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Injury or bodily 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, and either by accident or intentional. Personal Injury also refers to damage caused to the reputation of another rather than physical harm to the body. A severe and life-threatening injury is referred to as a physical trauma.
Types of injury
- 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 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.
There is no large scale statistics on the incidence of minor injuries. However, for physical traumas or injuries leading to hospital discharge, common causes are traffic accidents and falls.
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Various legal remedies may be available for personal injury (eg. under the law negligence) or for injury to the reputation of another (eg. see damages and restitution) for slander or libel. 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.
Injuries may be feigned by a person or animal for various causes.
The phrase "playing possum" is derived from the behaviour of the opossum, a mammal which will mimic the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal when threatened. 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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