Dallas Attorneys for Crush Injuries from a Truck Accident
Crush injuries can affect any part of the body. During an accident, you may experience a crush injury to your bones, muscles, organs, and other tissues. This type of injury requires expert care from a multidisciplinary team who work together to address the resulting health care needs.
Crush injuries account for about 20 percent of admissions to Level 1 Trauma Centers. The initial hospitalization with a complex injury is prolonged and many people are re-hospitalized to manage the complications. Even with optimal management, the outcome is often not desirable.
The injuries were first described this way during World War II after individuals were pulled from bomb shelters. These same types of injuries occur after other natural events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides. Crush injuries are also not uncommon after a truck accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a crush injury, or other serious injuries after an accident with a large truck, contact the experienced Dallas truck accident lawyers of The Benton Law Firm. We understand the physical, financial, and emotional toll that a truck accident injury can take on your life.
We work hard to help our clients recover the fair compensation they deserve after an accident. Trucking companies have an experienced legal team working for them. You should too. Contact us today at (214) 777-7777 for a free, confidential consultation.
What Is a Crush Injury?
A crush injury happens when a force places pressure on a body part. This can happen when the body is squeezed between two heavy objects. After a crush injury, you may experience “crush syndrome.” These are systemic manifestations that occur after significant cell damage has happened.
A crush injury can cause muscle swelling and or neurological disturbances. Crush syndrome occurs when the compression forces on the tissue are released. Symptoms can include local tissue injury, organ dysfunction, and metabolic abnormalities.
In this situation, it is critical that the first responders recognize crush syndrome and initiate rescue, resuscitation, and treatment. The extent of the injury will depend on the amount of force, the body part involved, and the length of time the individual is stuck between two objects.
How Does a Crush Injury Happen in a Truck Accident?
Assuming there are no other differences, a larger and heavier vehicle will always provide better crash protection than a smaller and lighter one. Size and weight affect the forces that come to bear on the people inside the vehicle during a crash. The size of these forces is directly related to the risk of injury.
Many drivers may not be aware of how the significant mass and size difference of a large truck can affect traffic safety. These differences nearly always result in greater damage to the smaller, lighter vehicle.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, trucks are often 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles. This mass increases the risk of severe damage, injuries, and fatalities. Because taller vehicles also have a higher center of gravity, they roll more easily. This means they must go slower than other traffic on curves and ramps.
During a collision with a commercial truck, you may suffer common collision injuries, such as whiplash, broken bones, and internal injuries. However, if the truck rolls over or jackknifes, it can result in life-threatening crush injuries when you are pinned inside your car.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of a Crush Injury
The majority of crush injuries will leave obvious evidence, such as a bruise or cuts. Yet, the worst part of the injury is internal. Crush injuries can be minor, affecting only a small area of the body, or life-threatening. Damage from a crush injury can include:
- Open cuts, bleeding, and bruising
- Broken bones or dislocations
- Nerve injury
- Tendon and ligament injury
- Secondary infections
- Compartment syndrome
With enough cellular damage, the release of the crushed extremity can result in something called reperfusion syndrome. In this case, the pressure has stopped blood supply to the area. When this is released, internal bleeding and metabolic abnormalities may be triggered. In addition, the damaged muscle cells produce toxins that are also released into the circulatory system. These can cause kidney failure if left untreated.
At the time of the accident or in the initial hours, clinical signs and symptoms of crush injury and crush syndrome can include:
- Cardiovascular instability
- Low blood pressure
- Hypovolemic shock from internal bleeding
- Renal failure
- Metabolic acidosis
- Paralysis or paresthesia
- Acute lung injury
- Compartment syndrome
Initially, the primary focus is on maintaining an open airway, breathing, and circulation. When first responders anticipate crush syndrome, they will start a warm normal saline intravenous line to help reverse metabolic acidosis, prevent renal failure, and support the body during reperfusion syndrome. At the hospital, doctors will monitor urine output, kidney function, and metabolic pH.
Some types of crush injuries can develop in the hours or days after a truck crash. The first is acute compartment syndrome. This is a painful condition where pressure builds up from a reduction in blood flow. This prevents oxygen from reaching the cells and prevents the veins from removing toxins. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency. Without treatment, it can lead to permanent damage.
A second injury that can show up hours later is called rhabdomyolysis. This is the medical term to describe a condition where the muscle tissue breaks down. The breakdown releases muscle fiber contents into the bloodstream. This is also known as myoglobin. These particles get caught in the kidneys and form a barrier that prevents the kidneys from working. It can lead to permanent kidney failure and blood poisoning.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Trucking companies have experienced legal teams that help to protect their rights. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident and were injured through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. Dealing with the trucking company’s insurance company or legal team can be overwhelming when you’re recovering from a crush injury or crush syndrome.
You need the protection and legal representation from the personal injury lawyers at The Benton Law Firm to help handle the logistics of your claim and negotiate aggressively on your behalf. Don’t let the trucking company’s representative take advantage of you while you’re in the hospital or injured at home.
Trust the experienced Dallas truck accident team at The Benton Law Firm to have the resources and experience necessary to protect your legal rights. Call today at (214) 777-7777 for a free, confidential consultation.