Houston Crush Injury Attorney
What Is a Crush Injury?
Crush injuries happen when a prolonged or forceful compression of a body part causes damage to muscles, blood vessels, nerves, bone, and other tissues. Approximately 75% of crush injuries affect the legs, with 10% affecting the arms. Crush injuries are often caused by heavy equipment and can range in severity from closing the door on a finger to more serious damage that results in disability or death. Extensive damage to the bone and muscle tissue can render the limb completely unsalvageable, which necessitates amputation. Some minor crush injuries can be treated without the help of a medical professional, but many crush injuries require immediate attention to prevent serious complications.
Crush injuries can lead to other serious medical consequences such as:
- Physiological disorders
- Compartment syndrome
- Paralysis of the crushed limb
- Amputation to prevent gangrene or death
Why Crush Injuries Are Dangerous & Potentially Fatal
When a crush injury occurs, abnormal compression forces disrupt the normal chemical balance of the muscle cells. This damages the structures in the cell membranes that are responsible for pumping calcium and potassium into the cells and removing sodium from the cells, which can lead to breakage of the muscle cell membrane and cell death. When this happens, muscles break down and release a protein into the blood known as myoglobin. This leads to a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which results in low blood pressure and vomiting.
If rhabdomyolysis is not treated immediately, it can lead to:
- Kidney failure
- Toxic shock
- Fatal injury
Medical intervention is required to prevent kidney damage and stabilize blood pressure, and surgery may be needed to repair tissue damage. Sadly, amputation may be the only effective medical treatment in some cases. One of the reasons why crush injuries are so devastating is because of the long-term impact suffered by the victims. Crush injuries can lead to intense, constant pain, and the potential of permanent pain—also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
Common Causes of Crushing Injuries
When machinery with moving parts is used, employers are required to make sure all equipment is safe to operate and well-maintained. Workers must be trained in the proper methods of operation, cleaning, and maintenance of the equipment to prevent crushing injury. They must be provided equipment and tools that reduce the danger of crushing injuries and must be adequately trained in their proper use.
Crushing injuries in the workplace usually involve:
- Parts of moving machinery
- Powered doors
- Heavy loads being dropped
Crush Injuries on Oil Rigs
With all of the heavy machinery and equipment that oil rig workers must operate daily, it is no surprise that crush injuries are some of the most common injuries reported on oil rigs. After drilling begins, pipes are added to the rig to keep up with the deepening of the well. Unsecured drill pipes can roll and injure nearby workers. It is important for workers to be educated on good lifting techniques with heavy drilling parts to prevent crush injuries. Workers should also try to keep away from rotating parts and follow safe lifting and hoisting procedures.
Contact Arnold & Itkin Today for a Free Review of Your Case: (888) 493-1629
Whenever a crush injury occurs because of the negligence of another person or because of a machine defect, the victim has the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. Here at Arnold & Itkin LLP, we understand the devastation caused by an oil rig explosion or accident. Many of our clients have suffered from crush injuries, and we saw firsthand the struggles and needs that came with their pain. We have been able to secure billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients because we fight for them aggressively and relentlessly.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious crushing injury, the Houston crush injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help you claim the financial compensation that you may be due from those responsible. For a free consultation with an experienced attorney at our firm, call us at (888) 493-1629 or contact us online.