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Home > Personal Injury > Injury > Crush Injury

Crush Injury

Compensation claims for accidents involving crush injuries

A crush injury can affect any part of the body and occurs when excessive pressure or force is applied, squeezing the body or a body part between two heavy or immovable objects. For example a heavy object falling onto and trapping someone between the object and the floor.

A crush injury to a finger or hand may seem minor initially but, depending on the extent of the damage, it might be necessary for the digit or limb to be amputated.

If you or a member of your family have suffered a crush injury in an accident which was not your fault, you may be able to claim accident compensation. Ring Clear Answers on 0800 783 9019 to see whether you have a valid personal injury compensation claim. Or fill in one of our online accident compensation claim forms and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

Construction worker’s finger crushed by a weight

Our client suffered a crush injury while attaching a counter weight supported by a crane to the rear of a digger. When the crane, which was operated by a colleague, suddenly moved it caused the weight to lift up and trap his fingers against a toe hook attached to the digger.

More about Construction worker’s finger crushed by a weight

Crush injury news
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Please select one of the links below for more information about crush injuries and to see whether Clear Answers' solicitors can help you make a compensation claim.

Causes of crush injury

Crush injuries can happen in many ways and depending on the part of the body affected, and the extent of the pressure involved, can cause a range of injuries from fairly minor to extremely serious, and can sometimes even lead to a fatality.

Road accidents

All types of road users are vulnerable to crush injuries in road accidents.

Car drivers and passengers can be crushed inside the vehicle if it is in a collision, particularly collisions involving lorries or other large vehicles. Sometimes the force of the collision, or the speed of the vehicle, pushes it into a wall, a tree or other immovable object. The subsequent crush can trap the occupants.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are vulnerable to being hit by moving vehicles. In some cases they may be run over, and have parts of the body crushed. They may also be crushed between a vehicle and a wall and between vehicles.

Manufacturing, farm or construction machinery and vehicles

Crush injuries are common in accidents involving farm vehicles such as tractors, and in the construction industry involving machines like diggers.

Machinery such as balers or heavy machinery used in manufacturing, can all cause crush injuries if hands or legs are caught in the moving parts. Typically this happens when machine operators are trying to free blockages, or operate machines without the guards that should prevent hands and fingers becoming trapped.

Fork-lift trucks are also dangerous if not operated correctly and safely, and fatal accidents happen every year.

Objects which are heavy or awkward should be moved using appropriate equipment, but occasionally an element of manual handling is the only method suitable. Care needs to be taken to ensure the object does not tip or fall during the move, crushing a worker.

Unsafe loads on lorries can also cause serious injuries, even fatal injuries. Loads can shift during the journey, slipping, or falling off the lorry when workers try to offload.

In any work environment, it is vital that separate routes are designated to keep pedestrians separate from any moving vehicles.

Falling objects

Objects falling from a height can cause crush injuries to anyone below. A heavy object even from a low height will be enough to cause serious injury, but a fairly light object can also cause injury if falling from a great height. In the workplace, although steel capped boots, (Personal Protective Equipment) can give some protection to feet, and hard hats give some protection to the head, crush injuries to other parts of the body are difficult to prevent if workplace procedures are not robust.

Building collapses

Although you might expect this type of accident to happen only in the construction industry, weak or damaged structures can fall without warning anywhere, even when you are walking down the street. Although not common, the injury can be extremely serious if the fall involves a substantial amount of masonry, concrete or other building materials.

Windows and doors

Windows and doors can cause a crush injury if they close unexpectedly or quickly. A window dropping onto fingers can cause serious injury, particularly to children. Doors can close unexpectedly or may be too heavy to prevent them closing, again particularly by children.

Schools and nurseries are required to ensure that windows and doors are safe by fitting soft closures.

Animal accidents

Large animals such as cows and horses, merely because of their size and weight, can cause serious crush injuries if they fall onto you, or push you against a wall. Horseriders are also at risk of a crush injury if they fall and are trapped beneath the horse.

Crowd control

Crowds can gather for many reasons, such as protests, marches, entertainment events, or just busy shopping centres. If they are not correctly managed, too many people in one area can cause a swell and you could be crushed against walls or other people, or even trampled on if you are unfortunate enough to lose your footing in the crush.

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Types of crush injuries

Crush injuries can present a range of injuries depending upon which part of the body was involved, and the force of the pressure applied. Ranging from relatively minor bruising or skin damage, through to extremely serious injuries resulting in disability, and even death.

Head and brain injury

A crush injury to the head can cause problems such as memory loss, speech impairment, and an increased risk of epilepsy. Brain damage can affect all aspects of life and may result in paralysis.

Paralysis

If you suffer a crush injury to the torso and your spine or spinal cord is affected, it could result in paralysis. This is a compression fracture and may be temporary but can sometimes lead to permanent disability. Paralysis can also result from brain damage.

Compartment syndrome

When tissues, nerves and blood vessels are damaged, pressure can build up. This can seriously affect circulation within the limb, so surgery is usually required to relieve the pressure.

Crush syndrome

It is important that a person who is being crushed is released as quickly as possible. Extended pressure can cause muscle tissue to break down causing toxins to build up. When freed, the toxins circulate around the body and can cause clinical shock or kidney problems, which can be life-threatening.

Broken bones

Broken bones suffered in a crush injury may be more serious than a simple fracture. Often they will be severely crushed or may fracture into many pieces, called a comminuted fracture. Splinters can lead to more serious internal injuries if they pierce organs or major arteries, blood vessels or nerves. If the bone pierces the skin causing an open fracture, this also raises the risk of infection. In the worst case, the bone may be so badly damaged that the only treatment is an amputation.

Other injuries which can occur include muscle, tendon and ligament damage when the tissues below the skin are injured, and which may affect use of joints and limbs. Nerve damage can also occur causing a loss of sensation or movement. Layers of skin may be lost if the skin is split or bursts open.

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Crush injury news

Clear Answers personal injury lawyers deal with a large number of crush injury cases each year. Below is just one example of a successful case that we fought for compensation for a client who suffered a crush injury. To view the full story click on the links or you can visit our Personal Injury News Section to view these stories and other successful personal injury compensation claims that Clear Answers solicitors have been involved in.

Road accident at work causes broken ankle and crushed foot

Our client suffered personal injury in an accident at work when a colleague ran over his foot whilst driving a company vehicle. He asked for our advice on bringing a compensation claim for work accident compensation and we were able to secure a significant sum in work accident compensation for this life-changing accident.

During the process of making this compensation claim for a personal injury at work, the defendant, our client’s employer, admitted liability and our work accident lawyers were able to secure an interim payment of several thousand pounds.
More about Road accident at work causes broken ankle and crushed foot

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Making a claim for accident compensation for a crush injury

If you or a member of your family has suffered a crush injury in any type of accident, it is vital that you seek specialist advice as quickly as possible. Clear Answers’ specialist personal injury lawyers can give guidance and assistance on whether it is possible to make a claim for accident compensation and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal injury claim.

If you would like Clear Answers to help you receive the accident compensation to which you are entitled, please telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete our online accident compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible to discuss the circumstances of your accident and injury.

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