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What is a Personal Injury Claim?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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A personal injury claim is a request made of a car insurer in car accidents to pay for an injury that occurs as a result of a car accident. A personal injury claim can also be made to a home insurance company if an injury or damage occurs on private property and the homeowner is insured. If the claim is successful, the insurance company will pay all of the damages associated with the injury.

Personal injury refers to damage to one's person. Any type of injury sustained to the body can be considered personal injury, from a broken leg to a sprained shoulder to whiplash or a cut face. Personal injury is distinct from economic injury, such as lost wages and medical bills, and different from property damage.

Various types of car insurance protect against personal injury. Liability insurance protects a driver from liability for personal injury in the event that the insured driver causes an accident. For example, if Mr. Smith purchases car insurance and he hits Mr. White's car and injures Mr. White, then Mr. Smith's insurance company can be financially liable to Mr. White for the injuries the insured caused.

When Mr. White is injured by Mr. Smith, Mr. White makes a personal injury claim. He can make the personal injury claim by contacting his own insurance company, which will then work with Mr. Smith's company to decide who really was at fault for the accident. Once the companies determine that Mr. Smith was in fact at fault, Mr. Smith's insurance company will make monetary payment for the personal injury claim to Mr. White.

Mr. White could also sue Mr. Smith for the personal injury. If this occurs. Mr. Smith's insurance company will defend Mr. Smith in the lawsuit and pay all damages associated with the litigation and personal injury claim, up to the policy limits. In this way, auto insurance protects drivers from having to pay their own legal fees.

Personal injury claims can also be filed with homeowners insurance companies. If, for example, a visitor to a home is injured in that home, the visitor can either make a personal injury claim with the owner's insurance company or can sue the owner. Again, if the owner is sued, the homeowner's policy will cover the legal fees and costs and any potential damages up to the policy limits.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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