Many people often use the terms bodily injury and personal injury interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Bodily injuries involve any type of physical harm or injury that a person suffers. In contrast, personal injuries can include all types of damages that a person sustains in an accident. As a result, when determining bodily injury vs personal injury, you must look at the scope and extent of the injuries involved.
Personal injuries also typically arise from an accident that another person’s negligence caused. However, bodily injuries can result from accidents that are not necessarily the fault of another person or party. Therefore, when you have a legal claim against someone for causing you harm, most people refer to it as a personal injury claim or case.
What are bodily injuries?
Bodily injuries include any physical injury to the body, including broken bones, cuts and abrasions, bruises, and burns. These injuries also can result in scarring, disfigurement, paralysis, and permanent impairment to the use of body parts or bodily functions.
The term “bodily injuries” can arise in both civil and criminal legal matters. For example, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) explains that drivers are required to maintain liability insurance for their vehicles. An essential component of liability insurance is coverage for bodily injuries or physical injuries to others that may result from a motor vehicle accident.
Louisiana criminal laws also reference “serious bodily injury” in defining some criminal offenses. Under RS §14:2(C), serious bodily injury encompasses any physical injury that involves a specific degree of severity. Some examples of injuries that qualify as serious bodily injuries include unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, and the protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.
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What are personal injuries?
Bodily injuries can lead to other types of injuries that are not bodily or physical in nature but are classified as personal injuries. For instance, if you suffer a broken leg, you may experience pain and suffering as you go through surgery and rehabilitation. You also may experience an inability to return to some activities of daily living, hobbies, or work functions as a result of physical injuries.
With that, personal injuries include a wide range of injuries that you might suffer when someone causes an accident that injures you. Bodily injuries are only one component of personal injuries.
Personal injuries are based on negligence
In order to prove that you suffered a personal injury, you must show that another party’s negligence was the direct cause of it and your resulting injuries and losses.
You must apply these four elements of negligence. Otherwise, you do not have a valid case.
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
When does an accident lead to a personal injury claim?
An accident in which you suffer personal injuries, including bodily injuries, can lead to a personal injury claim or case in a number of circumstances. For example, a driver who is negligent in causing a car accident can be liable in a personal injury claim for the injuries that others suffer in the accident. Negligence might occur if the driver ignored a red light, illegally passed another vehicle, or violated a traffic law.
Personal injuries aren’t limited to auto accidents
Other types of incidents can lead to personal injury claims, too. These incidents might include acts of medical malpractice, dog bites and attacks, and defective products that injure people. Some of these claims require evidence of negligence, but others are based on strict liability, which means that the person or company who caused the injuries is responsible regardless of whether their behavior was negligent or not.
When someone intentionally hurts another person, the injury victim also may have a personal injury claim. For instance, if a person attacks another person and causes physical harm, that person could be liable for the injuries that they caused during the attack. Likewise, a person who sets up a dangerous condition on his property to intentionally harm others could be legally responsible for any injuries that result.
Damages you can recover after suffering personal injuries
Since your injuries weren’t your fault, you should have assistance with paying for your damages. You could request compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and expected medical bills
- Past lost income
- Future lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
You might have sustained other damages that are not listed here, so it could be beneficial to consult our firm so one of our injury lawyers can review your case in its entirety.
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Contact the attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation
When you suffer injuries in an accident, you may have a valid legal claim against the responsible parties. To learn more about bodily injury vs personal injury and personal injury claims, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations at your convenience. In addition, we work on a contingency-fee-basis, so we don’t require any advancements on our payment—we only get paid if you do.