If you have lost a hand, finger, foot, toe, etc., at work, then the chances are you have encountered a crush injury. A crush injury occurs when a particular body part is stuck in between two objects or parts of a machine. Usually, the pieces are so heavy that they crush the body part.
As defined by OSHA, crush injuries are ones which occur when a person’s body part or the person him or herself is squeezed, pinched, caught, or compressed between two moving or stationary objects. For instance, a worker who gets caught between two pieces of equipment like a hydraulic press. It can also mean that a worker who gets caught between the elevator and the ground floor when working.
Research into crush injury has shown that the vast majority of these injuries are owing to lax safety standards. That’s why employers in the United States are urged to follow OSHA’s safety standards. These help to reduce incidences of accidents at the workplace. However, if the employer has workplace insurance, it is the insurance company that makes sure that workers are kept safe using the best safety equipment. That said it is unfortunate that not all businesses have worker’s insurance, especially in states where it isn’t mandatory.
Crush injuries are common in many different lines of work like construction and manufacturing. Crush injuries are ranked amongst the notorious fatal four, which lead to deaths. The fatal four includes being struck by objects, falls, electrocution and being crushed.
Generally, crush injuries are common anywhere there is heavy machinery used. The result of these injuries are death many times, and often the loss of limbs or at least unbearable pain for the duration of the healing process. Some people sadly never completely recover.
Who can apply for compensation?
What to do and how to get paid?
Employees who have suffered from crush injuries may be looking at months if not years of recovery time. Crush injuries happen fast and can leave the person struggling to deal with it for years. That’s why seeking compensation is so important. Getting your due compensation will require:
- Informing your supervisor or boss in writing about the accident which caused you to get injured.
- File formal paperwork with the company to claim compensation within 21 days of the incident.
- Hire an attorney to ensure that all the required formalities are met and so you can focus on recovering while they handle information gathering and case submission.
- Make sure to keep track of all your medical bills and other related expenses so that you can get them reimbursed.
- Under no circumstance should you be compelled to accept anything less than complete and rightful compensation.
When to apply for compensation?
|Ideally, you’ll want to apply for compensation right away. The sooner you apply, the sooner it starts kicking in.|
|Apply for compensation once your doctor has determined the cause of your symptoms to be related to the crush injury.|
|After you have provided a written report to your employer informing them of the incident.|
What is important to know?
When the human body is subjected to the pressure exerted by two large objects the damage is nearly instantaneous. Extreme pressure can cause the muscle’s cells to suddenly cut the flow of blood to the tissue which leads to their death, i.e. muscle damage. Depending on the severity of the crush, i.e. the pressure the injury can range from minor muscle damage to extensive bone damage and even permanent amputation. In some cases, it can also lead to death.
There are many other conditions and injuries which can stem from a crush injury such as:
- Tissue damage
- Muscles damage
- Head injuries
- Nerve damage
- Amputation of limbs
- Crushed Bones
- Organ failure
A couple of examples of crush injuries include:
- Being crushed between two parts of a shifting, rolling or sliding object like a semi-truck or a dock wall.
- Crushed by a trench which caved in or a mine caving in.
- Getting sucked into a piece of heavy machinery.
- Getting stuck in between a hydraulic bed which may be lowering or even a hydraulic press.
- Being pinned by a heavy vehicle like a forklift, truck or car.
Crush injuries are a serious issue and can leave behind long-term debilitating issues. Thankfully, you can claim worker’s compensation which not only pays for the medical bills but also your lost wages. However, to do that it is strongly advised that you hire a professional attorney who specializes in compensation cases. The attorney will be able to handle everything required to ensure that you start getting compensation ASAP.