Car accidents can cause a variety of devastating wounds, but crushing injuries are among the worst. These injuries often cause tissue death, organ failure, and serious infections throughout the body. In some cases, they can even lead to amputations.
So what are crushing injuries and what makes them so deadly? Read on to learn more about these wounds and what sort of compensation you may be entitled to if you suffer one.
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What Are Crushing Injuries?
Your body is made up of layers of different structures that help to keep you healthy and moving. Your bones provide structure for your limbs, while your ligaments and tendons hold your bones together. Your muscles help you move your limbs, your blood vessels provide oxygen to the muscles, and your nerves send messages back and forth from your brain, allowing you to control those limbs.
As you might guess from the name, crushing injuries happen when a heavy object or traumatic force crushes part of your body. Not only can this cause damage to all those structures we just discussed, but it can smash them together. Bones can get fractured, nerves can get trapped or compressed, muscles can get crushed, and blood vessels can get severed.
How Do They Happen?
Crushing injuries can happen in a variety of ways. One of the most common causes is getting hit by some sort of vehicle, particularly if you’re not in a vehicle yourself.
Crushing injuries are a common consequence of pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents. The force of being hit or run over by a car can pulverize your body’s internal structures.
Workplace accidents also often result in crushing injuries. If a limb gets trapped in heavy machinery, it can result in this type of injury. Being run over by work vehicles, such as forklifts, can also cause crushing injuries.
As you might expect, crushing injuries can cause several serious health complications.
For one thing, if your blood vessels are crushed, getting these injuries to heal can be challenging. In order to heal properly, your limb needs blood flow, which is problematic if your blood vessels are damaged. Left untreated, this can result in tissue death.
Often, nerves get damaged in crushing injuries, which can result in loss of sensation or function. You may even wind up paralyzed in whatever part of your body suffered the injury – sometimes permanently.
Worst of all, crushing injuries can result in crush syndrome. When your body experiences tissue death, a lot of toxins get put into your bloodstream. Normally, your kidneys and liver are responsible for sequestering these toxins and expelling them from your body.
Unfortunately, when you experience tissue death on the level that often happens with crush injuries, your kidneys can get overwhelmed. They aren’t able to filter all the toxins out of your bloodstream, and they may eventually shut down. Left untreated, this can be fatal.
About half of all crush injury victims experience crush syndrome.
Although crush injuries are incredibly serious, there are several methods doctors can use to treat them. This treatment depends mostly on the location and severity of your crush injury. Mild crush injuries may just need some simple first aid to stop any bleeding and a few weeks to heal.
More severe crush injuries may require surgery. Doctors may try to reconstruct any bones that have been crushed or shattered, and they may try to repair any of the larger nerves or blood vessels that have been damaged.
Unfortunately, sometimes the damage to the structures of a limb is too extensive to be repaired, even by surgery. In these cases, your doctor may recommend amputation instead of a repair. Although this means losing the limb, it can keep you from dying from crush syndrome.
Compensation for Crushing Injuries
If you’ve suffered a crush injury in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation. There are three basic types of compensation you can get in a personal injury case.
Economic damages deal with losses that have a built-in financial value. Losses covered by this type of compensation can include medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning potential, and more.
Non-economic damages help to make up for losses that don’t have an inherent economic value. These losses can include pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and more.
Punitive damages are very rare to recover in a personal injury case because they come with a high burden of proof. You have to demonstrate that the defendant acted in an especially heinous manner during the accident, in which case punitive damages will be awarded as a punishment for them.
Get the Representation You Deserve
Crushing injuries can be devastating and incredibly dangerous, especially if left untreated. These injuries may damage all of the internal structures in your limbs, and the damage to your blood vessels can be especially problematic. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could need surgery or even amputation.
If you’ve suffered a crushing injury, the attorneys at Marzzacco Niven & Associates want to help. Our lawyers have over 120 years of combined experience and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Schedule a free consultation with us today and let Pennsylvania’s top-rated injury lawyers go to work for you. Call us at (717) 231-1640 to discuss the compensation you can seek for your crushing injury.