Accident victims can file an injury claim to receive compensation for their injury when someone else was at fault. However, there is a difference in filing a bodily injury vs personal injury case.
If you file the wrong claim, your mistake may have cost you the chance to settle or receive compensation for your injury case. If you have been injured and need to know the difference between bodily injury vs. personal injury, this article is a good place to start.
The informational guide below will provide information on what meets the legal definition of personal injury cases and how bodily injury and harm folds into personal injury claims.
Personal injury claims cover three areas, and one of those areas is bodily injuries from an accident. The personal injury targeted areas are:
- Bodily injury and harm
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You know when you have suffered bodily injury because most of the time, you are in pain, need medical treatment, and may even need various forms of other treatments like physiotherapy. A common example is being in a car accident caused by a reckless driver.
Personal Injury Claim
If you have a South Carolina personal injury case, then you need to know how and when your claim is filed for your injuries. Personal injury claims that contain bodily injuries have specific legal elements needed to be successful in court. You must understand the next legal steps you can take.
Personal injury claims give you damages for your accident injury that includes, but is not limited to;
- Medical expenses reimbursed
- Lost wages reimbursed
- Any property damage reimbursed
- Compensation for loss of spouse (if your partner died in the accident)
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Reputation damage compensation
- Punitive damages if the person who caused the accident was malicious or negligent
The clock is running on your injury claim too. You must file your injury claim with your attorney as soon as possible.
South Carolina Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Your statute of limitations on when you can file your injury claim started on the day of the accident. The length of how long you can wait to file your claim has a firm deadline. Personal injury claims can be divided into various types of claims you can pursue to help you in your recovery.
There are some exceptions to the below time length on when you can file your injury claim. However, the exceptions are more difficult to get and depend on you not being aware of your injuries right away. For the most part, there are different time-based limitations on the various types of personal injuries. They are:
- Wrongful death – three years
- Product liability claims – three years
- Defamation claim – two years
- Any negligence claim – three years
- Assault and Battery – three years
- Strict liability claim – three years
Some examples to explain negligence claim revolves around auto accidents, falls in public places, etc.
Personal Injury Statistics
In the United States, only four-five percent of personal injury cases ever go to trial. That means, 95-96 percent of personal injury cases are settled before ever going to court.
Those statistics should reinforce your thought process about needing an injury attorney. The right injury attorney can help you get the compensation you need for lost wages, rehabilitation for your injuries, and more.
Personal Injury Attorney and Typical Claims
Every experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney should represent you through your injury claim with integrity and advocacy. The personal injury attorney represents the damage and injuries you sustained through the negligence of a company, an owner, an organization, or a person.
What’s more, the cases are not limited to physical damage or injuries. The cases also represent your mental and psychological damage. Some of the types of personal injury claims include:
- Fire and burns
- Bites from animals
- Construction falls and accidents
- Wrongful death
- Any slip or fall
- Medical malpractice
If you’ve suffered any of the above, you might qualify for a case. A personal injury attorney does the work of investigating your claim for use in court.
Bodily Injury vs Personal Injury
There are four components of a personal injury case. It’s important to remember that bodily injury and harm is one of the personal injury targeted areas for compensation purposes. The four components of any personal injury claim include:
- Duty of Care – There must have been an owed or obligated duty to the between the plaintiff and defendant.
- Breach of duty of care – A good attorney can show the absence or negligence of the duty or obligation. The attorney will show the defendant’s failure to act with doesn’t equate at the same level of care an ordinary person uses in the same situation.
- Causation – The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the injuries sustained by the plaintiff would not have occurred unless there was a breach of duty of care on the part of the defendant.
- Damages – The plaintiff’s attorney establishes the accident resulted in damages to the plaintiff. These damages can be economic or noneconomic.
No one can prove these four elements to the court other than the plaintiff and their attorney. In a personal injury case, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. Attorneys do not have to prove personal injury cases beyond a reasonable doubt.
Personal Injury Peace of Mind
Almost every personal injury case we take starts by asking does the accident or injuries meet the definition of personal injuries by the State of South Carolina? It’s vital those questions have been asked and answered well before we get to court.
No matter what attorney you select for your wrongful death case, make sure they feel comfortable working with them and confident in their legal abilities. One of the most important elements is knowing the legal-specific differences between bodily injury vs personal injury.
Once you proceed with a personal injury case, make sure your attorney has access to private investigators, police reports, physical evidence, and more. We want to give you financial security and peace of mind while you recover from your personal injury case. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.