Bodily Injury: Legal Definition
The bodily injury legal definition refers to the physical harm your body suffers in a personal injury. For instance, if you get into a car accident and subsequently receive a diagnosis of a concussion, whiplash, and a broken wrist, those ailments are your bodily injuries. You can receive compensation for these bodily injuries when you hire a lawyer and pursue a claim against the responsible party or parties. Other areas for which you can receive compensation include your property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Bodily injury is what is known as an economic damage. Economic damages refer to losses that involve actual monetary depletion and can be quantified in dollar terms. In contrast, damages such as pain and suffering are considered noneconomic because they cannot be quantified or put into dollar terms.
Bodily Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
The linchpin of most personal injury cases is the bodily injury suffered by the claimant. In other words, for a personal injury case to have substance, it must include a tangible injury, and, typically, that injury affects the body of the injured party, along the lines of the bodily injury legal definition. Note that in some cases, personal injury cases only involve emotional or psychological damage, but these cases are in the minority. Most cases are filed because the claimant suffered a bodily injury.
There is a virtually endless list of bodily injuries a person can suffer that can lead to a claim or lawsuit. Some of the more severe bodily injuries that often result in substantial monetary settlements include the following:
- Head injuries and concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Birth trauma
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations
- Severe burns
Just as there is an endless list of bodily injuries you can suffer, the causes of such injuries are innumerable. The only criterion that determines whether the cause of an injury warrants a claim or lawsuit is whether it involves the negligence or wrongdoing of another party.
Situations that result in bodily injury according to the bodily injury legal definition often lead to personal injury lawsuits including:
- Car crashes and accidents
- Truck or motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Damaged or defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Work injuries
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Dog bites and other animal attacks
- Injuries caused by sports or recreational activities
- Intentional acts of violence
Economic vs. Noneconomic Damages
In a personal injury lawsuit, a successful claimant can recover two types of damages: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages, which include bodily injury, are losses that can be quantified in actual dollar terms. Other examples of economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Prescription drug costs
A good way to think about economic damages is this: if it involves something that, due to your injury, you either get a bill for or do not get a paycheck for, it is likely an economic damage. Bodily injury is an economic damage because you can quantify it by the medical bills you receive to treat the ailment.
Noneconomic damages cannot be assigned a specific dollar value, but you are still entitled to monetary compensation for them. The most common forms of noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
In Arizona, an injured party may sue for both economic and noneconomic damages. Your personal injury lawyer will evaluate your claim and let you know what you can expect to receive in both categories.
The Arizona Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
No matter what kind of damages you are seeking, it is critical to file your claim or lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. In Arizona, you typically have two years to take legal action after a personal injury, but the deadline for your specific case may be shorter or longer depending on many factors. Your lawyer will review your case and, if necessary, take immediate legal action to avoid the statute expiring.
Call (866) 499-8989 for a Free, No-Obligation Personal Injury Case Evaluation in Arizona
If you or someone you love has been injured in Arizona because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be eligible for substantial compensation, and a Zanes Law attorney will help you fight for it. We offer a free case evaluation, and we will even travel to you when and where it is convenient. We also never charge a fee until we win. To speak with a member of our team today, call us at (866) 499-8989.