If you were injured in an accident, you may start hearing various terms that sound alike but have different meanings. One example is “bodily injury” and “personal injury.” 

Generally speaking, bodily injury refers to a physical condition, while personal injury refers to a type of legal claim. Understanding this difference is important to pursue a claim for financial relief for the injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses you’ve suffered. 

What Is Bodily Injury?

A bodily injury is simply an injury to the body, such as a broken bone or spinal cord injury. 

Bodily injury is also a term used within the context of car insurance. In Maryland, all motorists must be insured at all times with liability insurance that covers accidents they cause.

Bodily injury in auto accident liability insurance policies usually covers physical injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in a traffic accident who are harmed because of the insured’s negligence. 

What Is Personal Injury?

A personal injury is a type of legal claim often brought by accident victims to pursue compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. After someone is injured in a slip and fall, car accident, or other incident, they may file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident. 

Suffering a bodily injury is one of the most common reasons people pursue a personal injury case, but it is not the only legal ground. For example, people can file personal injury claims when they have suffered emotional injuries or harm to their reputation. 

Personal injury is also known as tort law. Under this area of the law, someone harmed by another who amounts to a civil wrong can seek compensation from the party responsible for their harm. Most personal injury victims and lawyers bring personal injury cases under the legal theory of negligence. 

Negligence is a legal term with a meaning similar to that of “carelessness.” In essence, negligence occurs when someone fails to conform to the standard of conduct society demands for others’ safety. For example, a motorist who does not follow the rules of the road may be considered negligent. 

There are four legal elements that a personal injury victim must establish to secure compensation for their losses:


Duty is the legal responsibility someone has in a given situation. For example, motorists must follow the rules of the road and drive safely to avoid injury to others.

Breach of Duty 

A breach of duty is failing to meet the duty of care. This can be something the defendant does wrong, such as speeding, or it can be something they fail to do, such as not paying attention. 


For a successful negligence claim, you must establish that the defendant’s breach of duty is what actually caused the accident. 


Finally, you must show that you suffered damages for which a court could compensate you, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Estimates future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disability or impairment 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and explain if you have legal grounds for a personal injury case.

Ready To Learn More? Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If someone else’s negligence or misconduct has harmed you, WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Whether you’ve sustained a bodily injury or otherwise, call us today for a free case review to discuss your case and options for filing a personal injury claim. 


For more information contact the Baltimore car accident law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
(410) 220-2179

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers – Dundalk Office
7329 Holabird Ave Suite 3, Dundalk, MD 21222
By appointment only
(410) 970-3080