Bodily Injury

Bodily injury vs Property damage
Bodily injury damages specifically denote the physical harm caused by an accident. Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as “any physical or corporeal injury; not necessarily restricted to injury to the trunk or main part of the body as distinguished from the head or limbs.” US Legal defines it as a “cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain ; illness; impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.” Utah code defines bodily injury as one of three types:

  1. bodily injury or “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition,”
  2. serious bodily injury or “serious permanent disfigurement, [long-term] loss or impairment of the function of any [body part] or organ, or creates a substantial risk of death,” and
  3. substantial bodily injury or “[long-term] physical pain, temporary disfigurement, or temporary loss or impairment of the function of any [body part] or organ.

Example Sentence

Because of his terrible bicycle accident, Drake dealt with a lot of bodily injuries.

Case Study

A car, without lights on, t-boned another woman’s vehicle on her way to work. The woman did not notice any bodily injury as a result of the crash and so continued on normally. Later on, she felt incredible pain in her neck and spine. The medical bills quickly piled up and she found herself unable to pay the balances on all of them; she hired Christensen & Hymas to her seek relief from this financial and physical nightmare. They were able to secure $50,000 for her, allowing her to move forward with her life and get out of the debt that she was facing. Click here for more details on this true story.

Other Important Information

Criminal cases often refer to bodily injury when crimes are more serious than others. Aggravated assault and simple assault is an example of this. Aggravated assault would imply that there was bodily injury to the person who was assaulted, thus in a simple assault no physical harm was administered during the assault. In addition, when you file an insurance claim, you are actually seeking compensation for several different kinds of damages that may or may not have been sustained in the accident, itself. Technically, you can seek compensation for any harm that resulted from an accident, whether it entails the immediate injury or the repercussions thereof. This injury may take different forms, including soft tissue injury, head injury, etc.  In auto insurance coverage, bodily injury damages take the tripartite form of bodily injury liability, medical payments, and uninsured motorist protection. Certain forms of bodily injury are easier to prove than others.  A broken arm, for instance, is impossible to ignore; and its cause is simply established.  Soft tissue damage, on the other hand, may require medical expertise to ascertain and can arise by various means.  Proving that soft tissue damage is significant and that it resulted from an accident is trickier and may involve the word of expert witnesses. Anyone involved in an accident should seek medical attention immediately after the accident to assess if any internal or soft tissue damage occurred as a result of the accident. Utah requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance to cover any costs from bodily injury caused by an accident. Remember, this is a minimum and often times bodily injury can cause much higher bills than $25,000 (refer to the case study), therefore seeking higher coverage would be in your best interest. Utah also requires a minimum for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Someone who fails to obey a police officer and then causes bodily injury to another person is guilty of a 2nd degree felony. Drivers who injure someone and fail to stop and help may face a $750 minimum fine and either a class A misdemeanor or 3rd degree felony if it caused serious bodily injury.

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