Personal Injury vs. Bodily Injury: What’s the Difference?

Some people think that personal injury and bodily injury mean the same thing. However, there are many differences between the two. Find out the definition, aspects, and legal implications of both.

Personal injury
If you go to a personal injury law firm in Kent, make sure you have at least some basic knowledge about the law. Personal injury, by definition, is a claim that compensates the victims of accidents or social wrongs. The victim does not need to be alive for the claim to proceed. If the accident results in a victim’s death, the surviving family can file a case against the defendant who caused the injury or death.

Common personal injury claims

To find out if you have a case against a person, company, or establishment that caused you personal injury, you would need to consult a lawyer. Here are some of the most common personal injury claims that are taken to court:

  • Vehicular accidents that cause injury or death to a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian. 
  • Medical malpractice wherein injury or death is caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional
  • Work-related accidents that may arise from unsafe working conditions, insufficient training, or lack of equipment maintenance, causing injury or death to an employee
  • Product liability wherein a defective product causes illness, injury, or death to the user

To prove a personal injury claim in court, you would need to make sure you have evidence of:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care
  • The defendant did not meet the duty of care for you
  • The actions of the defendant directly caused your losses or injuries
  • The actions of the defendant caused damages

If you meet these main elements and make a case against the party at fault, you may be entitled to economic or non-economic compensation.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury

On the other hand, bodily injury tackles specific physical injuries of a person caused by another. Unlike personal injury, this claim is more commonly used for criminal and insurance cases.

You can find the term “bodily injury” in many commercial liability policies. If you scan your auto insurance policy, you will most likely find a section or two pertaining to what they will cover. In general, a bodily injury claim will be covered if you and the people in your policy cause physical harm to another. On the other hand, physical harm caused to you by other people will not be covered.

For example, if you hit another person’s car with your own, causing them injury and property damage, your insurance may cover the damages. The same thing happens if another driver is at fault; you may claim compensation from their coverage depending on the particular injury you sustained.

There is a big difference between personal and bodily injury, so be sure not to use these terms interchangeably. A personal injury claim is filed when you sustain any type of injury caused by the negligence of another person. Personal injuries may be caused by vehicular accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products, among others.

On the other hand, bodily injury pertains to a specific injury caused by another person, typically during a vehicular accident. Bodily injury, in the insurance context, may compensate victims from the at-fault person’s policy.

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