An injury represents any kind of damage or harm to the structure or function of a body, caused by an outside physical or chemical agent. A common mistake is to use injury interchangeably with wound, although the wound is actually just a type of injury.
There are many types of injuries that commonly appear. Some of the most common include:
- Burns, which are caused by excess heat, cold (frostbite) or exposure to corrosive chemical substances (chemical burns)
- Bruises, which is a subcutaneous bleeding that occurs due to a concussion
- Wounds, like cuts, which are injuries of the skin, caused by sharp objects and displaying bleeding.
- Emotional damage (injury), which can result, for example, as a consequence of sexual harassment or psychological trauma.
- Fractures, which are injuries of the bones.
- Ruptures of tendons or ligaments, caused by overstretching or physical shocks.
Many of these injuries may require first aid to be performed, and if they are severe, professional medical care should be requested.
The term injury can also refer to any kind of damage (even medical) that occurs due to the violation of a legal right or by otherwise breaking the law. Some legislations contain the term of malicious injury, which refers to injuries committed with malice. These kind of actions can be punished if they are committed voluntarily, without any excuse and with prior knowledge that they are wrong, by persons who can be legally punished for their actions.
This has determined the emerging of a legal field that aims to protect victims of injuries. This is field is called Personal injury protection and has become mainstream in the last few decades.