What Is the Definition of Serious Bodily Injury? Serious bodily injury refers to injuries that may take a long time to heal or may never heal at all.

FL § 316.027 defines this type of injury as “an injury to a person … which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.”

An injury of this kind is more than a superficial or minor injury, which a person may recover from quite easily. Essentially, a serious bodily injury will either take a long time to heal or may never fully heal at all.

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What You Need to Know About Serious Bodily Harm

In some criminal cases, the legal term “serious bodily harm” may be used. In these cases, the legal team may want to distinguish from other types of harm—such as psychological damage or emotional harm. An intentional act or accidental injury can qualify as serious. A personal injury attorney can help you distinguish whether you suffered a serious injury under the law.

Examples of Serious Bodily Injury and Serious Bodily Harm

The laws for each state vary when it comes to defining serious bodily injury and serious bodily harm. In Florida, a serious injury is long-lasting and not short-lived. Some examples of serious bodily harm include:

You may have suffered another type of injury that could qualify as serious.

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Serious Bodily Injury in Criminal Cases

In criminal cases, serious bodily injuries may change the outcome of a ruling. For example, if a crime includes serious bodily harm to the plaintiff, it may cause misdemeanor charge to elevate to felony status.

For example, someone may be charged with a misdemeanor or battery. Yet, if the battery causes a victim serious bodily injuries, the defendant may face felony charges. Another example is if the defendant is charged with a DUI. A DUI could be a misdemeanor, but if there are any victims who suffer from serious bodily injury as a result of the related accident, the charge may be elevated to a felony.

Crimes that involve serious bodily injury can be punished as a felony crime and may result in prison sentences of at least a year, as well as fines. Punishments of this kind will vary depending on the bodily injury that was sustained and how the injuries occurred.

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We Can Help With Your Injury Case

A Fort Lauderdale bodily injury lawyer will be able to provide you with advice and can help you pursue damages from the party responsible for your serious bodily injuries. If you are currently in need of legal assistance, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733. We are happy to discuss your case with you during a free phone consultation.