CRUSHED: Determining the value of catastrophic compression injuries
Compression injuries are a broad set of life-changing blunt force traumas in which body parts or the entire body are compressed – smashed.
Compression injuries can include:
- Bone fractures
- Damaged organs, including the brain
- Damaged blood vessels
- Compressed body parts, such as hands and feet
- Severe bruising
- Damaged nerves
The transfer of energy from machine to human being
Think of a compression injury as an energy transfer: the energy of a speeding car, for instance, is transferred into living tissue. The tissue is stretched beyond its natural tolerances.
The body is not designed to sustain this level of energy flow. It will not heal without advanced and costly medical intervention.
Causes of compression injuries
In our practice, we work with numerous clients who experience serious compression injuries. The injured party falls from a rooftop. People are caught between heavy objects, such as parked cars. They are in a motor vehicle crash. Debris falls on them in an earthquake or building collapse. A heavy object falls from a height, as at a construction site. Elevators fall. Construction and digging sites cave in.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) describes an entire class of injuries as “caught-between” accidents, as when a worker is pulled into or caught in machinery or excavation cave-ins. They result from crane and scaffold fallings, agricultural combine accidents, collisions with heavy equipment, and machines such as stamping machines or car crushers that are designed specifically to reduce mass.
Common outcomes of a compression accident are amputation, blood clotting and secondary infections. Also common is complex surgical repair, in which flattened tissue is reconstructed so that the reengineered body can resume lost function.
Another aspect of compression injuries is psychological trauma. People often must learn to live with chronic pain, loss of function and lack of feeling. Understandably, deep depression can develop.
Many of these injuries are fatal, and can lead to a wrongful death suit. Emotional trauma is also compensable.
Benefits you are entitled to
Injured construction workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include payment of medical expenses, and replenishment of some lost wages.
You also may seek extra, “third-party” compensation if a party other than your employer was negligent. This is a good option when multiple subcontractors work alongside one another at the same site.
People suffering compression injuries in a car accident, or who are injured in a store or place of business, can file a lawsuit for rightful compensation.
Compression injuries are very serious, and the law firm of Rose Klein & Marias LLP is a leader is seeking and obtaining compensation for these and other catastrophic events. Meet with a qualified Los Angeles catastrophic injury attorney from our firm at no charge or obligation to learn the maximum value of your case.