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, but you can look for information on them in future newsletter editions!


This month’s criminal topic is Cuts and Bruises (Blunt Force Trauma). Topics covered are:

  • Bruises and dating of them (10/3/14)
  • Abrasions and Lacerations  (10/10/14)
  • Multiple Injuries (10/17/14)
  • Patterned Injuries (10/24/14)
  • GBI/SBI/Legal Implications (10/31/14)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here

Post navigation