Why Crush Injuries Are Serious

Crush injuries occur when a heavy object lands on a person and crushes a body part. The heavy weight damages not only bones and nerves but also skeletal muscle. The results are devastating. At Correll Law Firm, our personal injury lawyer is available to help anyone hurt in an accident seek financial compensation. Crush injuries and their complications often make it impossible for victims to handle their own cases. Give our law firm a call to speak with our personal injury lawyer about your injuries.

What Accidents Cause Crush Injuries?

Any traumatic accident could lead to a crush injury, including:

  • Car accidents. A person could be lodged underneath a car, with the heavy weight pressing on them, resulting in bodily injuries.
  • Truck accidents. Trucks are even heavier than cars, and a person could be pinned under a wheel or under cargo that spills from the back of a truck.
  • Motorcycle collisions. Motorcyclists often end up sliding under the vehicle that hit them, where they become pinned until someone rescues them.
  • Premises liability accidents. Crush injuries can occur when a wall or ceiling falls onto a person.
  • Defective products. Heavy pieces of furniture could topple over, like a bookcase or dresser, which is unstable. Young children in particular can get trapped underneath heavy furniture which collapses onto them.
  • Workplace accidents. Working with heavy equipment or materials leads to many accidents where a body part is caught in a machine or under material. Imagine a forklift overturning and landing on a worker. We see many crush injuries in the construction trades.

Almost any accident could lead to crush injuries. Please tell your medical provider if a heavy weight was on top of you for an extended period.

Why Crush Injuries Are Deadly

Many traumatic accidents leave people with serious injuries. Think of broken bones, lacerations, and nerve damage. However, crush injuries are unique. In many ways, these are the worst injuries a person can suffer.

A heavy weight will cause skeletal muscle to break down under pressure. The disintegrating muscle then releases certain toxins into a person’s bloodstream. This process is called rhabdomyolysis.

Disintegrating skeletal muscle can release myoglobin, which is a protein that is harmful to a person’s kidneys. Consequently, they can suffer acute kidney injury, which might be fatal.

Other crush injury victims will experience hyperkalemia, which occurs when potassium levels rise to a dangerous level in the bloodstream. Crush injuries release a large amount of potassium from damaged cells, precipitating a heart attack (cardiac arrest).

Dealing with Amputation & Disability

One way of preventing death is to amputate a limb before hyperkalemia or rhabdomyolysis escalates. Your physician might make a conscious choice to amputate to prevent the release of toxins into the rest of your body. This is a big step, but it might be necessary to protect your life.

Other victims experience compartment syndrome with a crush injury. This refers to excessive swelling in a body part, which ends up restricting blood flow to the area. Without enough blood and oxygen, tissue will die and an accident victim can suffer irreversible disability.

Depending on the accident, a victim might also deal with paralysis, especially where a heavy weight lands or rests on their torso. The vertebrae in a person’s back might crack or shatter, and pieces can nick or shred a person’s spine. Loss of sensation and even paralysis below the point of impact might occur. Spinal cord injuries are difficult to rehab, and you might have permanent paralysis when the cord is cut into two.

There is also the emotional component to these injuries. Our clients can struggle emotionally after losing a limb. According to one study, about 14% of amputees reported experiencing depression 18 months after amputation. Others will deal with increased anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychological injuries like these often require behavioral therapy, mental health counseling, and prescription medication. They also cause strain on our clients’ families.

Compensation for a Crush Injury

Anyone suffering a crush injury needs an attorney who understands how to evaluate them. Our personal injury lawyer can request compensation for all past medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering.

But anyone with an amputated limb will have ongoing expenses, even after they settle a claim. It is possible to include these future losses into a settlement:

  • Future medical care. You might need stump surgery or new prosthetics moving forward. The person responsible for the accident should pay for this future medical care. Some victims are so disabled they’ll need at-home help for the rest of their lives.
  • Future income loss. Few victims can head right back to work after injury. Instead, ongoing disability (like amputation) means they might need to get a new job, or they might never work again. For example, someone who loses part of their leg probably cannot work in a job requiring them to stand for hours. Our clients deserve financial compensation for this loss of future income.
  • Future pain and suffering, along with emotional distress. Crush injuries irreversibly change lives. Unlike a simple fracture, a person doesn’t quickly return to “normal” in any sense of the word when they are partially paralyzed or lose a limb. You deserve compensation for the ongoing pain and suffering you will endure.

How much can you request? Work closely with a personal injury lawyer at Correll Law Firm. We need to prove future, anticipated losses with reasonable certainty. We can’t simply guess or speculate. Our firm can work with medical experts to gauge the likely expense of future medical care, along with your chances of returning to work.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney

Anyone suffering from catastrophic injuries deserves an attorney who is fully dedicated to their wellbeing. At Correll Law Firm, our founder opened our firm to help people like you obtain compensation after a serious accident. The process of negotiating a claim is time-consuming and full of pitfalls. No one should ever handle their own claim, because insurance companies are rarely eager to make fair settlement offers. Instead, call our office, 540-535-2005, to speak with our personal injury attorney about your case.