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Injury is damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body caused by an outside agent or force, which may be physical or chemical. Injury may also refer to injured feelings or reputation rather than injuries to the body. A severe and perhaps life-threatening injury is called a physical trauma.


  • Bruise is a hemorrhage under the skin caused by contusion.
  • Wound: cuts and grazes are injuries to or through the skin, that cause bleeding (i.e., a laceration).
  • Burns are injuries caused by excess heat, chemical exposure, or sometimes cold (frostbite).
  • Fractures are injuries to bones.
  • Joint dislocation is a displacement of a bone from its normal joint, such as a dislocated shoulder or finger.
  • Concussion is mild traumatic brain injury caused by a blow, without any penetration into the skull or brain.
  • Sprain is an injury which occurs to ligaments caused by a sudden over stretching; a strain injures muscles.
  • Shock is a serious medical condition where the tissues cannot obtain sufficient for oxygen and nutrients.
  • Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma or surgery.

Serious bodily injury is any injury or injuries to the body that substantially risks death of the victim.

Legal issues

Various legal remedies may be available for personal injury (eg. under the law negligence) or some other type of injury (eg. see damages and restitution).

In the United States, the legal definition of malicious injury is any injury committed with malice, hatred or one committed spitefully or wantonly. Such an action must be willfully committed with the knowledge that it is liable to cause injury. Injury involving element of fraud, violence, wantonness, willfulness, or criminality. An injury that is intentional, wrongful and without just cause or excuse, even in the absence of hatred, spite or ill will.

Feigning Injury

Injuries may be feigned by a person or even non-human animal for various causes. Faking an injury may allow a person to receive compensation, injury cover, or may result in a team being awarded a penalty in a game of football. Birds such as the killdeer are known to feign injury to lead a predator away from their nest. The predator gives chase, believing them to be easy prey, but the bird then flies away, hopefully having distracted the predator sufficiently to prevent it from finding its nest.

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