What is Great Bodily Injury or Significant Bodily Injury?

Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics


In regards to Great Bodily Injury or Significant Bodily injury, many wounds from blunt force trauma by themselves would not qualify as permanently disabling or disfiguring. The severity of the wound oftentimes is not as readily obvious as it might seem. Many lacerations bleed heavily, especially those in the head, and are not necessarily even large or severe. How much somebody bleeds from the wound should not be a determining factor in assessing damage. Other lacerations are small but cause permanent scarring due to their location.

Contusions, abrasions, and some lacerations will heal on their own without further intervention or complications. There is a risk for infection when the skin is broken but as long as it is treated appropriately there should be no complications. Tetanus is a potential complication when the skin is open but it is preventable and most people receive the vaccine so Tetanus is rare.

Each case is unique and must be assessed for risk of death or deformity to determine if SBI/GBI is a legitimate charge. The injuries that are commonly seen underneath these soft tissue injuries (such as fractures and organ damage) are a whole different matter.