Bodily Injury vs Personal Injury: What Are the Differences?

bodily injury vs personal injury shown in Cars Crash Illustration with a white care and gold car

Knowing the difference between bodily injury vs. personal injury after being injured in an automobile accident can help protect your interests and get you the proper compensation.  Here are the key differences between the two terms and how they may help you when filing a personal injury claim.


What Is Bodily Injury? 

Bodily injury, as used in the insurance industry, is a type of policy that pays accident victims through the coverage of the party who was at fault. However, it is also a general term used to denote physical harm done to a person.

When it comes to insurance policies, bodily injury insurance does not cover the at-fault party’s injuries. Instead, coverage only applies to the victims of auto accidents. The insurance covers all the medical costs of the other party.


What Is Personal Injury? 

Personal injury is a sort of legal action that involves instances of negligence. The term “personal injury,” is often used in civil suits. The phrase refers to all expenses incurred by a victim following a wrongful death or accident including both financial loss and emotional suffering. The type of compensation you can receive in a personal injury claim, which may include non-economic damages, is the key distinction.

An injured victim may be able to sue the person that caused the accident for their injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. The purpose of personal injury laws is to financially compensate victims of accidents.


Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury

After an accident, there could be some confusion about the distinction between personal injury and bodily injury. The terms “personal injury” and “bodily injury” both refer to harm sustained as a result of an accident, including mental, physical, or emotional distress.

Understanding the distinction between bodily harm and personal injury is important for understanding what your insurance company may or may not cover in terms of personal injury claims.

Bodily injury actually describes real injuries to the body. For instance, bruises and cuts are signs of bodily injury. However, personal injury describes more than bodily harm. It also includes medical costs the victim had to pay, property damage the victim incurred, and even emotional suffering.

You may make a successful bodily injury claim with the help of an expert personal injury attorney. They can assist in determining if you have a strong personal injury case. A personal injury suit can provide compensation for both personal injury and bodily injury. The distinctions between the two can be confusing. Here are some pointers for how they differ:

Bodily Injury

Any physical harm you sustain as a result of an automobile accident is referred to as a bodily injury. This could include:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Other serious injuries

Personal Injury

Moreover, personal injury can refer to any kind of emotional or mental harm you experience as a result of an accident, in addition to physical harm. This could include things like:

  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other psychological injuries


What Are the Legal Aspects of Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury?

Often, a bodily injury claim involves a motor vehicle insurance claim. In situations where the insured is at fault for a car collision, bodily injury liability insurance pays for the injuries of other drivers involved, as well as passengers, or pedestrians.

The specific injury covered by the insurance claim will receive this reimbursement. It differs from liability coverage for property damage.

Your bodily injuries following a car accident immediately begin costing you money for medical care. Your medical costs begin to mount as soon as the ambulance pulls up, and if the injuries you sustained are severe enough, the financial strain could last for months. Catastrophic injuries may also result in ongoing medical expenses, such as therapy until you have a full recovery.

Your compensation claim must depend on an estimation for any long-term medical expenses you will accrue long after the settlement of your claim because the window of time in which you have to file a compensation claim has time constraints. A lawyer can assist you in valuing your claim so that the at-fault motorist will pay for the entire range of medical care you need.


Bodily Injury Guide 

It can be difficult to calculate your injuries. It might be easier to determine tangible personal injury expenses, such as the income you are no longer receiving while you’re recovering. The worth of subjective personal injuries such as pain and suffering can be more difficult to determine.

It can be challenging to determine on your own the value of future earnings that you have not yet achieved and mental, physical, and emotional suffering that may not be as apparent as bruises and broken bones. A lawyer might be able to assist you in valuing these aspects of your claim and making sure the at-fault motorist also pays for them. Having a lawyer on your side can help your claim because they can do the following things:

  • Determine who was at fault
  • Examine police and accident reports to establish what caused the accident
  • Speak with witnesses and gather testimonies and depositions
  • Value each component of your claim for full financial compensation
  • Negotiate with the at-fault party and their insurer for the highest payout

Your attorney can also make sure you are aware of and adhere to any deadlines the state imposes on filing a claim for financial compensation. Your attorney can focus on the legal parts of your claim while you focus on your physical and emotional rehabilitation, which may enable them to reduce or even eliminate your out-of-pocket costs.


Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible

It’s crucial to contact an accident attorney after being injured in an automobile accident to go through your injuries and determine whether you qualify for compensation. The sooner you take action, the higher your chances are of receiving a fair settlement.

Understanding the difference between bodily injury vs. personal injury can help you in the long run. But, if you still need help, we are here for you. In San Jose, our personal injury attorneys have succeeded in more than 99% of clients’ cases. Contact our office if you received injuries due to someone else’s carelessness.


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