Battle Born Injury Lawyers | June 27, 2023 | Personal Injury
The terms “bodily injury” and “personal injury” are often used interchangeably. In many cases, however, a distinction is made between these two terms. When a distinction is made, it is usually for an important reason.
Never take the meanings of these terms for granted; understand them in context. If you have any doubts, ask a personal injury lawyer to clarify matters for you. That way, you can protect your legal rights and interests.
Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury
Many auto liability insurance policies claim to cover “bodily injury.” In fact, almost all of these policies cover losses that are almost the same as personal injury losses, even to the point of covering non-economic damages.
The only real distinction is that bodily injury liability insurance policies do not cover defamation (slander and libel). Technically, defamation is a personal injury, but most personal injury lawyers do not take defamation cases anyway.
What Is Bodily Injury?
When a significant distinction is made between bodily injury and personal injury, bodily injury refers to physical damage to the body. This includes:
- Cuts, scrapes, lacerations;
- Broken bones;
- Internal injuries;
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash;
- Internal bleeding; and
- Hundreds of other physical injuries that the body might sustain.
When a distinction is made with personal injury, “bodily injury” does not refer to emotional or intangible injuries that lawyers refer to as non-economic damages. Nevertheless, it is worth repeating that often, even insurance companies use the term “bodily injury” in a manner that makes it hard to distinguish from personal injury.
What Is Personal Injury?
A personal injury generally requires a physical injury to qualify for compensation. Once you qualify for compensation through a physical injury, you can also qualify for non-economic damages.
You can seek the following damages, to name just a few examples:
- Medical bills, including estimated future medical expenses;
- Prescription and nonprescription medications;
- Medical equipment (such as a dialysis machine or wheelchair);
- Property damage, such as damage to your automobile;
- Modifications to your home and car that might be necessitated by your injury.
- Lost earnings, including estimated future lost earnings.
- Vocational rehabilitation;
- Out-of-pocket expenses such as child care and house cleaning that you normally handle but cannot do while recovering from your injuries;
- Pain and suffering: This includes more than just physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress and mental anguish;
- Lost quality of life: Inability to participate in hobbies, exercise, or social activities, for example.
You can also recover for other types of losses as well, depending on the case.
Personal Injury Protection vs. Bodily Injury
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is a type of coverage that offers limited economic damages benefits, primarily for medical expenses. Where PIP applies, you seek compensation from your PIP policy even if the accident was someone else’s fault. PIP is mandatory in no-fault auto insurance states. Nevada, however, is not a no-fault state, and PIP insurance is generally not available.
Instead, drivers in Nevada must purchase minimum amounts of bodily injury insurance. Bodily injury insurance is liability auto accident insurance. If you are injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury policy, not your own. These policies typically pay for full personal injury damages, including non-economic damages.
Seek the Services of a Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident
Most Nevada personal injury lawyers will grant you a consultation free of charge. During the consultation, you can tell your story and ask questions. The lawyer will give you their opinion on the validity of your claim and explain your options for you. If you think you might have a claim of substantial value, contact a Nevada personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact the Reno Personal Injury Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Reno and you need legal assistance, contact our personal injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.