What is the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

Rutter Mills Law Firm

What is the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

Personal Injury Info

The terms bodily injury and personal injury are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. The former refers to liability coverage, known as Bodily Injury Liability insurance (BIL), which drivers must purchase to protect themselves if they are at-fault in an accident. Personal injury refers to any injury caused by another party’s negligence.

The personal injury lawyers at Rutter Mills regularly litigate complicated cases against government agencies, insurance companies, and large businesses. While most cases are settled, we will take your claim to trial when necessary.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury typically relates to insurance cases, specifically motor vehicle accidents, although in some jurisdictions, it also refers to criminal cases. In the latter, bodily injury deals with a distinct injury a person suffers due to another person.

Most states require motorists to purchase a minimum amount of BIL insurance, but for most drivers, it is wise to buy more in case of a serious car crash. In Virginia, the mandated minimum amount of BIL insurance is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. A bad car wreck can run up medical and other bills far exceeding those amounts, putting your personal assets at risk if your BIL coverage is insufficient.

For the motorist, BIL insurance pays for their legal defense if at fault, and provides payment for a third party’s:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral expenses

Keep in mind that BIL only pays up to the limits of the policy. If you are the at-fault driver and do not have enough BIL coverage to pay for the other person’s injuries and damages, that individual may file a personal injury lawsuit against you to receive compensation.

Personal Injury

Personal injury is a legal term referring to civil law. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff, or person filing the lawsuit, is the injured party. The defendant is the party allegedly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Personal injury cases almost always result from negligence on the part of another person or entity. Certain intentional acts, such as assault, fall under the personal injury umbrella. While assault is a crime and a person committing such an act faces criminal charges, a civil personal injury lawsuit differs from a criminal trial.

Strict liability is another area in personal injury cases– generally dealing with defective products. The injured party does not have to prove that the manufacturer of the item was negligent, but must show the product had a design flaw making it dangerous to use as directed.

Each state has a strict timeline, known as the statute of limitations, in which a personal injury case requires filing. In Virginia, that statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. Failure to file a civil lawsuit within that timeframe means it cannot go forward.

Personal injury causes

Causes of personal injury run the gamut. Motor vehicle accidents are among the most frequent reasons for the filing of a personal injury lawsuit, but other common causes include:

  • Defective products
  • Defective drugs
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Workplace injuries

Personal injury lawyers at Rutter Mills can determine a fair settlement for a client based on the types of injuries suffered, the prognosis for recovery, and any ongoing care or treatment they require.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

There is another form of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) relating to car accidents in the Old Dominion, and for some drivers, this is a smart choice. Also known in Virginia as MedPay, it pays for the medical expenses you or a passenger incur as a result of a car accident, no matter who is at fault. It also covers you if hit by a motor vehicle as a cyclist or pedestrian.

BIL does not cover your personal medical expenses, only those of someone injured in a crash that was your fault. If you are the injured party due to someone else’s negligence as a driver, you are vulnerable to the limits of their BIL policy.

MedPay covers not only the trip to the emergency room, doctor’s visits, medical tests, surgery, and the like, but will pay for your deductibles and co-pays. If the other driver’s BIL coverage is insufficient, MedPay pays the difference. It works with the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement so that burden does not fall on you.

Contact our Rutter Mills team of Virginia personal injury attorneys

Your lawyer matters. If you or a loved one were seriously injured because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, you need the services of our personal injury law firm. For more than 50 years, we’ve been handling big, complicated, life altering cases with significant results.

Our dedicated attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. There is never a fee unless we win.

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

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Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

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I knew I needed Rutter Mills.

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On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

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After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

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After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

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After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

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Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

There’s attorneys, then there’s Rutter Mills.

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Priorities

A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

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They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

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