Solid Grounds: Know the Differences Between Personal and Bodily Injury

Solid Grounds: Know the Differences Between Personal and Bodily Injury

Despite the similarities in how they sound, personal injury and bodily injury are two different legal terms. Not only do they refer to essentially different levels of injuries, but compensation and the legal elements of each also differ from one another.

Personal Injury

A personal injury can be the injury of the mind, emotions, or the physical body. In many cases, but not always, a personal injury begins physically and then extends to a mental or emotional level. Grief, reputation damage, and stress are examples that may be a part of personal injury claims.

Some other specific examples of personal injury can include: chemical splashes in the eye, PTSD from a vehicle collision, arm injuries from sports, false arrest, unsafe products, elderly abuse, workplace bullying, or noise-induced deafness.

The legal aspects of personal injury include:

  • Liability
  • Burden of proof
  • Statutory limitations (In the state of Ohio, you must report personal injuries within two years to qualify for a lawsuit.)

Compensation may be provided for economic and/or non-economic damages. Economic damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and the like. As for non-economic damages, this can include inconvenience, personal impairment, or pain and suffering. This is applicable for everyone involved in an incident, regardless of who’s at fault.

Personal injury is one of the most common types of lawsuits in the United States and is covered under liability insurance. For legal help in Ohio, please get in contact with firms like Tittle and Perlmuter Law.

Bodily Injury

On the other hand, a bodily injury is one that is merely physical. This can include harm to the body, illness or disease, or death. Unlike personal injury, bodily injury won’t pay for your own injury but only that of others when you are the one at fault. This type of coverage can protect you from having a lawsuit filed against you when held liable.

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Specific bodily injury examples can include: broken bones, burns, bruises, and cuts or other open wounds, among other physical injuries or impairments. These injuries may be achieved from battery, assault, vehicle collisions, or through other means.

Compensation may be provided by liability insurance for any medical, therapy, x-ray, hospital transportation costs, or other expenses related to physical injuries. Further compensation may be achieved in bodily injury cases for future expenses such as permanent disability.

The DMV has sufficient information regarding how to file a bodily injury claim and in which instances.

The Main Takeaway

One of the most obvious ways personal and bodily injuries vary is the fact that personal injuries are much broader and can include mental, emotional, and physical damages. Bodily injuries, on the other hand, only pertain to physical injuries, and thus, are more specific in what they will compensate.

As mentioned, another major difference between these two terms is that personal injury compensation is for everyone involved, but bodily injury compensation is only provided for the one who is not liable. In other words, one type of insurance protection is at-fault while the other is no-fault.


Before using the terms personal and bodily injury interchangeably, it is important to recognize these as the distinct terms that they are. In summary, a personal injury can contain more damages than a bodily injury does, and compensation is more versatile for personal injuries as it allows everyone involved to benefit.

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