Personal Injury vs Bodily Injury

Amerberg Law Firm. Representing clients throughout California.

Personal Injury and Bodily Injury Differences

Even though the law defines physical injury as different than bodily injury, the two terms are used interchangeably. You need to understand who uses these terms and in what circumstances they are used to understand the difference. What is personal injury, what is bodily injury, psychological suffering, pain, a traumatic accident, stress, a settlement proposal, the most common injury cases?

Bodily Injury

Physical injury and the consequences of an accident, such as fractures, injuries, strains, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injury are referred to as bodily injury. It is important not to confuse personal injury and bodily injury in other contexts where these phrases may be used. Personal injury insurance is a kind of civil liability coverage. For example, auto insurance laws in Los Angeles require drivers to carry at least $15,000 per accident and $30,000 total coverage.

Personal Injury

Personal injury is a legal word used in civil law that refers to physical injury as well as mental and emotional impacts. The victim in a personal injury claim is the plaintiff or the individual who files the claim. The defendant is the person who is accused of causing the plaintiff's damages. Personal injury is mostly the result of another natural or legal person's negligence. Assault, for example, is an intentional act that might result in personal injury. While assault is a crime for which the perpetrator is prosecuted, a civil injury claim is not the same as a criminal case.

In cases of injury caused by defective products, strict and product liability is another area to consider. The injured party does not have to show that the product manufacturer was negligent; instead, they must show that the product had a design flaw that made it dangerous to use as advised. The filing of a personal injury case is subject to strict deadlines in each state, known as statutes of limitations. In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. A legal suit cannot be pursued if it is not filed within this timeframe.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

As an area of legal practice, personal injury covers any situation where someone's negligent action harms another person. Personal injury claims can include the following:

  • Truck accidents
  • Collisions of scooters and motorcycles
  • Car Crashes
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents and
  • Falling, Slipping, stumbling and other accidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on the property of another.

Also, keep in mind that wrongful acts involving death also fall under the definition of personal injury. Even when the victim is killed rather than just injured, many of the same concepts apply.

Determining Liability

Both types of injuries will require a determination of responsibility. However, in the event of a personal injury, a person needs to determine and prove the presence of four elements. These elements are:

Duty:  A duty is simply a legal obligation.  In order to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit or claim, the plaintiff needs to prove that the Defendant owed a duty to him or her.

Breach of duty: Evidence that the offending party has somehow violated this duty of care.

Causation: Information and/or evidence that directly links the negligent actions of the perpetrator to the cause of the accident and the subsequent injuries.

Damage: Documents proving costs or actual damage that can be compensated.

Legal Options for Bodily Injury Cases

Bodily injury includes physical harm or death to a person, including burns, bruising, bone fractures, wounds, poisoning, and nerve damage. Intentional bodily injury can be caused by abuse or deliberate bodily harm. Accidental incidents can be the result of negligence. Some personal injuries are due to criminal behavior, but the term is more common in most people's daily lives as an insurance-related term.

Legal Options for Personal Injuries

Personal injury insurance (PIP) covers passengers' and drivers' personal expenses, including medical bills, lost incomes and other expenses. While the procedures and conditions for each case differ, car accidents lead to the most common personal injury claims.
Some states have no-fault injury protection laws, which implies that the injured person must first file a claim with their insurance company following an accident. This criterion normally does not prevent them from pursuing additional compensation from individuals who caused the car accident. This is, however, one approach to ensure that financial troubles do not arise in accident. The injured person may be entitled to compensation from different insurance policies depending on where the injury happened. For instance, a homeowner's insurance policy with personal liability coverage may cover physical injuries occurring in a private residence.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers

As you can see, the distinction between injury and personal injury is important if you are injured in an accident. Each has a different meaning, but if you are seeking monetary compensation for your losses, you need a complete understanding of both. Due to the various difficulties you may face, it is important to enlist the help of our team of lawyers at Amerberg Law Group. Call us to schedule a free consultation at our Los Angeles offices to learn more about your rights and remedies. We can explain laws and suggest options after we consider your situation.

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