A crush injury is a type of personal injury experienced when a body part is pressed between two heavy objects, or under a heavy object. Depending on the weight and force of exertion of the object, as well as the length of time the force is exerted, the resulting injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. The severity of the damage also depends on the body part(s) affected by the crush; for instance, a finger crushed in a vice versus a chest crushed by a vehicle would have very different outcomes. As a personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Attorney David Tapalian most frequently sees crush injuries caused by workplace accidents and car accidents.Occupations More Likely to Experience Crush Injuries
Worksite accidents can result from a wide range of scenarios, but jobs that require lifting heavy objects or operating large machinery are some of the most likely professions to result in a crush injury. Certain types of machinery are more likely to be involved in these dangerous incidents as well.
- Forklifts. Weighing thousands of pounds, a forklift can cause detrimental damage if the machine runs over a person or pushes a worker into another hard object like a wall. If an employee is not trained properly or operates heavy machinery in a reckless manner, such as not loading it according to weight regulations, harm can occur if the crate or package on the forklift topples off.
- Conveyer Belts. Workers need to keep up with the speed of moving conveyer belts or run the risk of getting their hands stuck between an object and the belt. Since many items are placed on conveyer belts at one time, hands and fingers can get stuck between the articles upon placement or removal. Other common crush injuries occur when a heavy object falls off a conveyer belt.
- Falling Objects. Rhode Island crush injuries caused by falling objects are, unfortunately, frequent occurrences in construction zones. For example, scaffolding that falls to the ground can swiftly crush an employee or passerby underneath its weight. Jobs that involve digging trenches or excavating, such as working in a mine, also have a greater likelihood of crush injuries due to the risk of heavy loads being manipulated and the potential of the load to fall on top of a person crushing them. If injured on the job in RI or MA, it’s important to seek legal help right away and contact a personal injury attorney experienced with workers compensation in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At Tapalian Law, we can discuss your eligibility to file a workers compensation claim to protect your rights after a worksite accident.
- Moving Equipment. Inexperienced equipment operators, or unmaintained machinery, are a hazard to both those using them and those in the nearby vicinity. Many types of heavy machinery can easily crush or critically harm a person. Examples of dangerous moving equipment include brake and punch presses and power shears.
Crush injuries are some of the most dangerous due to the number of associated risks including a high risk of infection, blood loss, and tissue or muscle damage. Injury caused by a crush is frequently accompanied by intense pain, bruising, swelling, and numbness. When trapped or squeezed under a heavy object, tissue and muscle damaged by a lack of blood can send toxins to other body parts increasing the potential for damage to the organs which can ultimately result in kidney failure. Any body part can be involved in a Rhode Island crush injury, and the extent and severity of your injuries is largely affected by the amount of force exerted, the length of the time of the exertion, and the body part upon which the force is exerted during the accident. Some common crush injuries include:
- Nerve Damage. Axons in the nervous system can be hurt during a crush injury, causing nerve damage that can affect the ability to perceive sensations such as touch.
- Amputations. In cases involving an extremely large object such as a heavy truck or SUV, the body part that is trapped underneath the vehicle may not be able to be removed from underneath it or is unable to be moved quickly enough to not cause further bodily harm. This may result in a need to amputate the affected limb. Other times the body part may be released from the pressure of the heavy object but may be too damaged to function without resulting in harm to the rest of the body and therefore, must be amputated.
- Head & Brain Damage. There are multiple ways the head or brain can be part of a crush injury. An object can fall from above, or a victim’s head can get stuck in between two heavy objects, such as in a motor vehicle collision. Serious harm to the head and brain can also occur if a person is knocked to the ground and run over by a heavy machine or automobile. Whether your crush injury happened at work or in a car accident, seek immediate medical help and contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney like David Tapalian who has over two decades of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after being hurt.
- Compartment Syndrome. Crush injuries can result in compartment syndrome during which you may lose a pulse near the body part crushed. This could also result in paralysis. Common symptoms include loss of sensation such as vibrations near the area, feeling excessive pain, and pale color of the body part in question.
- Death. With objects falling or moving at high speeds, as well as heavy equipment that can cause extreme force, the result can be fatal. If a family member’s cause of death was due to someone’s carelessness, speak to an experienced attorney to discuss your rights to file a wrongful death claim.
When experiencing any type of injury, it’s important to get medical help immediately. Then, consult with a highly qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. Attorney David Tapalian has over 20 years of experience focusing solely on personal injury law throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Tapalian Law offers personalized service and is available to our clients at all hours to discuss your questions or concerns. We always offer a free consultation and, if you hire our firm, Tapalian Law does not get paid until you win money for your claim. If you were injured in RI or MA, call us today at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to discuss how we can help you.