Personal injury and bodily injury are two terms that are used to describe injuries to an individual, usually following an accident. Whereas personal injury describes a civil case in which an individual is injured, bodily injury is used to describe a specific injury from a criminal case or an insurance claim.
There are also major differences between personal injury and bodily injury regarding things like their statute of limitations and the claims process. We explain more below.
Types of Injuries
One of the major differences between personal injury and bodily injury is the type of injuries included with each one. Personal injuries often include injuries from an accident. These include but are not limited to:
Bodily injuries can also occur from another person, usually from a car accident or intentional harm.
Both types of injuries will require that you determine liability. However, with a personal injury, the individual will need to determine that the four elements of a personal injury are present. These elements include:
- Legal duty of care: Proof that the at-fault party owed the injured party a legal duty of care
- Breach of duty: Documentation that the at-fault party breached that duty of care in some way
- Causation: Information that directly connects the negligent actions of the at-fault party to the cause of the accident
- Damage: Documentation that there are actual damages or costs present, that can be compensated.
Because bodily injury cases are usually managed by the insurance company, they will have different requirements. You may need to show proof of a police report or undergo an audit.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time in which an individual has to collect compensation for their injuries. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is just two years from the date of the injury. Failing to file your case within this time limit can make it difficult, if not impossible, to collect any compensation.
Bodily injury rules are often set by the individual insurance company. Because bodily injury covers damages to other people, it is on the other party to file within a timely manner.
Individuals who are injured at the fault of another party are eligible to collect compensation for their damages. Compensation in both a personal injury and bodily injury case will cover medical costs and property damages, but they cover the damages of the other party in the event that you are at-fault. Both will also often cover lost wages. Collecting non-economic costs like pain and suffering and diminished earning is generally easier through a personal injury.
Who is responsible for the compensation also differs. In a personal injury claim, you will initially seek compensation from the at-fault party. This could include the other driver, the vehicle manufacturer, the truck driver, or the medical professional. When you file to receive bodily injury compensation, it is usually from the at-fault parties’ insurance provider.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that individuals will first seek compensation from their own insurance provider. Bodily injury coverage is also not required in New Jersey. Failing to have sufficient insurance can leave you personally liable in the event that you found to be at-fault following an accident.
Which Type of Case Is Right For You?
Determining whether you should file a personal injury or bodily injury case will depend on the details of your case. When you reach out to a New Jersey lawyer who is familiar with both types of claims, they can help you navigate the process. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. will guide you on the best steps to take following an injury.
Contact a Mt. Laurel Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury or Bodily Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a personal injury or bodily injury in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. represent clients injured because of a personal injury or bodily injury in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.