A crush wound or injury is the result of a body part or your body being forcefully compressed between two hard surfaces. This can happen as an accident but when someone else is responsible for the negligent circumstances where you are hurt via a crush injury, you may be eligible to hold this person liable in court with a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim.
Causes of Crush Injuries
If you find yourself in serious pain and struggling to recover after you’ve been crushed between two or more heavy items, you have rights. Whether your accident happened as a result of someone else’s negligence on a jobsite or elsewhere, you may be entitled to file a legal claim for compensation.
You might suffer a crush injury in an industrial accident, for example, but one could also happen in a car crash. Regardless of the cause, the outcome can have a big impact on a victim’s life. Regular pain may ensue and a victim may never be able to go back to work.
When your muscle mass is compressed, the flow of oxygen and blood tissues is blocked which can lead to tissue death, also known as necrosis, within several hours. These injuries are most commonly caused by accidents in which an individual has been trapped in a piece of equipment or machinery, a slip or fall accident, a pedestrian or automobile accident or a transportation or industrial accident. Other causes could include natural disasters. A crush injury can often lead to bleeding, fracture, laceration, bruising, and loss of vascular integrity.
Certain employment occupations may be at higher risk of crush injuries. If you work in any kind of manufacturing plant or facility where large equipment is used, the risk of a crush injury is much higher. These machines are used to crush dense materials but if your body parts or your body ends up between these pieces, it could be crushed quickly. You may even suffer fatal injuries, thus warranting a wrongful death claim filed by your family members.
Complications Associated with Crush Injuries
Crush injuries may also carry a high risk of complications that can further delay your physical wellbeing and ability to recover. These include:
- Compartment syndrome which causes fluid to be taken up into your muscle cells within a tight compartment
- Acute kidney injury
Hyperkalemia can lead to arrest and arrhythmia.
Working directly with your doctor after a crush injury is important not just for addressing the underlying problems with your crush injury, but also for helping you in the event that you suffer a complication. A complication can add to your stress and derail your recovery, so it’s important to work with your doctor and report any changes in your condition immediately.
Damages and Compensation
Damages and compensation for a crush injury are likely in line with other types of legal remedies for all personal injuries. These damages may include:
- Compensation for any medical bills associated with the injury
- Lost wages due to your inability to go to work or to return to work after the injury happens
- Emotional distress which usually needs to be illustrated with psychiatric records
- Pain and suffering when you have sustained a significant injury
- Loss of consortium or companionship if you sustain fatal injuries
- Punitive damages awarded in situations where the liable party’s behavior is particularly reckless or egregious
Your personal injury attorney can tell you more about how your crush injury factors will influence the damages you may be eligible to receive. The severity of your injury and how much it impacts your future will reflect on the types of compensation you are eligible to receive.
Why Hire an Attorney for a Crush Injury?
Immediately after an accident happens, it feels like there are multiple things you are responsible for and this can be challenging to keep track of when you already are struggling with pain on a daily basis.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a personal injury attorney to help you with your crush injury claim is so that you can focus on healing and recovery as opposed to all of the stress and paperwork associated with the claim. An attorney plays a critical role in the development of your crush injury claim, whether this happened on the job or elsewhere.
If you file for workers’ compensation, for example, but there are also claims against a third party, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate this complex process. A personal injury attorney will also help to develop the strategy for your case to go to trial even in the event that it ultimately ends in settlement.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will have handled crush injury cases before and will give you the peace of mind that your best interests are at the forefront of his or her concern and strategy development.