Personal Injury vs. Bodily Injury: What’s the Difference?
Personal Injury vs. Bodily Injury: What's the Difference?
While personal injury and bodily injury may sound like they are referring to the same thing, these two terms have distinct meanings when used in a legal sense. It can be helpful to remember that while a bodily injury and its associated costs may be part of a personal injury claim, personal injury claims cover a much wider range of damages than just the physical harm caused. If you have suffered a bodily injury due to an accident and are considering filing a personal injury suit, a consultation with a lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options.
What is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term that refers to harm caused to a victim by another party's negligence, carelessness, or malice. In a personal injury lawsuit, a victim will seek compensation from the at-fault party for losses incurred from an accident. Personal injuries may arise from physical damage, but they can encompass a much broader range of losses, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental anguish, including humiliation or damage to your reputation
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
What is a Bodily Injury?
Bodily injury has a much narrower definition than personal injury. A bodily injury is defined as a physical injury to a body part. Compensation for bodily injuries will often comprise a portion of a personal injury claim, including reimbursement for doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and similar expenses.
The term "bodily injury" is frequently used when discussing auto insurance policies or criminal charges. The bodily injury coverage in your auto insurance liability policy will pay for losses caused by physical injuries sustained by the passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers involved in an accident where you were at least partly at fault. However, it does not cover damage to personal property, such as vehicles, and it does not cover your own physical injuries and medical costs. When talking about criminal cases, the extent of the bodily injuries inflicted upon the victim can seriously impact the severity of the charges and sentencing for the perpetrator. Typically, the more extensive the bodily injuries are, the harsher the punishment will be.
How Can a Law Firm Assist You?
If you've suffered a bodily injury or any other type of harm caused by the negligent actions of another, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party for your damages. A personal injury claim holds those responsible liable for the economic and non-economic losses you've experienced from the accident. However, the burden of proof lies with the victim in a personal injury case. This means the plaintiff must prove the defendant owed them a duty of care, then subsequently breached that duty, thereby directly causing injuries that led to losses.
An experienced personal injury lawyer is an invaluable asset in your case. They have the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate the accident and gather the evidence necessary to bolster your claim. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation: (702) 707-5934.