Bodily Injury Vs Personal Injury: What’s the Difference?

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Whenever an individual is involved in an accident and gets hurt, there are certain terms that start flying around.

The two most common of those terms are- bodily injury and personal injury.

Running a quick Google search bodily injury vs personal injury might not do justice for someone who’s involved in an accident and trying to figure out the next step. Moreover, it is always recommended to know the difference between the two terms.

A bodily injury and/or personal injury are two different terms and have their own utilities involved, both in regards to the personal injury lawyer you want to hire vs the lawyer experienced with bodily injury. 

There are major differences involved between personal injuries and bodily injuries regarding the statute of limitations, and claims process. While both consist of a certain degree of damage, in a legal context, a set of differences set them apart.

Let us understand the difference between the two, where, and how can you use them in various situations.

What is Personal Injury?

best criminal lawyerPersonal injury refers to any injury that takes place in an accident, including physical, mental, or emotional damage. This includes situations if and when you are injured due to another party’s failure to meet a standard of care, or their carelessness.

The term personal injury is mostly used in civil cases. By filing a claim for personal injury, any victim can claim compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills for physical injuries
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

One of the most common examples of a personal injury case is if you are involved in a road accident due to an inebriated motorist driving on the road. However, it isn’t just limited to that. Here are a few more instances, where personal injury laws might apply.


The basic notion behind such accidents is carelessness on an individual’s part that led to hurting another individual.

Intentional Acts

These are the acts that are caused intentionally to hurt someone deliberately. The purposeful action resulted in harming another person. An example of this can be assault.


Harming another person’s reputation also falls under personal injury. Actions such as defamatory statements, claims or actions can fall under defamation and personal injury laws.

Defective Products

In such instances, using a defective product can injure a person. However, it is usually unintentional, as manufacturers of such products do not want to harm their customers.

Process of a Personal Injury Case

Let us look at how a personal injury case takes shape and how it allows for certain steps or rules to be taken into consideration.

What is Bodily Injury?

how to receive proper compensation after a motorcycle accidentIn simplest terms, bodily injury refers to physical injuries sustained by an individual such as broken bones, cuts and bruises, burns, disfigurement, scarring, paralysis, or impairment of body functions.

The term bodily injury is often used in criminal law when referring to injuries a person received from a crime. Interestingly, bodily injury is one of the subsets of the injuries that one faces in a situation of personal injury. When it comes to types of claims, bodily injury isn’t a different type of claim altogether.

For instance, if you own and run a business, the insurance company for your business tends to cover bodily insurance coverage for a customer that might get injured on your premises. This can prevent a customer from suing you on grounds of bodily injury, however, it isn’t guaranteed.

Process & Elements of a Bodily Injury Case

Similar to a personal injury case, a bodily injury case can be settled and the defendant and plaintiff can come to a settlement for any physical injuries caused.

A bodily injury settlement can include the cost of the following:

a) Out of pocket expenses related to the injuries incurred
b) Medical expenses
c) Physical therapy costs
d) Income or wage losses from missing work
e) Treatment procedure expenses
f) Transportation expenses

While calculating the settlement amount for bodily injuries, future losses and expenses are to be taken into consideration as well.

Insurance that covers bodily injury can be quite helpful when you are at fault. If other drivers or passengers sustain injuries because of your negligence in a road accident, bodily injury insurance can help you stay protected against legal action. Failing to have bodily insurance can make you vulnerable to high litigation costs and other expenses, with no cap.


What to look for in your motorcycle accident attorneyThe only degree of difference between a personal injury vs a bodily injury is that the former is a type of claim that can be filed while the other describes a type of damage that is sustained by an individual.

In either of the scenarios, it is always recommended to gain professional legal support. Getting professional support, no matter, if you are the plaintiff or the defendant can help you make rational decisions and avoid larger financial, physical, mental and emotional implications.

Personal Injury Lawyers tend to look at each and every piece of evidence. Initiate legal actions and take the best course of action as per the rights available to you.

While it may seem economically cost-effective to learn and figure it out yourself, it’s always a prudent choice to bring a professional on board, which in this case, is a lawyer.

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