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Injury Meaning & Legal Definition

In its broadest use, “injury” is another term for harm. But in a legal context, the meaning of injury refers to harm that one party causes another party either by taking an action or by failing to take an action that they had a duty to take. When somebody sustains injuries because of the acts or omissions of another, the injured party has grounds for a civil tort lawsuit. In a civil tort lawsuit, an injured party (the “plaintiff”) seeks to extract compensation (or “damages”) from the party they allege to be responsible (the “defendant”).

When most people hear the word “injury,” it conjures up images of a person with physical injuries. While injuries often involve physical harm, they can also refer to reputation damage, loss of legal rights, and breaches of contract.

Physical Harm

Injuries frequently involve physical harm. One party sues another party in a civil tort case over injuries suffered. The field of personal injury law largely centers on cases involving physical harm. For instance, car accidents, slip and fall injuries, work accidents, defective products, dog bites, and more.

A plaintiff alleging physical harm typically seeks damages to compensate them for their economic losses, such as hospital bills, prescription medications, and time away from work, as well as for certain non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

Damage to Reputation

In a legal sense, reputational damage is a type of injury. And in a world more connected than ever through social media, lawsuits alleging damage to one’s reputation are becoming more common.

One example that appears in the news with increasing frequency involves business owners suing customers over negative online reviews. If a negative review contains information that is not true, the business could have grounds for a lawsuit against the person who posted it. This is because a negative business review can “injure” a business owner by smearing their reputation, potentially leading to lost income or insolvency.

Loss of Legal Rights

A party can cause injury by taking away the legal rights of another. For example, what happens when someone sends suggestive photos to a romantic partner, and the recipient later seeks to embarrass the sender by forwarding the pictures to others or posting them online? In many states, the recipient’s actions not only constitute a criminal offense but also leave them open to a civil lawsuit for violation of privacy.

Breach of Contract

An injury can result from one party breaching a contract made with another. If, for instance, a party prepays for goods or services from another party, and the other party fails to provide them as promised, the buyer can sue for damages based on a breach of contract.

Call 888-808-5977 to Schedule a Free Attorney Consultation With Newsome Melton

At Newsome Melton, our personal injury lawyers can help you fight for fair compensation after any type of injury. We offer a free consultation to sit down with you and evaluate the details of your case. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 888-808-5977.

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Product Liability Lawyer - Newsome Melton

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