Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014), injury
Bryan A. Garner, Editor in Chief
injury n. (14c) 1. The violation of another’s legal right, for which the law provides a remedy; a wrong or injustice. See WRONG. 2. Scots law. Anything said or done in breach of a duty not to do it, if harm results to another in person, character, or property. • Injuries are divided into real injuries (such as wounding) and verbal injuries (such as slander). They may be criminal wrongs (as with assault) or civil wrongs (as with defamation). 3. Any harm or damage. • Some authorities distinguish harm from injury, holding that while harm denotes any personal loss or detriment, injury involves an actionable invasion of a legally protected interest. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 7, cmt. a (1965). — injure, vb. — injurious, adj.
- accidental injury (1800) An injury resulting from external, violent, and unanticipated causes; esp., a bodily injury caused by some external force or agency operating contrary to a person’s intentions, unexpectedly, and not according to the usual order of events.
“An accidental injury is a bodily injury caused by some external force or agency, operating contrary to the intention of the insured, unexpectedly, and not according to the usual order of events. The accident policy usually defines an accidental injury as one due to external, violent, and accidental causes.” William Reynolds Vance, Handbook of the Law of Insurance § 232, at 566 (1904).
- advertising injury (1977) Harm resulting from (1) oral or written speech that slanders or libels a person, or disparages a person’s goods, products, or services; (2) oral or written speech that violates a person’s right of privacy; (3) misappropriation of advertising ideas or style of doing business; or (4) infringement of copyright, esp. in a name or slogan.
- antitrust injury (1958) Damage, loss, or harm caused by anticompetitive conduct that violates antitrust laws. • An example is a vertical maximum-price-fixing conspiracy that results in predatory pricing. See Atl. Richfield Co. v. USA Petroleum Co., 495 U.S. 328, 334–35, 110 S.Ct. 1884, 1889 (1990).
- bodily injury (16c) Physical damage to a person’s body. — Also termed personal injury; personal bodily injury; physical injury. See serious bodily injury; personal injury (1).
- civil injury (17c) Physical harm or property damage caused by breach of a contract or by a criminal offense redressable through a civil action.
- compensable injury (k?m-pen-s?-b?l) (1917) Workers’ compensation. An injury caused by an accident arising from the employment and in the course of the employee’s work, and for which the employee is statutorily entitled to receive compensation.
- consequential injury See consequential loss under LOSS.
- continual injury (16c) An injury that recurs at repeated intervals. — Also termed (but improperly) continuous injury.
- continuing injury (1824) An injury that is still in the process of being committed. • An example is the constant smoke or noise of a factory. — Also termed continuing harm.
- direct injury (17c) 1. An injury resulting directly from violation of a legal right. 2. An injury resulting directly from a particular cause, without any intervening causes.
- economic injury Torts. An injury to a person’s ability to enter into or profit from a business arrangement.
- great bodily injury See serious bodily injury.
- indivisible injury (1838) A single injury that has been caused by concurrent tortfeasors and that is not reasonably capable of being separated. • Traditionally, before tort-reform legislation, multiple tortfeasors were held jointly and severally liable for an indivisible injury. See joint and several liability under LIABILITY.
- injury in fact (1809) An actual or imminent invasion of a legally protected interest, in contrast to an invasion that is conjectural or hypothetical. • An injury in fact gives the victim standing to bring an action for damages.
- injury to reputation A diminution in any manner or degree of the esteem, goodwill, or confidence that people place in a person, firm, company, etc.
- irreparable injury (i-rep-?r-?-b?l) (17c) An injury that cannot be adequately measured or compensated by money and is therefore often considered remediable by injunction. — Also termed irreparable harm; nonpecuniary injury. See IRREPARABLE-INJURY RULE.
“The term ‘irreparable injury,’ however, is not to be taken in its strict literal sense. The rule does not require that the threatened injury should be one not physically capable of being repaired. If the threatened injury would be substantial and serious — one not easily to be estimated, or repaired by money — and if the loss or inconvenience to the plaintiff if the injunction should be refused (his title proving good) would be much greater than any which can be suffered by the defendant through the granting of the injunction, although his title ultimately prevails, the case is one of such probable great or ‘irreparable’ damage as will justify a preliminary injunction.” Elias Merwin, Principles of Equity and Equity Pleading 426–27 (H.C. Merwin ed., 1895).
- legal injury (18c) Violation of a legal right.
- malicious injury (16c) 1. An injury resulting from a willful act committed with knowledge that it is likely to injure another or with reckless disregard of the consequences. 2. MALICIOUS MISCHIEF.
- nonpecuniary injury See irreparable injury.
- pecuniary injury (18c) An injury that can be adequately measured or compensated by money.
- permanent injury (17c) 1. A completed wrong whose consequences cannot be remedied for an indefinite period. 2. Property. A lasting injury to land that causes it to revert to the grantor or vests immediate right of possession in a remainderman. Cf. temporary injury.
- personal injury (16c) Torts. 1. In a negligence action, any harm caused to a person, such as a broken bone, a cut, or a bruise; bodily injury. — Also termed bodily injury. 2. Any invasion of a personal right, including mental suffering and false imprisonment. — Also termed private injury. 3. For purposes of workers’ compensation, any harm (including a worsened preexisting condition) that arises in the scope of employment. — Abbr. PI.
- physical injury See bodily injury.
- private injury See personal injury (2).
- public injury (16c) A loss or an injury stemming from a breach of a duty or violation of a right that affects the community as a whole.
- reparable injury (rep-?r-?-b?l) (1832) An injury that can be adequately compensated by money.
- scheduled injury (1917) Workers’ compensation. A partially disabling injury for which a predetermined amount of compensation is allowed under a workers’-compensation statute.
- serious bodily injury (1843) Serious physical impairment of the human body; esp., bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any body part or organ. Model Penal Code § 210.0(3). • Typically, the fact-finder must decide in any given case whether the injury meets this general standard. Generally, an injury meets this standard if it creates a substantial risk of fatal consequences or, when inflicted, constitutes mayhem. — Abbr. SBI. — Also termed serious bodily harm; grievous bodily harm; great bodily injury. Cf. MAYHEM (1).
- temporary injury (1812) An injury that may be abated or discontinued at any time by either the injured party or the wrongdoer. Cf. permanent injury.
- willful and malicious injury (1808) Bankruptcy. Under the statutory exception to discharge, damage to another entity (such as a creditor) caused by a debtor intentionally performing a wrongful act — without just cause or excuse — that the debtor knew was certain or substantially certain to cause injury. 11 USCA § 523(a)(6).
Westlaw. © 2014 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. U.S. Govt. Works.
While your case is in progress, it is of great importance that you do your part and that you keep your attorney informed.
Here are some suggestions that you will find helpful:
(1) PRESERVE EVIDENCE IN YOUR POSSESSION.
(a) Save physical objects that relate to your case, such as braces, belts or traction devices that were prescribed because of the accident. Keep these items in your possession.
(b) Do not delete social Media posts, emails or text messages until those are archived.
(c) Do not give away, trade or discard a cell phone or personal computer before archiving emails, text messages, etc. It is better to resist production of irrelevant material in court than to be accused of destroying relevant evidence.
(2) FORWARD ALL BILLS. At frequent intervals send your attorney all bills related to your accident or injury.
(3) NOTIFY OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR PHONE. Keep your attorney informed of your correct address and phone number (including temporary changes). It may be necessary to reach you quickly.
(4) INFORMING YOUR TEAM. Please inform us immediately if any of the following occur:
A. Your condition worsens.
B. You get better.
C. You have another accident, injury, complication or other illness.
D. You are hospitalized.
E. You go back to work or are discharged from treatment by your doctor.
F. You change doctors or go to another doctor or you are referred by your doctor to a specialist (please call us before you have your first appointment).
G. Any other circumstances occur that you think will affect your claim or your health.
(5) BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY. Discuss your case only with your attorney. Do not give information to anyone except your doctor(s), without your attorney’s approval.
(6) KEEP GOING TO THE DOCTOR(S). This is very important. Follow your doctor’s instructions and treatment and do not stop seeing your doctor(s) until discharged from further treatment. FAILURE TO OBSERVE THIS MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES TO YOUR CLAIM.
(7) TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS of all visible injuries that were caused by the accident, during the healing process.
(8) SOCIAL MEDIA PRECAUTIONS.
This information applies to all social networking sites, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Mashable, FourSquare, Reddit, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
We have seen an increase in electronic surveillance of these accounts and sites by the insurance companies, investigators and defense attorneys for purposes of embarrassing and humiliating claimants, and claiming that your injury was exaggerated or even caused by anything other than the incident related to your claim.
Insurance companies have successfully used such information, even those considered innocent, harmless joking between private “Friends,” to convince a judge and juries that plaintiffs have been dishonest.
Please always be aware that what you say or post, including photographs, in any format on your computer or internet may be brought into and affect your claim.
Also be aware that the insurance companies may be entitled to request all information contained within your home computers, laptop, hard drives, external hard drives, and other storage devices, including memory sticks and cell phones. They may also be able to ask a judge to grant them access to your social media pages or sites, even if you have the highest privacy settings established and they have not been able to access them to that point.
We cannot emphasize strongly enough how much these things have the potential to affect your claim, so please follow our advice:
1. Archive current account contents before deleting anything. Because destruction of potential evidence may create bigger problems than the information itself, it is important to preserve whatever you now have on your social media accounts. Most social media sites include directions for archiving.
For example, in Facebook, go to the down arrow (?) in the top bar, click on “Settings,” click “Download a Copy of Facebook Data,” then follow the directions to download an “expanded archive.” Save that and either email it to or put it on a CD or USB drive to send to our office. Other social media sites generally include comparable provisions for archiving. If that is too confusing, ask us to assist in archiving your social media.
2. Discontinue Using:
Consider taking down your Facebook or other social media pages and profiles entirely. If complete discontinuation of usage is impossible, weed out any “friends” who you do not know well in real life, remove (after archiving) anything that could in any way touch upon your injury or activities, and avoid posting anything about your activities.
3. Highest Privacy Settings:
If you won’t take down your social media pages and profiles, make sure your privacy settings are at the highest levels. This means making sure that only friends can see ANY of your information and NOT friends of friends or the general public.
4. Be Careful Who Your “Friends” Are:
Create Friend Lists which can help you further narrow what even you friends have access to. You can create lists so that only certain friends can see your photo albums and status updates. REMOVE ANY “FRIENDS” YOU DO NOT ACTUALLY KNOW, AND ONLY ACCEPT FRIEND REQUESTS FROM PEOPLE YOU ACTUALLY KNOW. Remove people you have as “friends” currently who are only acquaintances or people you don’t or barely know.
5. Make Yourself “Invisible”:
Remove yourself from Facebook search results by selecting “only friends” under search visibility in your profile settings. Remove yourself from Google by going to your Internet Privacy Settings and unchecking the box for Public Search Listing. Make comparable changes to privacy settings in all other social media.
6. Take Down Photos / Untag Yourself:
After archiving current content, remove all photos of yourself from social media pages other than a simple “head shot.”
7. Be Cautious:
Assume anything you write on your social media pages, including status updates, messages and wall postings, will at some point be seen by the defense lawyer(s), a judge and maybe a jury of people who don’t know you. Think about how things can be perceived differently than how they truly are, especially when taken out of context.
Be aware that Facebook’s new settings publish your interests, even if they are private.
1. Assume You Are Safe:
Sometimes “friends” can unintentionally pass along information to strangers who may be working on behalf of the defense lawyer or an insurance company. Sometimes “friends” can also have different interests, be mad at you and want to settle a score, or have a grudge and willingly disclose information to lawyers and insurance companies that will seriously hurt your claim.
2. Send Emails or Information Regarding Your Case:
Do NOT send emails to anyone except your lawyers regarding your claim and its progress, your health and activities. We have seen people absolutely destroy their case with careless emails.
3. Join Web-Chat Groups:
You do not own the information you post online, and it is highly searchable. Do not enter insurance websites, post on message boards, participate in or comment on blogs, go into chat rooms about insurance and claims-related issues. Do not create your own website or start your own blog about your experience.
(1) Talk to No One—Do not talk to anyone—in person or online—about your accident except one of the lawyers or investigators in our office. You should always require identification so that you are sure who you are talking to. Do not talk to your own insurance company; railroad claim agent; company representative; or any type of agent, attorney or investigator without first notifying our office so we can have these statements taken with one of our lawyers or investigators present.
(2) Your Doctor—You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and should always tell them about all your complaints. You should neither minimize nor exaggerate your ailments to your doctors. A doctor must know these things in order to properly treat you. If you plan to see any additional doctors, please advise us before you see them and tell us their names and addresses.
(3) Records—Please keep accurate and detailed records of the following:
a. Lost time and wages;
b. Hospital, doctor, drug and other medical bills;
c. Other losses directly resulting from your injury;
d. Your complaints and progress as set out in your “My Day” instruction sheet.
All your bills should be paid by check or you should obtain and keep receipts. Keeping such records may be very helpful when, a year later, you will be asked by the defense to recall your pain, difficulties and your expenses.
(4) Repairs—Do not have your automobile, boat, airplane, farm implement, piece of machinery, household item or other object that was involved in your accident repaired until we have had time to examine it; have it photographed; have it examined by an expert or impounded as we feel is necessary in order to preserve the evidence as needed for your case. If your case involves a product or instrument not in your control, please try to see that it is not repaired or disposed of until we have photographed it and had it examined by an expert, if necessary.
(5) Offenses, Fines or Disciplinary Action—Do not appear or give statements before: a traffic court; a coroner’s inquest; a Federal Aviation Agency investigating board; a railroad investigating agency; a union investigating agency; a maritime investigating agency; or any other type of disciplinary board, panel or other proceedings without first notifying this office in order that we might have one of the attorneys from this office be with you and represent you at such a hearing. The reason for this is to be sure that you do not prejudice yourself in the action in which we represent you.
(6) Witnesses—Immediately furnish us with the correct names, addresses and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses you may learn of. This includes fellow workers and My Day witnesses. If someone will be leaving the area permanently, please call us so we can take their deposition if necessary.
(7) Evidence—Give to your investigator the negatives and prints of any photographs pertaining to your case which you or any of your friends have taken. If you are required to be in the hospital and are receiving any type of treatment such as traction or physical therapy, please notify our office so that we can have you photographed by our investigator or one of the members of your family. If your injury requires a cast, a brace, traction, or other appliance, save the appliance for evidence in trial. You should notify us that you are keeping these items, and when the case is set for hearing, you should bring these items with you. Please contact your own insurance carrier or company for a copy of all their photographs and investigative materials on your case. Please talk to us about any evidence that you have or know the whereabouts of that may help us to prove your case. Save any physical evidence and discuss it with your lawyer and investigator.
(8) Hospital and Doctor Bills—Have your hospitalization insurance, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, pay as much on your bills as possible; also, consider any other carrier that may have the obligation to make such payments. Doctors and hospitals are more cooperative when their bills are paid. You should not expect them to wait until your case is tried or settled to receive payment. You should, therefore, pay any balance as soon as possible.
(9) Questions—We will probably not contact you until we have something definite to report. We will be contacting you for depositions, answers to interrogatories, and when your case is ready for trial. If you have any specific questions in regard to these instructions or any other matters in regard to your case, please feel free to call or write us, or come in and review your file. Please be patient and remember that many things will be done on your file without your presence. For everyone’s convenience, please do not come into the office expecting to see one of the attorneys or investigators without an appointment.
(10) Your contact information—Be sure to keep us advised of any change in your address, email or telephone number(s).
Insurance companies do not pay money willingly. The insurance company can be expected to thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident, the claim for medical treatment, and any past injuries or claims. The insurance company will obtain copies of all past medical records.
It will help your case to tell your attorney about any prior injury or prior pain to any parts of your body. Many good cases are lost by the injured person concealing or forgetting a previous injury.
You should be sure to furnish your attorney with the names and addresses of all doctors who have treated you in regard to your personal injury accident along with all medical bills, including prescriptions.
If you have not already done so, please provide the name and address of your employer.
If you have not already done so, please provide the face page(s) of any health insurance or automobile insurance policies that you have or if you are covered on your parents policies the face page(s) of such policies.
Insurance companies keep a record of any and all claims against any insurance company. The insurance company is sure to find out if you have ever made a previous claim, so it is very important to tell us about it at the beginning of your case. Surprises in court are bad.
Tell your local doctor all of your complaints. The doctor’s records can only be as complete as what you have told him.
Keep us informed of anything that in any way might affect your case. Certainly nothing should be signed without first consulting your attorney. Applications for insurance benefits, reports to the State, any change in doctors, returning to work, any change in treatment or when you are discharged from treatment should be reported to my office promptly.
Keep your attorney advised of any residence changes, telephone number changes, email changes, etc. or vacation or other times when you will not be available.
Communication: Once you have retained this office to represent you in regard to your personal injury accident we request that you do not communicate with the other driver or his/her insurance company except in regard to the property damage to your vehicle, not in regard to your personal injuries. Have them contact this office. You may communicate with your insurance company and answer any questions they may ask of you.
Property Damage to Your Vehicle: It is not the policy of this office to become involved in the property damage portion of your personal injury accident. This is usually handled by you and your insurance company or you and the other driver’s insurance company. However, if you wish to obtain two estimates on your car we will send the estimates to the insurance company for the property damage and this office will receive one-third of the amount recovered, or you may take care of the property damage yourself and keep all of the monies recovered.
Medical Bills: Insurance information should be provided to treating doctors, hospitals, etc. in the following sequence:
Your health insurance, e.g., employer, personal, i.e.,., or if you do not have personal insurance;
Auto insurance if you have medical payments (PIP in some states) provisions in your policy.
Costs/loans/advances: This office will advance costs for court filing fees, investigation, depositions, etc. in regard to your personal injury case, however, this office WILL NOT make any personal advances or loans prior to settlement of your case as it is unethical and against the _____ State Bar Rules to do so. If in case of dire need it becomes necessary to get a loan from a litigation finance company, talk to your attorney first. We may be able to introduce you to a company that has better terms than those you see advertising on TV.
Settlement: It usually take s along time to settle a major injury claim. In fact, it is dangerous to settle certain types of claims too soon because it often takes a long time for serious injuries to become evident. At the time of your settlement a breakdown will be made and the attorneys’ fees will be deducted from the gross amount, then liens and costs will be deducted giving the net total to you.