After being involved in an accident, especially one that someone else caused, you are almost certain to hear all sorts of new terms that will be foreign to you at the start. This is one of many reasons why victims of car accidents choose to work with a professional, like Long Island Personal Injury Attorney Brett J. Harrison, instead of needing to take on all of this new information at the same time that they are trying to recover from serious injuries.
However, regardless of whether or not you are working with an attorney or attempting to successfully negotiate with the insurance company in order to get a fair settlement (instead of just accepting the laughably low initial offer that the insurance company will make you), you will need to understand some key terms. The following information is simply meant to help you understand the difference between personal injury and bodily injury, two important terms that you will hear when choosing insurance coverage, or attempting to seek compensation after an accident.
What Is a Personal Injury?
The term “personal injury” is a term that covers the entire legal process surrounding accidents and injuries that someone suffers, typically ones that are caused by someone else’s actions. A personal injury claim is a claim submitted against a defendant or their insurance company in order to recover compensation for bodily and emotional injuries that the victim sustained as a result of the crash.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is mandatory in New York for every insured driver and provides for financial protection in the event that they are injured in either an accident that they caused or in certain cases provides financial protection in accidents that someone else has caused. Additionally, your PIP coverage will provide compensation for any of your passengers who were injured as well, regardless of whether or not you are at fault.
Generally, though, the term “personal injury” is a legal one, not medical. A personal injury case will need to determine who is at fault for an accident and will assign liability for all resulting financial impacts.
What Is Bodily Injury?
The term “bodily injury” actually refers to the physical injuries that a victim suffers after an accident. During your personal injury case, you will be seeking compensation for the bodily injuries that you suffered, such as a broken arm in a car accident, a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle crash, or a spinal injury following a slip and fall. Personal injury tort law is in place in order to provide you with a framework for getting the money that you deserve for these injuries.
Bodily injury is only a portion of your overall personal injury claim, though, which is important to remember—especially if you are attempting to represent yourself in a claim. Bodily injuries go beyond the immediate financial impact that they may have, like the medical costs or any lost wages, and extend to emotional or physiological injuries. Injuries other than bodily injury include things such as the actual pain and suffering of the injury, or the trauma of the accident that caused them.
One of the most important things to understand while learning about these differences is that an attorney can provide you with much-needed support to get through your case without needing to take on the responsibility of knowing each of these complex and nuanced legal terms. An attorney has years of experience and has a range of tools at their disposal entirely in order to get you the money that you deserve after an accident.