If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may encounter references to personal injury vs. bodily injury. While these terms may seem similar, knowing the legal distinction between personal injury and bodily injury can help you as you work through your legal options and pursue compensation for your injuries. The main difference is that bodily injury is a type of personal injury, and personal injury is a much broader legal term.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a category of civil law in which an injured person files a lawsuit against an individual who owed them a duty of care, failed to perform that duty, directly caused their injury, and now owes them compensation. Some examples of personal injury claims include car accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice cases.
While physical injuries are a crucial component of personal injury claims, so are emotional and psychological effects like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Compensation for a Personal Injury
When you seek compensation in a personal injury case, your claim is not limited to immediate and estimated future medical expenses related to your physical injuries. It might also include compensation for non-economic damages like lost wages, loss of livelihood, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
While determining compensation for losses with assigned dollar values can be relatively straightforward, placing a dollar amount on intangible losses like pain and suffering is much more complex. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek fair and appropriate compensation more effectively.
What Is Bodily Injury?
Bodily injury is a narrower category than personal injury — it is concerned exclusively with specific physical injuries. For example, if you suffer a broken leg, facial laceration, bruised ribs, traumatic brain injury, or nerve damage in your hand, any of these would constitute bodily injuries.
In the legal realm, you’re most likely to see references to bodily injury in criminal cases involving injuries, civil lawsuits, and car accident cases where bodily injury liability insurance is used to compensate injured parties.
Compensation for a Bodily Injury
In much the same way that bodily injury refers only to specific physical injuries, compensation for a bodily injury only takes those physical injuries into account. Bodily injury compensation does not include money for pain and suffering and other psychological or emotional injuries.
Still, various expenses may qualify for compensation in bodily injury claims. These include hospital bills, ambulance bills, physical therapy expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earnings if your injury forced you to pursue a less lucrative line of work.
What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?
When it comes to bodily injury vs. personal injury, here are the key differences to keep in mind:
- Personal injury encompasses physical, psychological, and emotional injuries
- Bodily injury is exclusively physical
- Personal injury compensation covers a broad range of tangible and intangible losses
- Bodily injury compensation is limited to losses resulting from physical injuries
Your Pensacola personal injury lawyer can help you understand these distinctions and how they impact your case.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Cardoso Law, PLLC
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else, you may be eligible for compensation under Florida law. At Cardoso Law, PLLC, we aim to provide outstanding, accessible legal representation to every client and relentlessly pursue the compensation they deserve. We’ve successfully recovered millions of dollars for our personal injury clients. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and let us go to work for you.