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Personal Injury Claims: The Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury

May 31, 2022 - Personal Injury by

Have you suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or misconduct of another party? Such injuries can include a head or brain injury if you tumbled off your bicycle because of a poorly maintained city sidewalk; a broken leg that resulted from a fall down poorly maintained steps at your workplace; or injuries from a car accident when a driver hit you from behind and caused you to suffer whiplash. If you’ve sustained a personal injury that you believe was the result of the negligence of another party, take action and call Cross and Smith, the premier Tuscaloosa personal injury attorneys.

Do You Know the Difference Between Personal Injuries and Bodily Injuries?

As a first step, it’s essential to understand the difference between personal injury and bodily injury. Personal injury is typically a civil cause of action that a plaintiff (the injured party) brings against a defendant (the party that caused the injury) for negligence or willful misconduct. Personal injuries include the universe of harms such as those that result from slips and falls in big box stores, dog bites from a neighbor’s unleashed dog, premises liability from a foreseeable injury at a baseball stadium, or harm from the proper use of a defective product

Bodily injury is something different. It is not a legal claim and is most frequently used in the context of insurance coverage. 

Personal Injuries

The typical elements of a personal injury claim in Alabama are:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  • The duty of care was breached
  • The defendant’s behavior caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s injury, and
  • The plaintiff suffered actual injury

If you are able to prove your case, you may be entitled to the following damages:

  • Compensatory damages, which are essentially your out-of-pocket costs
  • Economic damages can include medical costs, loss of past and future earnings, and property loss, and
  • Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of your personal relationships, and emotional distress

You may also be entitled to punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior rises to a level of malicious or reckless endangerment.

Bodily Injuries

Unlike personal injury, the term “bodily injury” does not refer to a legal claim or legal cause of action. It is sometimes asserted in a criminal case in the context of an aggravated assault case. For example, a plaintiff may claim that the defendant’s aggravated assault on her resulted in bodily injury requiring compensation. 

However, more frequently, the term “bodily injury” refers to a category of insurance coverage. For example, Alabama requires drivers to carry minimum automobile coverage of $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person, and $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. In the event a driver is at fault for injuring another party, the bodily injury insurance coverage may pay for the injured party’s medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and/or funeral costs. 

Speak to Our Tuscaloosa Personal Injury Lawyers Today

We’re skilled Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyers who are prepared to handle your personal injury claims including vehicle accidents, spinal cord injuries, defective product accidents, and many others. Contact Cross and Smith today at 877-791-0618 or via our contact page.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"My father-in-law was involved in a horrible traffic accident. The firm was great at handling all of his questions. In the end they got him a great settlement, but the thing he remembers most is that the people at the law firm cared about him as a person. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal services."
Posted By: Jaimie Copeland

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