We have dealt with a number of personal injury cases where the accident victim has sustained a crush injury. A crush injury is defined as an injury to a body part that is compressed by two objects. This form of injury is common in serious accidents, including high speed motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents or when heavy objects fall on a person’s body part.
Crush injuries are relatively common in serious accidents. In fact, just recently, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reported that a homeowner was injured when part of a delivery of lumber fell onto his right foot causing a severe crushing injury settled prior to trial for $450,000.00. The 63 year old homeowner approached the driver at the rear of the delivery truck trying to ascertain why he was there. As the driver began to unload the delivery a wooden post struck the homeowner on the right foot.
These types of injuries can result in very expensive medical bills, lost time at work and wages, severe pain and suffering and, in some cases, permanent injuries.
Overview of a Crush injury
A crush injury results from great force that is put on a body part. This typically happens when part of the body is squeezed between 2 heavy objects. For example, we represented a man who worked on the back of a trash truck. His leg was crushed between the trash truck and a pickup truck when the pickup truck driver negligently backed into the trash truck. The result of this man’s leg being caught between the two objects (trash truck and the pickup truck) was a serious crush injury.
With any crush injury a condition known as “compartment syndrome” could appear. Fractures are often a cause of compartment syndrome. This syndrome is where the muscles and tissues are deprived of blood for too long a time after a crush injury. There is a strong likelihood that the nerves will become severely damaged along with possible muscle death. When compartment syndrome sets in the first sign is extreme pain followed by the tingling sensation of pins and needles that a limb experiences when it is asleep and then eventually paralysis of the limb. Once paralysis has set in the pulse will be nonexistent to the affected limb. Potentially devastating complications and long term consequences can occur if these injuries are underestimated or mismanaged. Given the fact that there is a high probability of morbidity associated with crush injuries, prompt and meticulous care is essential.
Also, given the complexity of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and tissues in the foot and especially considering the age and physical condition of an accident victim, a crush injury is highly likely to result in lasting complications. In the case of a major crush injury there is also the likelihood of a cutoff of the flow of blood in the damaged appendage leading to serious muscle and tissue damage as well as numbness and possible paralysis.
Treatment of Crush Injuries
With serious crush injuries immediate surgical intervention is often required. This is especially so when compartment syndrome has begun to set in or is inevitable. The surgical procedure is usually required to reduce or eliminate the pressure on the muscles and nerves. In the situation where compartment syndrome has set it and existed for an extended period of time, without prompt medical treatment, the accident victim may require amputation of the injured body part.
In a case our office handled, our client suffered, among other injuries, a severely comminuted right distal fibular fracture and a right leg crush injury. This client underwent six (6) separate operations over thirty days to repair his leg. This just goes to show how serious crush injuries are.
Speak With An Experienced Injury Lawyer Today
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has extensive experience handling personal injury claims that involve crush injuries. Serious crush injuries usually result in significant medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injury and resulting damages.
If you or someone you know suffered a crush injury in a serious accident, feel free to call us today at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to get a free case evaluation or answers to your questions.