Busy construction sites can be dangerous for a lot of different reasons, but heavy falling objects and large machinery can cause serious crushing injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to “caught between” accidents, such as being pulled into or caught in machinery, or excavation cave-ins, as causing catastrophic crush injuries.
Crush injuries can be fatal or severe, and may involve any part of the body. Depending upon their severity, crush injuries can lead to broken bones, loss of limbs, or complications that lead to serious muscle and nerve damage.
After a crush injury in a construction accident, the responsible party may be held liable for the harm they have caused in certain cases. When negligence is proven, the at-fault party may be compelled to compensate you for your losses. A New York construction accident attorney from Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., can help you recover the compensation that is due to you.
A crush injury occurs when extreme force or pressure is put on a body part. This type of injury most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects or between a heavy object and the ground.
The OSHA says catastrophic crush injuries result from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or between parts of an object. This includes individuals who get caught or crushed in operating equipment, between other mashing objects, between a moving and stationary object, or between two or more moving objects.
OSHA refers to caught-in or caught-between hazards as the cause of crush injuries. Such “caught” hazards are known as one of the construction industry’s “fatal four” leading causes of death.
Accidents that may lead to crush injuries include:
Specific catastrophic crush injury accidents reported to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from New York State in the past several years include:
Physical damage related to crush injuries includes:
The breakdown of muscle that results from the crushing of major skeletal muscles is known as “rhabdomyolysis” or “traumatic rhabdomyolsis” following an accident. It can leave the victim suffering from shock and renal failure. This type of swelling of the muscles and nerve damage often ensue after being trapped under a heavy object for a prolonged period of time.
Being trapped under a heavy object for more than 15 minutes can cause serious injuries to extremities that are pinned down. If a first aid responder was the first to your accident site, they most likely properly removed the object from on top of you. But if a fellow worker responded, they may have accidentally taken the object off too quickly, resulting in serious crush syndromes.
If you survive the accident with all your limbs in tact, a hospital will treat your crush injury with injections of sodium and calcium to reduce swelling. A doctor will determine whether surgery, which may include surgical amputation, is necessary.
If you have been in a workplace accident that caused crushing injuries while you were working at a construction site, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. New York’s workers’ comp program pays for medical bills and replaces a portion of lost wages after occupational accidents.
You also may be eligible to seek additional compensation if a party other than your employer was responsible for your injuries. Often, multiple subcontractors are working on a jobsite at the same time. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a subcontractor other than your employer, the at-fault party may be held accountable through a “third party” claim.
A third-party lawsuit would have to prove that a party other than your employer was negligent in a manner that contributed to the accident you were injured in. A third-party lawsuit might seek compensation from a:
Whenever a construction worker or employee has suffered a catastrophic crushing injury in a job-site accident, the circumstances should be independently investigated by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Hecht Kleeger & Damashek in New York City has the experience necessary to examine the circumstances of construction site accidents and to help injured workers obtain all of the compensation they are due, including money that may be available through third-party claims.
Have you been injured on a construction site after being trapped under or pulled into heavy machinery, in a cave-in or by a large piece of falling debris? If so, you may have had to endure surgery or traumatic amputation, and gone through extensive therapy to recover. These injuries are often avoidable, and if proper safety precautions had been undertaken, your accident may never have happened.
If you have endured a catastrophic crushing injury in a construction accident in New York, contact Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. as soon as possible to discuss your case in a free legal consultation. We can assist with a claim to ensure your financial recovery and your ability to move forward with your life.