Ohio Catastrophic Injury & Product Liability Lawyer Reviewing Crush Injury Accidents
A crush injury usually occurs as a result of a limb being caught between two objects–e.g., pinned between town machine parts–and can result in permanent disability, disfigurement, and death. Often there is damage beneath the skin that can cut off blood flow and increase the risk of infection and permanent damage to the skin.
Common Causes of Crush Injuries
Crushing injuries often result from accidents that are caused by careless conduct of others at the workplace. Many injuries are born of motor vehicle crashes, forklift accidents, dropped objects at a work site and contact with machinery that has not been maintained or fitted with safety guards. Other types of injuries are the result of the following:
• Farming Equipment Accidents
• Vehicle Accidents—drivers and passengers in cars, trucks or forklifts
• Crane accidents
• Collapsing or falling construction materials—laborers are exposed to crushing injuries when materials such as bricks, planks, tools and equipment fall from heights.
• Warehouse accidents—warehouse, dock and moving company workers often suffer crushed body parts from skids, boxes or furniture being dropped or pressed against them.
• Industrial Equipment defects—fingers, hands, wrists and arms are frequently are caught in the moving parts of machines at work. Many of these accidents are preventable if the machine is properly fitted with safety guards and an emergency stop device.
Common Types of Crush Injuries
A crushing injury can result in serious and debilitating internal and external injuries, including bleeding, bruising, broken bones, muscle and ligament tears, nerve damage and, in the most severe cases, death. The most serious injuries caused include:
• Scarring and disfigurement
• Bone fractures
• Secondary infection
• Crush Injury Syndrome
• Compartment Syndrome—caused when the nerves and blood vessels are compressed within an enclosed space, leading to muscle and nerve damage.
• Rhabdomyolysis and Kidney Damage
• Head and brain injury
Crush Injury Lawsuits
The legal options will depend on what caused the injury. In any case, these injuries are generally, too serious for the injured party to negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement without an attorney. The interplay of damages caps analysis, subrogation, and future life care require the attention of an attorney.
Vehicle Accident: if the case involved a vehicle accident, there is typically insurance available to compensate the injured party. However, often individual vehicle insurance policies will not be sufficient to fully compensate the victim. In those cases, it may be necessary to find additional defendants that contributed to the accident sequence and can therefore contribute to compensating the injured party.
Product Liability: Where the injury was caused by a defective product, the litigation path is much more expensive and complex. The attorney will need to evaluate the viability of the defendant and cost to prove the case through expert testimony.
Product liability cases can be some of the most expensive types of litigation, but where there is a viable defendant and an injury that requires extensive compensation, the cases should be evaluated carefully to determine if a defective product caused the crush injury.
Industrial Accidents: Many crush injuries are a result of a limb being trapped or pinched between two machinery parts. The first step is whether the case is limited to Worker’s Compensation.
This analysis requires a deep understanding of Employer Intentional Tort law which has become more difficult in recent years, but is not insurmountable. Often the case requires a removal of an equipment safety guard or a knowing violation of an OSHA regulation to move past a motion for summary judgment.
Crush Injury Settlements
Depending on the severity of the crushing injury, a victim may be left with temporary or permanent damage or disfigurement. Ongoing medical treatment may be required, including surgery, rehabilitation and medication. A victim may be unable to work for long periods—weeks or months. In many cases, victims may be unable to work again at their full physical capacity.
Too often, worker’s compensation and insurance policies will not be sufficient to fully compensate the victim. Depending on a few factors, however, the case may not be limited to Worker’s Compensation. In some cases, direct parties that contributed to the accident will be held responsible for further compensating the injured party.
There may be gross employer negligence, for example, if an equipment safeguard is removed. Accidents may also be the result of defective equipment, in which case investigation will determine if there is a product liability claim.
If you need legal assistance following a a crush injury and have questions related to the root cause, legal options, or ways to improve quality of life and care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm.
Mr. Lyon is familiar with the medicine of crush injuries and has worked alongside medical professionals and vocational experts to prepare full damage analyses to compensate the Plaintiff following these devastating injuries.
While we can’t accept every case, we strive to provide answers to the difficult questions for every client. Call (800) 513-2403 to speak directly with Mr. Lyon.