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scottdale phoenix

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No recovery  •  no fee


Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?

Personal injury and bodily injury are terms people often use interchangeably when referring to someone who suffers an injury. Although many believe the two are synonymous, they are not. It is important to know the difference between bodily injury and personal injury and how it can significantly impact the course of your lawsuit.

Personal Injury

Personal injury is physical injury inflicted on an individual’s body. It is an element of civil law in which the plaintiff is the person injured. In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim receives compensation for accidents or social wrongdoings.

For an accident that result in wrongful death from personal injury, the plaintiff is the representative of the estate. The defendant in a personal injury case is always the peon that caused injury.

Personal injury includes the following:

• False arrest, detention or imprisonment

• Malicious prosecution

• The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor

• Oral, written or electronic publication of material that slanders or a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products or services

• Oral, written or electronic publication of material that violates a person’s right of privacy


Liability also makes a difference in personal injury cases. The injured may still be partially or wholly responsible for an accident. Specifically, if the injured individual is more than 50% at fault, he or she will not receive compensation.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury is a particular injury to an individual’s body, caused by someone else. This term refers to specific injuries. Insurance companies often use the term bodily injury more in criminal cases, with common implications in insurance.

Bodily injury includes the following.

• Bodily harm
• Sickness or disease
• Required care
• Loss of services or death that results

Bodily injury comes with bodily injury insurance. This coverage compensates the injuries of other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians, when the insured is to blame.


Since bodily injury is associated with insurance, compensation plays a large role. An individual with bodily injuries receives compensation for out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, treatment procedures such as x-rays, therapy costs, and transport to the hospital. Unlike personal injury, bodily injury usually does not include pain and suffering. Pain and suffering typically refers to physical injuries.

However, also unlike personal injury, with bodily injury individuals can claim future expenses more easily. When a person has severe injuries likely to impact their life negatively for a long duration, they may claim future expenses. Future expenses include future loss of income, disfigurement, future therapy, permanent disability, and impairment.

Personal Injury vs. Bodily Injury

Personal injury and bodily injury are two different types of injuries used in different legal scenarios. In legal terms, personal injury can occur in any accident; motor vehicle, slip and fall, defective products, etc. Bodily injury is more specific to car accidents.

Personal injury is also all of the injuries sustained in accidents, while bodily injury refers to a specific injury caused by someone else. Bodily injury coverage is usually part of an insurance policy, while personal injury coverage is not.

If you suffer an injury, contact a personal injury attorney who will be able to define your injuries and specify your claim. Personal injury and bodily injury do not receive the treatment same in court.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.