Car accidents can involve a tremendous amount of damage to both vehicles and people. When it comes to understanding what is considered bodily injury in a car accident, it goes beyond the immediate physical repercussions. The concept of bodily injury encompasses a broader awareness of harm, recognizing the potential personal injury claims that can follow a car accident.
Whether you are a driver, passenger or simply seeking information, understanding the nuances of bodily injury is essential to making informed decisions after an accident.
Definition of bodily injury in traffic accidents
Understanding personal injury involves recognizing the range of damages resulting from traffic accidents. Damages include physical injuries, such as fractures or whiplash, and extend to emotional or psychological distress.
In the context of traffic accidents, what is considered bodily injury in a car accident refers to any physical harm suffered by a person due to the collision. Bodily injury is a spectrum ranging from minor cuts and bruises to bone fractures, internal injuries and neurological damage. This applies to both drivers or passengers, even if it is a child.
Although emotional distress following a traffic accident is a valid element in personal injury cases, it is often distinguished from personal injury. In legal terms, emotional injury claims can be brought independently or in conjunction with personal injury claims, depending on the circumstances and laws of the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred.
Prevention of bodily injury – What is impact resistance?
Impact resistance is the ability of a vehicle to protect its occupants in the event of an accident, which influences the likelihood of physical injury. A vehicle with impact resistance features can reduce the risk and severity of physical injury.
Some examples of impact resistance characteristics are:
- Safety belts
- Deformation zones
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Safety cage
- Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
While choosing a vehicle with anti-crash features can help you be safer on the road, remember that these features can sometimes fail. Some people ask, “Can a car company be sued for failing to deploy airbags?” In many cases, maybe yes, but practicing defensive driving is still the best way to avoid bodily injury.
Bodily injury, car rental and car sharing
While bodily injuries are the same regardless of whether someone is involved in a Lyft or personal vehicle accident, what happens if they crash an uninsured rental car becomes more complicated.
Some rental car companies offer a basic level of insurance coverage, but it may be minimal. You could be responsible for paying for damage to the rental car and other vehicles involved (including towing costs), in addition to property damage. You could also be sued for bodily injury. If you collide with an uninsured rental car, you may have to pay these costs out of your own pocket.
After the traffic accident
Your auto insurance adjuster plays a critical role in the evaluation of bodily injury claims following a car accident. They determine what is considered bodily injury in a car accident by assessing the extent of physical damage sustained by the individuals involved. The process involves reviewing medical records, bills and expert opinions to determine the extent of injuries. The experts also take into account factors such as pre-existing medical conditions and the impact of the injuries on daily life, and investigate who is at fault for the accident.
While the job of an auto insurance adjuster is to evaluate bodily injury claims after a car accident, it is important to remember that they work for the insurance company – not for you. It is the real statement of a lawyer, win over the case.