If you have been involved in an accident where you were injured, you are probably seeking the advice of an attorney to make sure you’re being compensated for your injury. As your case progresses, you may hear the terms bodily injury vs personal injury used.
While some might use these as almost the same thing, in legal terms, they are not quite the same. To better understand your rights and what compensation you might want to ask for, it’s important to have a good understanding of bodily injury and personal injury.
Read on to learn more about bodily injury and personal injury and how the two are different.
What Is Bodily Injury?
There are a couple of ways to think about a bodily injury as it relates to a legal case.
Bodily injury refers to the actual injury that happens to a person’s body as a result of an accident. The bodily injury could be things like:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
The simplest way to understand it is to know that it is what actually happens to the body.
The other way to understand bodily injury is when it pertains to a part of an insurance policy that protects against this type of injury. An insurance policy can have liability coverage that helps to protect an at-fault person if they cause a bodily injury to another person while involved in an accident.
Legal Aspects of a Bodily Injury Accident
Anytime there is an accident that involves an injury, after seeking medical treatment, investigators and insurance adjusters are going to try to determine who’s at fault in the accident.
This will, of course, matter as those involved attempt to work out compensation. Some states are no-fault states, which can change how a case progresses. In a no-fault state, for example, you will want personal injury protection, to protect against a possible injury.
Ultimately, a bodily injury is what happens to the body of a person who is injured and the bodily injury liability insurance protects against that type of injury.
As a result of this type of injury, a person may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Again, you may hear bodily injury and personal injury used interchangeably. In legal terms, they are actually quite different. A personal injury actually refers to a part of the law that addresses injuries as a result of an accident or the negligence of another person.
A personal injury case is filed against a defendant. The plaintiff in a personal injury case is the person who has been the victim of the injury, sometimes getting a bodily injury.
A personal injury encompasses more than a specific body injury though. Personal injury is the broad term that becomes the basis for filing a claim against another person or insurance company. A personal injury can include:
- Physical injury
- Mental injury
- Financial harm caused
While personal injury suits very often include bodily injury, they can be much more widely encompassing. They can include:
- False arrest
- Mental anguish
- Malicious prosecution
- Wrongful eviction
- Invasion of privacy
- Illegal detainment
- Identity theft
From this list, you can see that a personal injury can include much more than an actual physical injury. Personal injuries occur when a person, business, or organization fails to meet its duty of care causing unexpected and unnecessary personal injuries.
Role of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
Because personal injuries can arise in any number of ways including defective products, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, professional malpractice, nursing home abuse, one of the key factors in the case will be to consider if there is fault or negligence. Often when an injury happens, it’s not intentional, but instead more of an act of negligence on the part of another person.
One of the key considerations in a personal injury case is often the duty of care responsibility. Duty of care is the legal obligation a person, business, or organization has to avoid behavior that could be foreseen to cause harm to someone else. This duty of care would include commissions, meaning they can’t avoid providing information that could later hurt you.
Proving negligence in a personal injury case will mean:
- A duty of care was owed by the at-fault party
- Duty of care was not met towards the plaintiff
- Injury and damages resulted because of the at-fault party
The key to any personal injury case is showing that the cause of loss, damage, or injury was as a result of the actions of the other party.
Compensation and Statute of Limitations
If you have experienced a personal injury, it’s important to know that many states have a statute of limitation for filing a case. The sooner you contact an attorney following your injury the better. They can begin investigating your case, building a case, and gathering evidence and witnesses.
Often an attorney will need to start negotiating with the other parties involved, especially the included insurance companies. You want to make sure if you intend to file a claim or legal case, you don’t run out of time.
The attorney can also help to figure out compensation. There are a few ways compensation can be calculated.
Economic damages are those actual cost items like medical bills, physical damages, lost wages. While non-economic damages might include compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of the injury.
Understanding Differences, Bodily Injury Vs Personal Injury
If you have experienced an injury because of an accident or the negligence of another person, you want to get the compensation you deserve. Understanding bodily injury vs personal injury will help you to understand the legal aspects of your claim and how your attorney might choose to prove negligence and seek compensation.
If you have an injury and need legal counsel, we can help. Contact us today to get a free consultation where we can evaluate your case and help you to decide how to proceed.