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What Is The Difference Between Personal Injury And Bodily Injury?

Oftentimes, we come across terms like personal injury and bodily injury, and we get thrown into confusion on their differences and end up using them interchangeably. However, these two terms have an entirely different meaning. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these two terms.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury is an aspect of civil law, In which its victims claim compensation for an accident,  professional malpractice, or defamation of character.

In a situation when an accident leads to the victims’ death, the plaintiff is to stand in place of the deceased. The person whose negligence leads to an injury or death is the defendant. When there’s a shift in blame, the third person is known as the cross-defendant.

Personal Injury

Deadlines for Filing Iowa Injury Lawsuits

A two-year deadline is set for filing lawsuits in Iowa. This is the period given for you and a Des Moines personal injury lawyer to bring in your case after an injury and it starts running from the time you got injured.

Comparative Fault in Iowa

A case of personal injury in Iowa is determined by a set of rules in a case where the injured is found to be at fault. If by law you’re found to be at fault, Iowa’s comparative fault rules may help decrease the amount of damage you can get.

These rules may help reduce your loss by 10% if the rate of your negligence remains below 50%. You can also get a certain amount of compensation from other negligent parties. But if found guilty with a negligence rate of more than 50%, you are prohibited from collecting any compensation.


In some states, the law limits compensation for damages in personal injury cases. Some states, however, limit non-economic damages, while some states only limit damages in cases like medical malpractice.

At present, Iowa is not liable for compensation for an injury case. Usually, the jury decides how much is awarded to the injured plaintiff.  The amount to be awarded is being decided and resolved in a settlement talk.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury pertains to a particular injury on a person caused by someone else. This refers to a specific injury sustained. Although mostly used in criminal cases, there are implications of bodily injury in terms of insurance.

Bodily injuries include burns, facial injuries, amputation, broken bones, brain injuries, disfigurement, paralysis, lacerations, professional health malpractice, and much more. A person with serious body injuries may run the risk of impairment or loss of a body organ, disfigurement, or even losing their lives. 

Bodily Injury

Legal Aspects of Bodily Injury

A bodily injury claim most often arises from a motor vehicle insurance context.


Bodily injury liability insurance pays compensation to other drivers and commuters involved when the insured is the cause of the accident. Compensation is given for the particular injury caused by the accident, and it is not the same with damage liability coverage.  

Filing A Bodily Injury Claim

When filing a claim, you must first determine if everyone involved is stable, and then call the police. Document the scene by taking photos and get first-hand accounts from any eyewitnesses on the scene.

Compensation For Bodily Injury

If you’re suffering from a bodily injury caused by another, you’re entitled to receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, transport expenses, and more. Further claims for future expenses and losses come in when a person has severe injuries that may have a lifelong impact. Here compensation for future lost income is made, too. The severity of the injury determines the settlement amount.

Key Differences

  • The insurance coverage for personal injury protection covers hospital and rehabilitation bills, loss of wages, loss of sales, loss of pension, and burial expenses, while bodily injury liability covers the payment for bodily injuries incurred during an accident.

  • Personal injury entails an aspect of civil law while bodily injury typically arises mostly from a case of accident especially that of a  motor vehicle context.

  • The personal injury core point of negotiations for compensation is in the jury settlement talk while in bodily injury, the severity of the injury is a determinant factor for the settlement amount.


If you have a personal or bodily injury case, and need help, reach out to a trusted local attorney.

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