Understanding the nuances between the two phrases can clear up misconceptions you may have about your insurance before or after an accident.

Is Bodily Injury The Same as Personal Injury?

What Is Personal Injury Protection Insurance?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that pays for your own injuries, bills, and damages after an auto accident. PIP insurance can cover your hospital bills and other medical expenses for both you and any of your passengers. If you struck a pedestrian, PIP insurance will also cover the pedestrian’s medical bills. PIP insurance will cover your medical costs regardless of whether you caused the accident. If a victim files a lawsuit against you after a crash, personal injury protection insurance will pay the damages, saving you from paying out of pocket.

Is Personal Injury Protection Mandatory In Nevada Insurance Law?

No, PIP is an optional type of insurance in most states, including Nevada. Nevada insurance laws require bodily injury and property damage coverage, but not personal injury protection. This distinction is where many policyholders become confused. They may think they need to purchase PIP insurance when really this is not a legal requirement. Conversely, buying PIP insurance does not satisfy the state’s auto insurance requirements. One may want to purchase optional personal injury protection for his or her own medical bill coverage after a collision.

What Is Bodily Injury Coverage?

Bodily injury coverage is a requirement in Nevada. All drivers in the state must carry bodily injury coverage amounting to at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as $20,000 in property damage insurance. These liability insurance requirements pay for injuries to others and their property if you cause a car accident. It does not cover your damages if you were at fault. The only time you could receive auto insurance coverage for your damages with the minimum amount of insurance is if someone else caused your accident.

Nevada is a fault car insurance state. The driver that caused the accident will be the one responsible for paying for losses, including injuries and property damage. If you are the at-fault driver, your minimum required insurance will cover the other party’s damages, up to the maximum amount on your policy. If the other driver is at fault, his or her insurance will pay for your damages. If the other driver does not have enough insurance, your insurance company may cover the remaining amount.

Are There Other Recovery Options For Car Accident Victims?

Auto insurance is the first line of defense after a car accident. It may not be your only option for financial recovery as a crash victim, however. If the other driver negligently or recklessly caused your accident, you could file a personal injury claim against that person. A civil lawsuit can result in greater compensation than an insurance claim alone.

What Can I Get Compensated For In Personal Injury Claim?

In a personal injury claim, if you are not the one at fault you can claim for the following:

  • Payment for your past and future medical bills.
  • Compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity.
  • The costs of a personal injury disability.
  • Payment for physical pain and suffering.
  • Benefits for other noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress.
  • Reimbursement for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Punitive damages, if the defendant was grossly negligent.

Should I Hire A Car Accident Attorney?

Yes, hiring an experienced car accident attorney will give you the best chance of winning your personal injury claim. You have two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or entity in Nevada. A Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney can help with the claims process, from filing your paperwork with the correct courts to negotiating a fair settlement. PIP and bodily injury coverage may not be your only options for financial relief. Get a free consultation by contacting us now on (702) 748-7777.

“I was hesitant about getting a lawyer for many reasons, however the entire staff at Cogburn reassured me that everything would be okay. They were always very attentive and provided detailed answers to any questions I had. I would like to thank the entire staff for all of your hard work, making sure that my daughters and I were compensated for the car accident, and making sure we received all the necessary treatment. You were awesome. If you need an attorney that won’t look at you as just another case, that’ll return your calls/emails I definitely recommend this team”

Kaleighna P.