Crushing injuries are among the most serious types of injuries you can sustain. Not only do these injuries come with a long and painful recovery, but there is also a high risk of complications that may lead to organ damage, amputation, and even death.
Many people who suffer a crush injury are left with permanent impairment and unable to return to their job or enjoy their hobbies.
After your accident, you may face difficulty recovering fair compensation for your injury. The insurance company may minimize the damages you have suffered, blame you for your injury, or find other ways to minimize or deny your claim.
What Is a Crushing Injury?
A crush injury happens when there is continuous and prolonged pressure on a large muscle or extremity. This occurs when part of the body is wedged or trapped between two objects. Crushing injuries can cause serious and life-threatening external and internal injuries such as:
- Ligament, muscle, and tendon tears
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Tissue necrosis
- Renal failure
Crushing injuries can be very traumatic and obvious, such as a crushing injury resulting from being caught in machinery. However, crush injuries do not always seem obvious.
For instance, a crush injury can happen in a car accident if a victim’s arm or leg is pinned for hours. This can cause damage to the muscle which is not immediately apparent. Crushing injuries can occur even without fractures or lacerations.
Compartment syndrome or CS happens when a structure like a tendon is constricted and causes a deep tissue injury. This leads to bleeding and swelling. Because the skin can only stretch so much, pressure becomes redirected inwards toward the internal structures and vessels of the extremity. This may cause metabolic acidosis and tissue necrosis.
Traumatic Rhabdomyolysis & Crush Injuries
This condition, also called “crushing syndrome” is a possible consequence of a crush injury. Rhabdomyolysis is a disorder caused by muscle injury in which muscle fibers die and release contents into the bloodstream. Rhabdomyolysis following a crush injury can cause serious and life-threatening complications such as kidney failure.
Symptoms of traumatic rhabdomyolysis may occur in one area of the body or the entire body. Classic symptoms include dark brown urine or decreased urination, muscle weakness and difficulty moving the limbs, and muscle pain in the lower back, shoulders, and thighs.
A non-fatal crushing injury that results in compartment syndrome or rhabdomyolysis may be serious enough to require amputation. When an extremity is crushed for a long time, blood flow to the area ceases and muscle and tissue death can be the result. If the injury isn’t treated promptly and the pressure can’t be relieved, amputation may be required.
Common Causes of Crushing Injuries
While most people think of earthquakes, mine collapse, and explosions when they think of crush injuries, many types of preventable accidents can also lead to crushing injuries. The following are some of the most common causes of crushing injuries in Houston.
Crush injuries often occur in serious traffic accidents. The most common location for a crushing injury is the leg which can happen when the legs are thrust under the steering wheel or dash.
Crush injuries also frequently occur with rollover accidents and crashes that cause the vehicle to crumple or compress, trapping the occupant in the car.
Any type of accident can cause a crush injury such as:
If you have suffered a crushing injury in an accident, contact Attorney Brian White & Associates today. An experienced Houston crush injury lawyer can help you investigate your accident and seek fair compensation from the at-fault party.
Work-related accidents are a leading cause of crushing injuries. Crush injuries can result in many ways including:
- A hand getting caught in machinery
- A vehicle running over a worker’s foot
- A worker being crushed between a tractor-trailer and a loading dock
- A structure that collapses on workers
- A falling load or object striking a worker
Construction workers face one of the most dangerous jobs in Houston. Accidents involving being caught in or between objects are one of the “fatal four” in the construction industry. In addition to fatalities, thousands of workers are left with debilitating non-fatal crushing injuries after construction site accidents.
On a construction site, a crush injury can be the result of anything from a forklift rollover accident, trench or building collapse, a machinery accident, or falling objects.
Most common in the workplace, machinery accidents can cause fingers, hands, and arms to become trapped in moving machinery parts. These accidents may cause traumatic amputation, but they can also lead to painful and debilitating crush injuries. Machinery accidents can be the result of machinery malfunction, a lack of safety guards, or inadequate protective gear.
Compensation Available for a Crushing Injury in a Personal Injury Claim
When you suffer a crushing injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation in one of two scenarios.
If your injury was work-related, you may be entitled to compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. This no-fault system allows you to recover benefits for medical costs and disability, but it is only available if your employer carries workers’ comp coverage.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or other negligent parties. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to potentially recover benefits not available through workers’ comps such as emotional distress and pain and suffering.
For other types of accidents, you may have a claim against a negligent party who caused your accident. This may be another driver, for example, or the manufacturer of faulty equipment you were using at home. You may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim for:
- Medical expenses related to your injury, including anticipated future medical costs
- Disability and lost or reduced future earning capacity
- Lost wages for time you needed to take off work
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
An experienced Houston crush injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options and explain the types of compensation you may be entitled to.
Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers For a Free Consultation
Have you suffered a crush injury in an accident? Crush injuries can result from everything from work-related accidents to traffic accidents and lead to serious and life-changing consequences. If your accident occurred on the job or was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation to help you pay for your damages.
Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC represents crush injury accident victims in seeking maximum compensation for their injuries. Our top-rated Houston personal injury lawyers have more than 45 years of collective experience, and we’ve helped accident victims and families recover millions in settlements and verdicts.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a Houston crushing injury lawyer who can help you.