How To Claim Compensation For A Crush Injury

In this guide, we will examine how to claim for a crush injury. If an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence has led to a part of your body being crushed, then you could be eligible to receive personal injury compensation. 

It can be difficult to know what steps to take when making a claim. However, we are here to offer guidance. We endeavour to avoid any complex legal terminology and explain things as simply as possible. If you have any issues or questions about your crush injury claim, then get in touch with us.

Crush injury guide

Crush injury guide

The more information we have about your injury and how it was sustained, the more accurately we’ll be able to assist you. Everybody will need information that’s tailored to their circumstances. So, by reaching out to us, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of fully understanding your situation.

Not only can you speak to us over the phone, but there are other ways you can speak with our advisors. If we believe you could have a valid crush injury claim, we may connect you with one of our expert personal injury lawyers.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claiming For A Crush Injury
  2. What Are Crush Injuries?
  3. What Are The Causes Of Crushing Injuries?
  4. Crush Injuries Caused By Road Traffic Accidents
  5. Crush Injuries In The Workplace
  6. Crushed By A Falling Object
  7. Finger And Hand Crush Injuries
  8. Symptoms Of Crush Injuries
  9. Compartment Syndrome
  10. Complications Of A Crush Injury
  11. Treating Crush Injuries
  12. Calculating Crush Injury Compensation Claims
  13. Additional Damages
  14. No Win No Fee Claims For A Crush Injury
  15. Contact Us
  16. References
  17. FAQs About Crush Injury Claims

A Guide To Claiming For A Crush Injury

Simply being injured is not enough to make a personal injury claim. Your circumstances must meet the following conditions in order to be compensated for your crush injury.

This is the case regardless of whether you sustained your injury using machinery and equipment in the workplace, in a road traffic accident or another setting entirely. We’ve listed these criteria below:

  • There was a duty of care There must have been someone who had a legal obligation to keep you safe. For example, your employer has a duty of care towards you, meaning they must take reasonable steps to reduce risks in the workplace. Similarly, road users must follow the rules laid out in the Highway Code as they all have a duty of care to one another.
  • This duty of care was breached- This is when the person responsible for your injury either ignored or did not fully adhere to their duty of care.
  • An injury occurred – If you are not injured as a result of a breach of duty of care, you cannot make a personal injury claim. However, you can claim for both psychological and physical injuries.

What Are Crush Injuries?

A crush injury is an injury resulting from prolonged compression. This could be caused by something such as falling objects hitting a part of the body. 

A crush injury can cause a number of different repercussions which can range in severity. If your torso is crushed, this could lead to organ damage. Crush injuries could also break bones, and if the damage is extensive enough you might need to undergo an amputation.

Almost any part of the body is vulnerable to this kind of injury. However, limbs and extremities can be more at risk. Some workplaces, like in the manufacturing industry, can carry more risks because of the increased use of heavy machinery and other specialist equipment.

What Are The Causes Of Crushing Injuries?

A crush injury is usually caused by a high-impact collision. As mentioned above, these can take place in a number of scenarios.

For example, a crush injury might occur because:

  • You’re in a car crash and are crushed between two colliding vehicles
  • Something heavy falls on you and crushes you
  • You’re crushed by machinery that you use for your job
  • Your fingers or hands are trapped in a door jamb

Below, we will take a closer look at the kinds of accidents that could lead to crush injuries.

Crush Injuries Caused By Road Traffic Accidents

Motor vehicles are often heavy and can travel at high speeds. This means that if you are hit, you are at risk of sustaining a crush injury. Depending on the angle that you’re hit from, you could sustain injuries to your arms, legs, fingers, or even ribs.

It’s not only bones that can be damaged due to being crushed. Crush injuries can also cause damage to the surrounding soft tissue.

All road users should follow the guidance set out in the Highway Code. This includes things like abiding by the speed limit, following road markings and ensuring that you are in a fit state to drive. Failure to do so could cause an accident leading to a crush injury.

In addition to this, some workplaces may also require the use of specialist vehicles such as forklift trucks. If the people who operate these trucks are not properly trained then they could injure themselves and others. Inadequate training is an example of employer negligence.

Crush Injuries In The Workplace

When working in the manufacturing and construction industries, there are many pieces of machinery and equipment that you might need to use to carry out your role. This machinery can malfunction or not be in a fit state for use due to a need for repairs.

If you need to use this equipment, then it is your employer’s responsibility to make sure it is safe for you to do so. Malfunctioning machinery could lead to a number of events that could cause a crush injury at work.

For example, a part of your body could become trapped, but the machine continues to function. Not only could this lead to parts of your body being crushed or even severed, but it could also result in a fatal accident.

Crushed By A Falling Object

This could happen in a number of places to both employees and members of the public. For example, supermarkets may have heavy items on high shelves. If the shelves are not properly secured, then they could collapse and send the heavy items falling to the ground. If there are people in the way, then they could be injured.

The person in control of a public space is referred to as the “occupier”. They have a duty of care to members of the public who use the space. They should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the space is safe to use. This is outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

Finger And Hand Crush Injuries

Fingers and hands can be trapped in doors. Things like soft-closure devices and using techniques to limit access to the hinges can help to prevent this from occurring.

The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that those in control of public spaces need to make allowances that children using the space might be less conscious of their own safety than adults, and steps should be taken to prevent them from being injured.

If, for example, a child crushed their finger in a door that slammed shut, this may be an example of negligence. It could be that the occupier of the space could have been reasonably expected to install a soft-close device to prevent this from happening. If this is the case, you may be able to claim.

Symptoms Of Crush Injuries

Minor crush injuries may only bring with them minor symptoms. They may be initially quite painful and cause some swelling, but a full recovery could be made if there are no further complications. 

The symptoms may include:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Cuts and lacerations

Higher-impact crushes that last for longer periods of time can have more serious consequences. The symptoms can be more severe and can last for longer. Symptoms of these more extreme crush injuries can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Damage to several layers of skin
  • Severe bruising
  • Open wounds
  • Damage to the muscles and other tissues
  • Compartment syndrome

All injuries following an accident like this should be looked at. Even small cuts could lead to infections in serious cases. 

Read on to find out more about compartment syndrome, or speak to our team for more information on claiming.

Compartment Syndrome

Every group of muscles in the body is separated into compartments by tissue called fascia. Following trauma such as a crush injury, one of these compartments may suffer from isolated bleeding or swelling. This is known as compartment syndrome.

Whilst this condition is more often associated with limbs and extremities, it can take place in any muscle compartment in the body. There are two main categories that the syndrome can be sorted into.

Acute Compartment Syndrome

This is usually after a severe injury such as a fracture. If you exhibit symptoms of acute compartment syndrome then you should seek medical attention immediately. It is a medical emergency and can cause permanent damage to the muscles if left untreated.

A surgical procedure known as an emergency fasciotomy will be carried out to treat acute compartment syndrome. This is when an incision is made in the tissue that surrounds the affected compartment. The pressure is relieved as a result.

Chronic Compartment Syndrome

This will usually occur during or after exercise of a repetitive nature, and the onset will be more gradual. Additionally, this doesn’t count as a medical emergency. The symptoms will usually subside within minutes of rest and don’t cause lasting damage. However, it can be a good idea to be looked at by a medical professional just to be sure.

Some physiotherapy or anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed in some cases. If the symptoms persist, then surgery may be considered.

Complications Of A Crush Injury

Crush injuries can lead to some very serious complications. Not only can the physical pain be extremely severe, but injuries that aren’t immediately visible can cause damage long before they’re detected. #

For example, you could suffer from internal bleeding. This can damage organs or even stop them from working entirely.

Another extreme example is avulsion, otherwise known as “degloving”. This is when the skin is separated entirely from the injured area. This can expose the tissue underneath to infection and might lead to severe, permanent scarring. 

Immediate surgical intervention is often needed in both of these cases. If you would like to know more about the process of claiming for an injury like this, speak to our team today. 

Treating Crush Injuries

The treatment administered for a crush injury will depend on how severe the damage has been. In the case of a minor injury, you may just require stitches, or perhaps a bone fracture to be set so that it can heal properly.

More extreme cases may require more extensive treatment. Emergency surgery, reconstructive procedures, and physiotherapy may all be required to give you the best chance of recovery. 

Calculating Crush Injury Compensation Claims

When calculating how much a personal injury claim can be worth in compensation, there are a number of figures to consider. Firstly, let’s discuss the matter of general damages.

This amount is what’s awarded to you to account for your injuries, both physical and psychological. It’s calculated by legal professionals with the assistance of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a publication that’s made up of a list of injuries and how much they could be worth in compensation.

As part of your claim, you will be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert. This expert will assess your injuries and how they have impacted you, as well as confirm that they are consistent with the accident you experienced. Their findings will be detailed in a report which will be used to value your claim.

We’ve included a small selection of compensation brackets from the JCG in the table below. From this, you’ll be able to get a rough idea of how much certain injuries can be worth. 

InjuryDescriptionAmount
Post-traumatic stress disorder(d) Less severe - where almost a complete recovery is made within 1-2 years. Symptoms that persist will only be minor£3,710 to £7,680
ShoulderClavicle fracture£4,830 to £11,490
Arm(a) Severe - in these cases, the injury will be extremely serious but will just fall short of the need for amputation£90,250 to £122,860
Arm(b) Fractures to one or both forearms that result in lasting disability or a cosmetic or functional nature£36,770 to £56.180
Arm(d) Simple forearm fractures£6,190 to £18,020
Wrist(b) An injury that results in a permanent disability of a significant nature, but some useful movement will remain£22,990 to £36,770
Wrist(d) Where the recovery from a fracture or soft tissue damage takes longer, but a full recovery is madeRarely exceed £9,620
Hand(b) Both hands will be seriously damaged£52,310 to £79,360
Fingers(u) Severe dislocation£3,710 to £6,360
Leg(b) Severe - (i) Most serious short of amputation£90,320 to £127,530

Get in touch for more information on your specific injury and what you could be awarded. We could offer you a no-obligation assessment of your claim after just a quick phone call. 

Additional Damages

There are other figures that can be included in your crush injury compensation. These are made up of things you have had to pay yourself, but wouldn’t have had to if it weren’t for your injuries. These are called special damages. We’ve included some examples below:

  • Loss of earningsif you miss time at work because of your injuries then you could miss out on wages. You could be reimbursed for this loss.
  • Medical bills – for example, you may need to cover costs for prescription painkillers or specialist treatment that isn’t available for free on the NHS.
  • Travel costs- You might have had to pay to get to and from medical appointments. This could be reimbursed.

Keep in mind that you must have proof that these expenditures took place, and that they were caused by your injuries. Without evidence, it becomes far less likely that you’ll be able to claim back these expenses.

For more information on special damages, including what else can be considered eligible for reimbursement, get in touch with our advisors today. They can also help you collect evidence to support your claim. 

No Win No Fee Claims For A Crush Injury

All of our lawyers work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you will not be required to cover their legal costs unless they are successful in helping you to win your case.

If your claim is successful, then their fee is covered via a small percentage of your settlement. However, this fee is kept small so the majority of your settlement is left intact. 

If you are not awarded compensation, then you won’t owe them anything. You also won’t be asked to make any payments before the claim begins or while the process is ongoing. There are no hidden costs, so you know where you stand with us before the case begins.

Whilst having legal representation is not required by law, we do strongly recommend it. This is because, without a No Win No Fee arrangement in place, you could still be responsible for covering expensive legal bills even in the event of an unsuccessful claim.

Contact Us

The next step is to get in touch with us. Our lawyers have many years of experience when dealing with claims such as these, so you’ll be in good hands.

You can:

References

We’ve included some links for further reading on this subject and adjacent topics. 

  1. Find out how you can act as a litigation friend to claim on behalf of someone else. 
  2. You can request CCTV footage of yourself to use as evidence – find out how.
  3. NHS information on compartment syndrome, which you could experience after a crush injury.
  4. Find how out you could claim for a punctured lung.
  5. How to claim if you are hit by a foreign vehicle.
  6. More on fractured scaphoid injury claims.

FAQs About Crush Injury Claims

In this section, we’ve answered some of the more common questions we are asked.

Why choose Accident Claims UK?

Our lawyers handle many claims in this field and will do their best to get you the compensation you deserve. We will arrange everything for you and answer any questions you have during the process.

Can a crush injury be fatal?

If it’s serious enough, then yes.  A crush injury could cause damage to your internal organs which might prove fatal.

How long do I have to claim for a crush injury?

The Limitation Act 1980 tells us that you have 3 years from the date you were injured to start your claim. If you miss this window, you’re likely to find it much more difficult to have your claim addressed. In some cases, it will be impossible.

There are certain scenarios where time limits for personal injury claims can differ. Speak with our team today to find out what exceptions can apply. 

Could I claim if I partially caused the accident?

Yes, this is possible. This is called a “split liability” claim. Your compensation would be reduced accordingly. 

Could I claim for negligent care of my injury?

If a medical professional administers inadequate care to a patient that results in a new injury or causes an existing injury to be made worse, then this could be an example of medical negligence. It is possible to make a claim for this if you have proof.

Thank you for reading out guide on the subject of claiming compensation for a crush injury.

Guide by DB

Edited by FS