Definition of INJURY


A wrong or tort. Injuries are divided into public and
private; and they affect the. person, personal property, or real

3. - 1. They affect the person absolutely or relatively. The
absolute injuries are, threats and menaces, assaults, batteries,
wounding, mayhems; injuries to health, by nuisances or medical
malpractices. Those affecting reputation are, verbal slander,
libels, and malicious prosecutions; and those affecting personal
liberty are, false imprisonment and malicious prosecutions. The
relative injuries are those which affect the rights of a hushand;
these are, abduction of the wife, or harboring her, adultery and
battery those whichaffect the rights of a parent, as, abduction,
seduction, or battery of a child; and of a master, seduction,
harboring and battery of his apprentice or servant. Those which
conflict with the rights of the inferior relation, namely, the
wife, child, apprentice, or servant, are, withholding conjugal
rights, maintenance, wages, &c.

4. - 2. Injuries to personal property, are, the unlawful taking
and detention thereof from the owner; and other injuries are, some
damage affecting the same while in the claimant s possession, or
that of a third person, or injuries to his reversionary interests.

5. - 3. Injuries to real property are, ousters, trespasses
nuisances, waste, subtraction of rent, disturbance of right of way,
and the like.

6. Injuries arise in three ways. 1. By nonfeasance, or the not
doing what was a legal obligation, or. duty, or contract, to
perform. 2. Misfeasance, or the performance, in an improper manner,
of an act which it was either the party s duty, or his contract, to
perform. 3. Malfeasance, or the unjust performance of some act
which the party had no right, or which he had contracted not to do.

7. The remedies are different, as the injury affects private
individuals, or the public. 1. When the injuries affect a private
right and a private individual, although often also affecting the
public, there are three descriptions of remedies: 1st. The
preveative, such as defence, resistance, recaption, abatement of
nuisance, surety of the peace, injunction, &c. 2d. Remedies for
compensation, which may be by arbitration, suit, action, or summary
proceedings before a justice of the peace. 3d. Proceedings for
punishment, as by indictment, or summary Proceedings before a
justice. 2. When the injury is such as to affect the public, it
becomes a crime, misdemeanor, or offence, and the party may be
punished by indictment or summary conviction, for the public
injury; and by civil action at the suit of the party, for the
private wrong. But in cases of felony, the remedy by action for the
private injury is generally suspendid until the party particularly
injured has fulfilled his duty to the public by prosecuting the
offender for the public crime; and in cases of homicide the remedy
is merged in the felony. 1 Chit. Pr. 10; Ayl. Pand. 592. See 1
MilesRep. 316, 17; and article Civil Remedy.

8. There are many injuries for which the law affords no remedy.
In general, it interferes only when there has been a visible bodily
injury inflicted by force or poison, while it leaves almost totally
unprotected the whole class of the most malignant mental injuries
and sufferings unless in a few cases, where, by descending to a
fiction, it sordidly supposes some pecuniary loss, and sometimes,
under a mask, and contrary to its own legal principles, affords
compensation to wounded feelings. A parent, for example, cannot
sue, in that character, for an injury inflicted on his child and
when his own domestic happiness has been destroyed, unless the fact
will sustain the allegation that the daughter was the servant of
her father, and that, by, reason of such seduction, he lost the
benefit of her services. Another instance may be mentioned: A party
cannot recover damages for verbal slander in many cases; as, when
the facts published are true, for the defendant would justify and
the party injured must fail. A case of this kind, remarkably bard,
occurred in England. A young nobleman had seduced a young woman,
who, after living with him some time, became sensible of the
impropriety of her conduct. She left him secretly, and removed to
an obscure place in the kingdom, where she obtained a situation,
and became highly respected in consequence of her good conduct she
was even promoted to a better and more public employment when she
was unfortunately discovered by her seducer. He made proposals to
her to renew their illicit intercourse, which were rejected; in
order to, force her to accept them, he published the history of her
early life, and she was discharged from her employment, and lost
the good opinion of those on whom she depended for her livelihood.
For this outrage the culprit could not be made answerable, civilly
or criminally. Nor will the law punish criminally the author of
verbal slander, imputing even the most infamous crimes, unless done
with intent to extort a chattel, money, or valuable thing. The law
presume, perhaps unnaturally enough, that a man is incapable of
being alarmed or affected by such injuries to his feelings. Vide 1
Chit. Med. Jur. 320. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition