Legal terminology can often be confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with law yourself. There are many seemingly synonymous terms being used in law that have very different meanings. One such case is personal vs bodily injuries.
These two terms may seem like they address the same issue, but they are very different. Join us as we dig deeper into the difference between a personal injury and a bodily injury in different contexts.
What is Personal Injury?
Despite how it sounds, a personal injury is a civil court matter. It’s a mechanism that allows victims to seek compensation for a wide range of wrongdoings. We’re talking anything from defamation to lost wages and other instances where a person has been wronged.
The goal of personal injury lawsuits is usually to get financial compensation and payment of damages suffered as a result of personal injury.
Types of Personal Injuries
Unlike bodily injuries, personal injures aren’t limited to physical injuries. Both psychological injuries and emotional distress can be categorized as personal injuries. This is important since seeking compensation for non-physical injuries often leaves the victims with less compensation than they’re entitled to.
How Long Can you Wait to File a Personal Injury Claim?
The answer to this question differs from state to state. As far as California goes, the victim can file a personal injury claim up to two years since the date of injury. After the two years have passed, the chances of seeking compensation diminish greatly.
Although it’s not unheard of that courts could take the case even after the two years are up, most courts will refuse to look into the claim that long after the injury has occurred.
It’s worth mentioning that there are exceptions to the statute of limitations in the state of California. For example, if the injured person has been mentally incapacitated due to the accident, they can seek a delay in the statutory deadline.
The same goes for persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of injury. For them, the statutory deadline of two years begins when they turn 18.
Understanding Bodily Injury
Unlike personal injury that can be physical, emotional, or psychological, bodily injury is generally limited to the damage inflicted on the claimant’s body. However, there’s a catch. Bodily injury is often mentioned in the context of vehicular accidents.
You can file a bodily injury claim not only for yourself as a victim of a car accident, but also for anyone who has been in the car with you at the time of the accident. In some cases, this also includes pets.
It’s also important to understand that compensation for bodily injuries is often limited to the particular injury that occurred as a result of the accident. But, as usual, things aren’t so black and white.
Bodily Injury Compensation.
Understanding the scopes of compensation when it comes to a bodily injury can be tricky. The legal experts at kerleyschaffer.com/oakland-personal-injury-lawyers argue that compensations for bodily injuries can include all out-of-pocket expenses you’ve had to deal with to treat your physical injuries but also any potential long term expenses.
That second part is key. Long term impacts of bodily injuries are difficult to anticipate and predict. That being said, you can seek compensation for any future lost wages or even future expenses that could arise as a result of your injury. These expenses can include lost wages, therapy, disability, and other issues that could come up long term.
The Importance of Professional Help
If you’ve just been in an accident that has left you injured, chances are that you have a long road ahead of you. Dealing with insurance and getting compensation for your injuries isn’t always easy. In fact, it rarely ever is. One way to ensure that you’ll be covered for whatever expenses you might have to deal with down the road is to get professional help. Lawsuits and insurance claims are overwhelming. It helps to have a professional by your side who will help you navigate these often confusing procedures.
Patience is a Virtue
Patience is arguably one of the most important tools you can have by your side when dealing with either personal injury claims or bodily injury claims. Both of these can take a long time before you’re compensated properly.
One part of the equation is understanding the process that’s ahead of you and all the steps that you’ll need to take. Once you know what’s ahead, you’ll have a good idea of how long the whole thing will take.