What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?

Personal injury and bodily injury are terms that most people have heard before but might not be able to define. Personal injury is a legal term that refers to the harm caused by another person’s actions or inaction. Bodily injury is a broader term, which can include injuries from accidents, assault, battery, and more.

What is a Personal Injury?

A personal injury is a type of legal claim that arises when someone suffers harm as a result of the actions or negligence of another person. This can include injuries from car accidents, slips and falls, assaults, medical malpractice, and more.

Personal injuries can be physical, emotional, or financial in nature. Physical injuries are those that cause pain and/or damage to your body. Emotional injuries are those that cause you mental anguish, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Financial injuries are those that cost you money, such as lost wages or medical bills. All of these are the consequence of a personal injury.

What is a Bodily Injury?

While a bodily injury is similar to personal injuries in that it refers to harm caused by someone else’s actions, the term can also refer to a large variety of events. A bodily injury usually involves physical pain or illness rather than emotional distress, and typically refers to injuries that are sustained as a result of criminal actions rather than civil negligence.

Can You File a Lawsuit After a Personal Injury?

You may file a lawsuit after suffering from personal injuries. In order to be successful in a personal injury claim, you will have to prove the following elements in court:

  • The defendant owed you a duty
  • The defendant breached this duty
  • You suffered harm/injuries that’s recognized under law as being compensable with monetary damages
  • Your harm/injuries was caused by the other person’s breach of duty

If any of these elements is missing, then it is unlikely that you will be successful in your personal injury claim should it go to trial. It’s still possible that the defendant would be willing to offer you a cash settlement if they’re worried that they would lose should the case go to trial.

Can You File a Lawsuit After a Bodily Injury?

Anyone who sustains a bodily injury can file a lawsuit against the person or entity whom they believe is responsible for their injuries. In the case of bodily injury, it’s common for these cases to go to criminal court instead of civil court if you have evidence of willful misconduct on behalf of another party. In this case, you would want to call the police or the district attorney to speak with them about your options. Even if you decide to try to have criminal charges filed due to bodily injury you sustained, you can also file a civil lawsuit in most cases.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

While there is a clear difference between personal injury and bodily injury, the same principle applies. You can file a lawsuit if you believe you’ve been wronged by another party.

Contact a reputable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim and receive the compensation you deserve.