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What is the correct definition of " Bodily Injury" for a car accident? Is it just medical costs, or does it include more ?

Denver, CO |

The Policy booklet says that bodily injury means "bodily injury to a person and sickness, disease, or death that results from it". We have been told we can include loss of consortium, loss of income, etc. under the amounts in our UIM claim. Is that correct? We don't know who to believe. Does CO law broaden the definition of other costs that are included in bodily injury?

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I agree with the others that you would be wise to hire an attorney unless your injuries are very minor. That said, in Colorado you are entitled to recover for physical and mental pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, impairment of the quality of life, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of earnings, damage your ability to earn money in the future, medical, hospital, and other expenses, any other economic damages of which there is sufficient evidence, and loss of consortium. All of these can be recovered for past and future if the evidence supports it.



You gave us useful, pertinent information, in a succinct way that directly responded to our question. I just hope that State Farm has the same understanding.

Chris G. Hoffman

Chris G. Hoffman


I am glad to have helped but you raise an important point which is that most of the time State Farm does not pay what these claims are worth unless they are forced to do so through the threat of litigation or by litigation. The likelihood that that you can get them to do the right thing without a lawyer is pretty slim.


Your insurance company is not your friend for a UIM claim. Retain a personal injury lawyer to go after your UIM to you get proper compensation.


It should be noted that you did not provide the context for your question. Generally, "bodily injury" is very broad and includes all manner of injury to the person - whether direct or indirect. Case law in various jurisdictions has refined the definition in various states. But because of various policy considerations in different areas of tort law, the definition has different applications in different places. For example, for certain types of insurance, such as no fault insurance claims, medical premises coverages, UM and UIM insurance coverages, there are limitations on the "bodily injury" concept which do not exist for personal injury claims.

The information provided in this answer is intended to be preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice for your jurisdiction nor may it be relied upon as such. The posting of this informational answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


I practice in Indiana but generally speaking it would definitely include more than medical costs. If you are trying to settle a bodily injury claim yourself under the underinsured motorist provision of your policy, you should contact a Denver personal injury attorney. There are many listed on this web site under Find a Lawyer and most initial consultations are free. Interpreting policy language and identifying correctly all of the damages to which you are entitled is difficult for a lay person. If you already had a lawyer to settle the claim against the at-fault driver, then they would be in the best position to answer your question.

Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.


Do not try to handle this yourself as you will recover a fraction of what your case is worth, if anything. Consult with a local personal injury attorney who can answer all of your questions and take care of all of the problems.


In NM it's medical expenses past and future, pain and suffering past and future, lost earnings past and future, permanent impairment and disability.

The AVVO response or other communication by Caruso Law Offices does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please call us at 505-883-5000 for a FREE CONSULTATION with an attorney. We look forward to discussing your case in more detail.

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