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What Is the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

Apr 12, 2021 | Personal Injury


You might have seen the term bodily injury on your auto insurance policy. But then, when you research ways to pursue expenses following an accident, you read about personal injury. So, what is the difference?

Bodily injury refers to physical injuries to a person following an accident, such as a broken bone or burn.

The term personal injury is more inclusive and covers financial compensation for the following:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses from an injury
  • Loss of income
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

We’ll look at how each of these terms apply and what you need to know about pursuing a lawsuit to cover the financial impacts of an injury. 

Bodily Injury Types

Bodily injury can be something very minor—like a cut—or extremely serious, such as a brain or spinal injury. Here’s a look at some bodily injuries you might pursue a personal injury case for:

  • Cuts, bruises, or abrasions
  • Disfigurement
  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Impairment of an organ, mental faculty, or bodily function
  • Illness

To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must sustain some form of a bodily injury. This could also include mental ailments like serious trauma that resulted from an accident.

Personal Injury Proof

Proving personal injury can be challenging, especially if you suffer from chronic pain or illnesses. However, seeing a medical professional immediately following an accident can help protect your rights to pursue financial damages.

Establishing the injuries you sustained early on can make a clear correlation between the incident and your bodily injuries. Then you can start tracking related expenses, such as lost income from missed work.

The basis of your proof starts with a formal diagnosis from a doctor, though. Doctors can differentiate between ongoing ailments and injuries from an event, such as an accident.

When proving personal injury, you’ll need to establish negligence. There are four main areas of negligence:

  1. Duty of care: you’ll need to prove that the at-fault party had a duty of care in relation to you and the scenario. For example, in the case of a car accident, all drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and obey all laws to keep others safe.
  2. Breached duty of care: the other person or business in question breached their duty of care in relation to you.
  3. Damages: you must sustain damages as a result of the other party’s breached duty of care. For example, you can’t sue just because you were in a car accident. You must have suffered an injury as a result.
  4. Cause: the other party’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries.

An experienced personal injury attorney will work with you to prove these elements during a lawsuit to obtain the financial coverage you deserve.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re considering pursuing a personal injury case for bodily injuries you’ve sustained, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. The other party in the case will likely have legal representation. Without hiring an attorney, you’ll be outmatched and may receive less compensation than you would with representation.

Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart today to learn more about filing a personal injury case.

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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall,  truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.