Difference Between Bodily Injury And Personal Injury

Accidents can happen when we least expect them, and unfortunately, they often result in physical harm and financial stress. In Florida, if you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer serving Port St. Lucie to explore your legal options.

Most accident victims wonder what exactly are the differences between bodily injury and personal injury claims. Understanding these terms is crucial for protecting your rights and securing fair compensation. 

Keep reading to learn more.

Florida Accidents Cause a Wide Range of Injuries

Many different types of injuries can happen after a car accident in Florida. Some of the most common include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Broken bones.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Lacerations.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What Is Personal Injury?

It’s essential to distinguish between bodily injury and personal injury. It’s not as complicated as it may seem. Bodily injury refers to physical injury, while personal injury refers to legal claims of harm caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. 

Personal injury claims can be based on more than just physical injuries. They can also include reputational damage, for instance.

The easiest way to differentiate a bodily injury claim from a personal injury is the fact that personal injury is a legal principle with varying aspects:

Determining Liability

In personal injury cases, the victim seeks to impose financial liability on the defendant. If both parties share fault, liability is shared accordingly.

Establishing the Burden of Proof

The burden of proof lies with the victim in a personal injury case. Unlike the stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal trials, the standard of proof here is the “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that providing sufficient evidence to support your claim is relatively easier.

The Statute of Limitations

In most cases, you’re required to file a personal injury claim within two years of the accident or incident that caused the harm. However, certain circumstances can affect this timeline.

Essential Elements of Negligence in Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury cases can arise from different situations, such as car accidents or medical malpractice. You’ll need to prove four critical elements to succeed in most personal injury claims:

  1. Duty: The defendant had a responsibility to exercise care towards you. This could be as simple as driving safely or as complex as a doctor’s duty to employ professional skills.
  2. Breach: The defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care.
  3. Damages: You must demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence caused harm that can be compensated with monetary damages.
  4. Causation: It must be established that the harm you suffered was caused by the defendant’s negligence.

 Whether you’re dealing with bodily injuries or other damages, understanding the legal aspects, burden of proof, and the necessary elements of negligence can significantly strengthen your personal injury claim.

What Is a Bodily Injury?

A bodily injury is a narrower term compared to personal injury. It refers to a specific injury affecting a particular body part, like a broken arm. In the legal field, bodily injury takes center stage in two primary contexts: criminal law and automobile liability insurance policies.

In criminal cases, a defendant charged with assault may face harsher penalties if they caused bodily injury. On the other hand, automobile liability insurance policies often provide coverage specifically for bodily injury, with limits that can reach up to $50,000.

Compensation for Bodily Injury

You may receive a settlement specifically for bodily injury rather than a comprehensive personal injury settlement in some cases. For instance, if you file a workers’ compensation claim, you might be entitled to a bodily injury settlement. This type of settlement can include various components of damages, such as:

  • Ambulance bills.
  • Hospital bills.
  • Surgery expenses.
  • Future medical expenses.
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs.
  • Lost earnings.
  • Future lost earnings if the injury leads to occupational disability.

However, it’s worth noting that a bodily injury settlement usually excludes non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress.

How are Bodily Injury and Personal Injury Different in Florida?

There are many differences between bodily injury and personal injury in Florida. Bodily injury is an injury to the body, while personal injury is an injury to the person. Bodily injury can be caused by many different things, including but not limited to car accidents, falls, workplace accidents, and sports injuries. Personal injuries, on the other hand, are usually caused by intentional acts, such as assault or battery.

Another difference between bodily injury and personal injury is that bodily injuries are typically covered by insurance, while personal injuries are not. This is because insurance companies consider bodily injuries to be accidental, while they consider personal injuries to be intentional. 

If you suffer a bodily injury in Florida, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company to receive compensation. However, you will likely have to file a lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries to receive compensation for a personal injury claim.

If you have been injured in Florida, it is vital to understand the difference between bodily injury and personal injury so you can determine which type of claim you need to file to receive compensation.

Contact a Seasoned Personal Injury Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Florida

If you got injured in an accident, you may wonder if you need a personal injury lawyer. 

A Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They will also work to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident, don’t try to handle everything alone. 

Contact a personal injury lawyer today at (561) 800-8000 to get started on your claim.

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