Personal Injury Vs. Bodily Injury: Differences Explained

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of somebody else in Oregon, you will likely be entitled to various types of compensation. However, securing this compensation can be challenging. You have likely heard the terms “bodily injury” and “personal injury” often used as you consider the best path towards securing compensation. Here, we want to discuss the difference between “bodily” and “personal” injury. These two terms do you have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used, and this can play a role in how an injury victim recovers compensation.

Civil Court Versus Criminal Court

It is important to point out that the criminal court process is very different from a civil court process. In criminal court, a person will be facing criminal charges brought by prosecutors and law enforcement. The goal of the criminal court is to determine guilt or innocence and to assign sentencing upon a guilty conviction. The term “bodily injury” does come up regularly in criminal court, particularly because the phrase is used in various criminal statutes in Oregon. Typically, any person found you have caused bodily injury to another person during the commission of a crime will likely receive an enhanced penalty due to the injury.

The term “personal injury” is more likely to show up and civil court lawsuits. These cases arise anytime the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of one person caused harm to another person. In these cases, the injury victim can file a personal injury lawsuit in an attempt to recover compensation for their injuries and other types of losses.

Victims of bodily injuries typically do not recover compensation as a result of a criminal court process. However, personal injury victims, whether they sustained an injury due to the intentional or unintentional acts of another person, will likely be able to recover compensation if their personal injury lawsuit is successful.

Bodily Injury Language in Insurance Policies

The terms bodily and personal injury do cross occasionally. This is particularly true when we look at the auto insurance requirements for Oregon. In this state, drivers must carry and maintain the following types of insurance to remain legal on the roadway:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $20,000 per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $15,000 per person
  • Uninsured motorist coverage bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

When we examine the required insurance in Oregon, we can see that drivers must carry bodily injury coverage. This type of coverage is designed to pay the injury expenses of any person injured due to an accident caused by the insured. Bodily injury coverage will typically pay for the medical bills and lost wages of the other party involved.

Personal Injury Lawsuits can Help Victims Secure Full Compensation

Personal injury claims, on the other hand, typically seek various types of compensation from the at-fault party. Personal injury cases can arise in a variety of ways, including vehicle accidents, premises liability incidents, product liability cases, dog bite incidents, and more. Personal injury victims are often able to recover the following types of compensation through a successful settlement or jury verdict:

  • Complete coverage of their medical bills
  • Lost income if they cannot work
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages

The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation.