Crushing Injury

Crushing injuries are often serious medical emergencies. They can be fatal, and they frequently result in permanent damage to the affected body parts. 

In the aftermath of a crushing injury, the victim can work with a personal injury attorney to recover compensation to offset the extensive injury costs, such as medical bills and lost wages

What Is a Crushing Injury?

Crushing injuries occur when a body part is compressed, or crushed, between objects. When a body part is crushed, it can result in extensive damage to multiple organs and tissues: 

  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Nerves
  • Skin
  • Blood vessels
  • Other soft tissues

After a severe crush injury, medical providers may not be able to restore the injured body part. When the damage is beyond repair, it may be necessary to amputate the injured area.

What Are Some Common Body Parts Affected by Crushing Injuries?

Crushing injuries can impact nearly any body part, but these are the most commonly affected areas: 

  • Arms 
  • Legs
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Torsos

Any crush injury can be life-altering. However, injuries to smaller body parts tend to have a lower impact on the injured person’s quality of life and earning ability. 

For example, a crushed toe can be a devastating event that results in reduced mobility and chronic pain. However, such an injury would have a far less profound impact than a crush injury that destroys a person’s arm or leg. 

The most devastating types of crush injuries are those that impact the head and torso. A crushing injury that affects the head is often instantly fatal. If the person survives, there’s a strong chance of severe, permanent brain damage

Crushing injuries that impact the torso can range widely in outcomes. Compression damage to the chest and abdomen brings a strong risk of affecting vital organs and the spinal cord. If the injury isn’t fatal, severe organ damage and paralysis are potential outcomes.

What Kinds of Accidents Can Cause Crushing Injuries?

Crushing injuries most often occur in accidents that involve a body part being trapped or pinned between two objects or between an object and the ground. Blunt force trauma and falling a long distance are other possible accident types that can result in a crush injury.

Some of the most common events that lead to the need for crush injury compensation include: 

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Falls
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction accidents

Workplace accidents, particularly those involving heavy machinery, are a leading cause of crush injuries. Industrial settings bring a high risk of a worker being pinned or trapped by heavy machinery or work equipment.

Motor vehicle collisions are another leading cause of these injuries. In a car accident, the victim may be trapped between parts of the vehicle or thrown from the vehicle and pinned to the ground. 

How Are Crushing Injuries Diagnosed and Treated?

A crushing injury requires emergency medical treatment. It’s often instantly apparent that a person has suffered a crushing injury, as the impacted body part will appear crushed or malformed. However, the only way to know with certainty that an injury is a crush injury is through diagnosis by a medical professional. 

Diagnosing a crush injury may require a combination of physical examination and imaging. A doctor might order one or more of these tests: 

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Neurological tests
  • Urine tests

Crush injury treatment typically begins with stabilizing any vital organs impacted by the accident. Damage to the heart, lungs, or other internal organs can quickly be fatal. Emergency medical providers will also focus on stopping blood loss and preventing the patient from going into shock. 

Once the patient is stabilized, the medical team will identify the best course of treatment based on which body part is injured and the severity of the damage. Most of these injuries require surgery. Steps during this surgery may include: 

  • Removing foreign material from the injury site
  • Attempting to repair damaged bones and nerves
  • Treating damaged tissue

While crushed bones and nerves might heal, they often don’t return to their original, pre-injury state. In other cases, if damage is bad enough, healing may not be possible. 

When trauma is severe, the medical team may recommend amputation to prevent tissue death and infection from spreading to healthy body parts.

What Is the Long-Term Impact of a Crushing Injury?

A crush injury can have a life-altering impact on the injured person. Even a crushed finger or toe can result in a lengthy healing process, with the need for physical or occupational therapy once initial treatment and recovery are finished. 

When a crush injury impacts a larger body part, the injury could have a devastating effect on the injured person’s finances and quality of life. The injured person may be permanently unable to return to work. They may also require assistive devices or attendant care, depending on which body parts were injured.

In addition to the financial and physical impact, a crush injury can also take a serious toll on the injured individual’s mental and emotional health. The loss of a functional body part, as well as the loss of earning ability and the ability to fully participate in family life, often necessitate the need for ongoing therapy or other forms of mental health support.

How Do I Recover Compensation After a Crushing Injury?

To recover compensation for a crush injury, a victim can work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience handling crush injury cases. When the injury was caused by another person or organization, a lawyer can help the victim recover compensation for losses such as: 

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages and benefits
  • Therapy
  • Medical devices
  • Attendant care
  • Pain and suffering

Crushing injury compensation can be substantial, especially in cases involving the loss of a limb. 

However, you have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri, and the time frame is even shorter when you’re working within the workers’ compensation system. It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Assessment

Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Assessment

Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is an award-winning St. Louis personal injury law firm. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and a long track record of success in even the most challenging personal injury cases. 

Look to our team to find skilled trial attorneys who don’t back down — we’re aggressive litigators, and we aren’t afraid to take your case to a judge and jury. We have recovered over $100 million for injured clients in St. Louis, and we’re ready to fight for you next. 

Contact our experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers today by calling (314) 444-4444 for a free consultation.