Sustaining injuries after an accident is one of the worst outcomes that thousands of victims face every day. Whether the cause was an auto collision or a slip and fall incident, injuries can take a substantial amount of time to heal. They may also wreak havoc upon other aspects of your life.
As an accident victim, you have the right to pursue compensation for the harm dealt to you. However, when exercising your rights in this matter, it is critical that you know the difference between a bodily injury and a personal injury. With this knowledge, you’ll follow the appropriate legal path to build your case and secure your compensation.
When you experience an accident, there may be extensive damage inflicted upon your body. You may leave the scene with fractures, lacerations, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other injuries that specifically affected your body (as opposed to property or any facet of your life). So, if you were in an auto collision and sustained harm to your physical condition, for example, the subsequent medical expenses would then be covered by bodily harm insurance.
In a legal sense, the extent of compensation you might receive from an accident that caused you bodily harm may differ, depending on the circumstances. For instance, in at-fault vs. no-fault states, the fault for the hypothetical auto collision is determined via different means. In at-fault states, liability is automatically assigned to one party (usually). No-fault states, however, may split the liability between two or more individuals. If you happen to be assigned partial fault, the compensation amount you were eligible for will be reduced.
Bodily injury claims may take a while to settle as well, as they can range from smaller injuries like cuts or temporary aches to severe injuries such as paralysis. You will need to regularly visit a medical professional to collect the proper documentation that reflects your physical progress and summarizes your medical expenses. Check your state laws and consult with your lawyer to determine the most efficient route of action for resolving your bodily injury case.
What is a Personal Injury?
Personal injuries are defined in a much broader sense than bodily injuries. Where the latter is restricted to physical harm done to your body, the former refers to any of the following:
- Incurred medical expenses
- Pain and suffering (i.e., psychological and emotional impacts)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Just as a bodily injury claim can take a substantial length of time to resolve, personal injury cases may extend for quite a while. This is partially because they can be quite challenging to prove. For instance, it is quite a black-and-white issue to provide the documentation reflecting the fees you were billed for medical care. However, placing a value on psychological and emotional trauma, or loss of consortium, is quite difficult to accomplish.
Again, to ensure the best results, it’s best to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will work to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. They will present all the incident details after a thorough investigation and accurately reflect your monetary needs in the aftermath. To determine whether you should be filing a bodily or personal injury claim, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer today.