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What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

» Written by // May 21, 2021 //


Many people in Fort Walton Beach know that if they suffer a personal injury, they may be eligible to seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. But not everyone knows what qualifies as a personal injury in legal terms. 

A Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer explains what the legal system considers to be a personal injury and how that differs from other legal terms such as bodily injury. 

Personal Injuries Can Include More Than You Think

In legal settings, a personal injury is harm that someone suffers to their body, finances, reputation, or emotional wellbeing that gives them the right to seek compensation if the harm was caused by another person’s deliberate, reckless or negligent actions. Personal injury lawyers in Fort Walton Beach often assist clients who suffer serious physical injuries to their bodies, such as damage to internal organs or nerve damage. However, personal injury attorneys may also work with individuals who have endured malicious harm to their reputation or emotional trauma, leaving them unable to sleep at night. 

Generally, a personal injury must be detectable in some way to give the victim the ability to seek compensation. Evidence of a personal injury could come from a doctor’s examination or a therapist’s report. 

How “Personal Injury” is Different Than “Bodily Injury”

Both personal injury and bodily injury are terms often used in a legal context, and they both refer to actionable harm to a victim. However, the phrase personal injury is usually used in the context of civil law in reference to a lawsuit where the victim approaches the person responsible to seek redress for the harm caused. 

Bodily injury, by contrast, is a term more often used to refer to harm inflicted by criminal behavior. In a criminal case, the government goes after the perpetrator to inflict punishment but usually does not focus on helping make up for the victim’s losses. 

As noted above, the term personal injury can include injuries to the body, but it also encompasses other types of harm to an individual as a whole. That means all bodily injuries can be personal injuries, but not all personal injuries could be considered physical injuries. 

Examples of Personal Injuries and Their Causes

A Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer helps victims seek recovery after a wide variety of personal injuries. These include brain injuries, broken bones, burns, spinal injuries, damage to internal organs, and soft tissue injuries such as whiplash. These injuries may be caused by many types of situations where someone failed to behave responsibly, such as: 

If the victim can prove that another person’s negligence helped cause the accident that led to their injuries, they may receive compensation to cover time missed from work, pain, suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.

Talk to a Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer to Learn More

If you believe you may have suffered a personal injury caused by another person’s negligence or other wrongdoing, it is a good idea to talk to a Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later. An attorney could assist with collecting evidence to establish liability, and the best time to gather evidence is right after the injury. To learn more about what might be possible in your case, contact us today for a free consultation.


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Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
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