Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury

In personal injury law, you often hear the terms “bodily injury” and “personal injury” used interchangeably. However, both play integral roles in a potential injury claim and the compensation accident victims are entitled to. 

Understanding the difference between bodily injury and personal injury can help you gain clarity when navigating your own personal injury case. 

Bodily Injury

“Bodily injury” means what it says-–injury to your body, normally sustained in an accident. In an insurance policy, it typically refers to injuries that the policyholder inflicts upon others (thereby generating liability). It does not include non-physical injuries, such as emotional distress.

Examples of bodily injury include:

  • Abrasions (“road rash,” for example)
  • Amputations
  • Bone fractures
  • Brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Concussions
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Dislocations
  • Drowning-related injuries
  • Electrical injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Frostbite
  • Hearing loss due to noise exposure
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations
  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Nerve damage
  • Puncture wounds
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tendon tears
  • Thermal burns
  • Whiplash

Ultimately, just about any physical injury can qualify as a bodily injury, although some injuries are more common than others.

Personal Injury

The term “personal injury” includes all bodily injury, plus injury to the mind and emotions. To qualify as personal injury, these injuries must be of a sort that money can compensate you for. 

Injury to the mind and emotions can include:

  • Physical pain and suffering. This applies to physical pain, not psychological pain.
  • Emotional and psychological distress. Imagine a lifelong phobia of dogs stemming from a dog attack, for example.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. Loss of hobbies, the ability to exercise, etc.
  • Disfigurement. Facial scarring, for example, that affects physical appearance.
  • Physical impairment. Meaning a long-term loss of physical capability, such as the ability to see or walk.
  • Loss of society and companionship. Loved ones may endure in a wrongful death case. 
  • Loss of consortium. Compensates the relatives of injured victims for the loss of intimacy and companionship 
  • Humiliation. Embarrassment due to your injuries or their consequences. The need to wear a colostomy bag, for example.
  • Reputation damage. Harm suffered in a defamation claim.
  • Mental anguish. Fear, insomnia, grief, worry, etc.
  • Physical inconvenience. Attending medical appointments, undergoing testing, etc.

Personal injuries can also include financial harm suffered if there were injuries requiring medical treatment or property damage sustained. 

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With a Personal Injury Claim

If you have suffered harm due to the wrongful act of someone else, it’s not surprising that you are angry and confused. However, a personal injury attorney can walk you through the complex process of navigating a personal injury claim. A successful personal injury claim may involve bodily injury and/or personal injury. Whether your personal injury claim involves bodily injury, property damage, or emotional distress, an attorney can support you. 

Contact the Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Phoenix, AZ, and need legal help, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers

1221 E Osborn Rd. Suite 201
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 595-5559