What’s the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

What’s the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

Bodily injury’ is a term most frequently associated with densely-worded insurance policies. ‘Personal injury’ is a term most commonly associated with a certain type of lawyer. These two terms are not identical, but they are closely related.

What Is Bodily Injury?

Following are some examples of bodily injuries that frequently trigger personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits:

  • Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, contusions)
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries (herniated discs, sprains)
  • Neck injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Head injuries (such as concussions and other traumatic brain injuries)
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burns
  • Shoulder injuries (rotator cuff tears, dislocations)
  • Knee injuries (ligament tears)
  • Ankle injuries (sprains, fractures)
  • Facial injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Dental injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Loss of senses (such as sight or hearing)
  • Paralysis
  • Death

This list is not exhaustive, and the frequency of specific injuries can vary depending on the type of accident and other factors.

New Jersey’ Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage

Car accidents are the most common cause of bodily injuries that result in personal injury claims. State law requires New Jersey drivers to carry certain mandatory minimum car accident insurance.

PIP Insurance

New Jersey PIP insurance is a form of no-fault car accident insurance that is mandatory for New Jersey drivers. All drivers must purchase at least $15,000 in coverage, although many drivers opt for far higher coverage limits. 

New Jersey PIP insurance covers bodily injuries suffered in a car accident, regardless of fault. Total coverage includes medical expenses, lost earnings, essential services (child care, for example), and limited death benefits.

What New Jersey PIP insurance does not cover 

New Jersey PIP insurance does not cover the following personal injury claims:

  • Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
  • Property damage: Damage to vehicles, for example.

PIP is designed to keep minor auto accident cases out of court as much as possible.

Liability Insurance

New Jersey drivers must also carry the following liability insurance (payable to someone the driver harms through their own fault):

  • Bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident; and
  • Property damage liability of $5,000 per accident

As with PIP insurance, far higher coverage limits are available. If you get into an accident with a commercial truck, coverage limits are likely to be so high that you won’t need to worry that the trucker’s insurance policy won’t be enough to pay your claim.

What Is Personal Injury?

Think of a circle labeled ‘personal injury.’ Anything inside the circle qualifies as a personal injury. Now think of another, smaller circle called ‘bodily injury’ that is completely inside the ‘personal injury’ circle. 

This description illustrates the relationship between bodily injury and personal injury. All bodily injury is personal injury, but not all personal injury is bodily injury.   

Personal injury includes emotional distress, financial losses, and the loss of certain personal relationships. In other words, not all personal injuries involve physical harm. 

Following is a list of common conditions that qualify as personal injury but not bodily injury:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of libido
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Embarrassment
  • Reputational damage (in defamation cases)
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of self-confidence

Actionable personal injuries are not limited to these.

A New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Can Multiply the Value of Your Claim

If you’re like most people, you’re going to want to settle your personal injury claim out of court. Even so, a credible threat of taking your claim to trial can give you tremendous bargaining leverage. Hiring a New Jersey personal injury lawyer with trial experience can help you negotiate a generous settlement.

Contact Noonan & McMahon, LLC Today

For more information, please contact the lawyers at Noonan & McMahon, LLC  to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. We have a convenient office location in Freehold, NJ. We proudly serve all throughout Monmouth County and New Jersey.

Noonan & McMahon, LLC – Freehold Office
35 Court St 1A, Freehold, NJ 07728
(732) 631 3387