What Is a Personal Injury Case?


Some use the term “bodily injury” interchangeably with “personal injury.” While it is true that a lawyer may be necessary for instances in which bodily injury is sustained, there is a significant difference between a person who sustains bodily injuries and a client at Batta Fulkerson with a personal injury case.

What is a personal injury case?

A personal injury case is comprised of several elements:

  • First, the person with the complaint (plaintiff) must have sustained an injury due to negligence on the part of the accused party (defendant).
  • Second, there must be substantial proof to show the defendant as negligent and, therefore, responsible for costs related to the event.
  • Third, the plaintiff must file his or her case within the statute of limitations to have a viable claim. The statute of limitations varies by state.

Why do some confuse personal injury with a bodily injury?

Many personal injury cases are the result of negligence on the road that leads to car accidents. Auto insurance plans typically classify all physical injuries sustained in a collision as “bodily injury.” Hence, the average person believes bodily injury to be the same as personal injury.

Unlike bodily injury, though, personal injury extends beyond physical ailments. A plaintiff may seek relief for damages caused to a person’s mental capacity as well as compensation for emotional distress. The case might be even stronger if the plaintiff shows proof of his or her inability to work due to such pressure.

One can likely have medical bills paid under the precept of bodily injury. He or she, however, must find another way to receive compensation for mental effects that negatively impact the ability to work and earn income after the incident.

The burden of proof in personal injury

Contrary to bodily injury claims, where the victim does not have to provide much proof beyond his involvement in the incident, a personal injury claim comes with the burden of proof. A plaintiff must first prove that the alleged party at fault owned the burden of care. The defendant, in other words, must have been the sole party responsible for the care of the individual harmed.

The plaintiff must also prove that the accused party failed to fulfill their duty of care, which essentially constitutes negligence on the defendant’s part. Third, the alleged victim must prove that the actions of the defendant directly led to injuries and subsequent losses.

Compensation and Statute of Limitations

Compensation for personal injury cases is classified as either economic or non-economic. Economic compensation covers lost wages as well as medical expenses incurred as a result of the injuries. Non-economic compensation covers the injury itself as well as emotional distress along with pain and suffering.

It is important to hire a professional the moment you feel there may be a personal injury case. Every state has a statute of limitations, which typically range from two to three years after the incident.

A plaintiff runs the risk of forfeiting all of his or her compensation by filing after the statute of limitations has passed. Such is the reason why you should contact an attorney today.



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