How To Make A Crush Injury Claim In The UK
By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 6th April 2023. Have you suffered a crush injury? Was the injury caused by the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care? Has this injury had a negative effect on your quality of life as a result? If so, we can help. This article can inform you of the process of making a claim for personal injury compensation.
A crush injury can be seriously debilitating. Depending on what part of your body was crushed, this kind of injury can mean that you’re no longer able to move about or carry out your job role. In some cases, a crush injury can be so severe that you require an amputation. They can even be fatal.
At UK Law, we help our clients understand what is needed to start an effective crush injury compensation claim. When you call our advisors, they can run through a quick assessment of your circumstances. It’s free, there’s no obligation to proceed with anything, and you could begin your claim right now. Simply:
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Crush Injury Claims
- What Are Crush Injuries?
- How Do You Know If You Have A Crush Injury?
- Can Crush Injuries Cause Compartment Syndrome?
- Can Crush Injuries Cause Other Complications?
- How Do You Treat A Crush Injury?
- Calculate Your Crush Injury Payout
- What Causes A Crush Injury?
- Vehicle Collisions
- Accidents At Work
- Hit By A Falling Object
- Accidents Trapping Your Fingers Or Hand
- How Much Time Do I Have To Begin My Claim?
- I Suffered A Crush Injury, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Crush Injury On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Other Information
- FAQs About Crush Injuries
In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming compensation for a crush injury. We’ll start by looking at what a crush injury is and the kind of effects this kind of injury can have on you. To continue, we’ll look at how these kinds of injuries can be treated.
We will go on to look at the process of valuing a crush injury claim. We’ll examine the different kinds of damages that can be included in a claim, how they’re assessed, and the evidence you’ll need to support your claim.
Furthermore, we will look at the different scenarios where a crush injury might occur and how this could happen as a result of a breach of duty of care. This could help you understand who was at fault for the accident that injured you.
You might be wondering what time limits apply to claims such as these. We’ll look at how long you generally have to start a claim of this nature, as well as the exceptions that apply.
Finally, we will look at how you can fund legal representation for this kind of claim on a No Win No Fee basis. We’ll also provide you with some additional guides and answer some commonly asked questions about claims of this nature.
A crush injury occurs when pressure bears down on a part of the body. For example, you might suffer from a crush injury if something heavy falls on top of you or you’re caught between two vehicles when they collide.
It results in a squeezing action that can result in a number of different effects on the body. While some of these can be relatively minor, others can be much more serious.
Just because you have sustained a crush injury does not necessarily mean that you will be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. In order to be entitled to claim, you need to prove that the injury happened because of third-party negligence. This third party must have had a duty of care towards you. This duty of care is something we will look at in greater detail later on.
Major crush injuries and incidents involving things like heavy machinery or vehicles can result in very serious damage to the body. For example, you might experience:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Extreme pain
- Fractured, broken and crushed bones
- Permanent deformity or disfigurement
- Muscle, tissue and ligament damage
- Organ damage
- Risk of an open wound and serious blood loss
- Compartment syndrome
Furthermore, complications related to a crush injury might mean that you require an amputation. For example, the bone might be too badly broken, or the limb so deformed that it needs to be removed.
It is essential to always seek medical attention after a serious crush injury. Failure to do so could result in a delay in treatment, which might make your condition worse or cause it to be more difficult to treat.
Compartment syndrome is a condition that can happen if you’ve experienced a crush injury. It can be dangerous and should be treated as a medical emergency.
In the arms and legs, the muscles are contained in “bundles” within spaces surrounded by tissue. These are called compartments.
When there is an increase of pressure within a compartment, the blood flow is restricted. This can then damage the surrounding muscles and nerves.
You will need immediate medical attention for compartment syndrome. This involves an incision being made in the skin to receive the pressure in the muscle compartment. The wound will normally be closed after a few days.
This kind of injury often occurs in the arms and legs, as this is where these compartments are often found. However, compartment syndrome can occur wherever one of these compartments is found in the body.
Severe crush injuries can result in some potentially life-changing complications. Depending on the severity and physical location of the accident, any of the following could be a consequence:
- Degloving – this is where the injury pulls the top layers of skin from the tissue below. It can cause an increased risk of infection and needs to be treated straight away.
- Hyperkalemia – when the cell membranes are damaged in a serious crush injury, large amounts of potassium can be released into the body. This can trigger a heart attack
- Hypovolemia – severe blood loss can trigger this form of shock, which in turn can increase the risk of organ damage
- Acute kidney injury – when muscles are injured, they release myoglobin. An excess of myoglobin can cause severe damage to your kidneys. You could be left dialysis-dependent or require a renal transplant as a result
If you have experienced any of the above as a result of a crush injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to claim. We could also help you if you’ve experienced an injury that we have not mentioned above; simply get in touch to find out more.
You need to seek medical attention straight away for a crush injury. The kind of treatment you receive will depend on what kind of injuries you have sustained.
For instance, you might have experienced a badly broken leg that you need surgery to repair. In some cases, however, the soft tissue damage that you experience might mean that you need to have the limb amputated.
As you recover from your injury, you might need treatment to help you get back to the position you were in before your accident. For example, you might be offered physiotherapy to enable you to use the injured part of your body as you did before.
In some cases, you might only sustain a minor crush injury that still needs treatment in order for you to recover. For example, if you suffered from a crushed finger, this could still cause a fracture that can affect how you can use the digit. You might need surgery or physiotherapy to help you improve your grip and increase the range of motion in the injured site.
Crush injury claims can include two heads of claim. Firstly, general damages are designed to compensate for the physical or mental health effects of the accident. They are assessed on a number of factors, including the pain or suffering you have endured as a result of your personal injury. How long you might take to recover from crush injury symptoms are also considered.
Additionally, general damages cover any loss of amenity caused by your injuries. This relates to when you can’t participate in daily activities that you typically would. For instance, you might suffer a crush injury at work. However, if you usually go to the gym after work, you may be unable to due to the impact of your injuries.
Solicitors use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to value general damages. Updated in April 2022, the JCG features compensation amounts that are influenced by the outcome of previously settled personal injury claims. Therefore, using figures from the JCG, we have created the table below to give you an idea of how much your claim could be worth.
Please note that the table below should not be used as a compensation calculator. Furthermore, you should only use the figures as guidance only.
|Type of injury
|Where the injured person fears a reduction in their life expectancy or impending death.
|£65,740 to £100,670
|Permanent damage and impairment of function. The injured person will be left physically disabled with a reduction in life expectancy.
|Serious or permanent damage, loss of both kidneys
|£96,160 to £130,930
|Falls short of amputation but leaves life-long deformity or disability, and the arm will be little better off than if it had been lost.
|Up to £36,740
|Severe fractures may lead to partial amputation, deformity, loss of function and impaired grip
|£83,960 to £109,650
|Very severe foot injuries resulting in permanent disability, traumatic amputation or gross restriction of mobility
In addition to the general damages, there is another head of claim that could be included in your settlement. Special damages focus on reimbursing you for any money you’ve had to pay as a direct result of your injuries.
For example, you could claim back:
- Loss of earnings because of missed work
- Care costs, for example, if you’ve needed care yourself or have had to pay for childcare
- The cost of treatment like physiotherapy
- Counselling for trauma
- Adaptations to your home or car
- Loss of amenity
In order to receive back all of the special damages you’re entitled to, it’s important to keep receipts, bills, and all the documentation you can that proves these costs. Without evidence, you might find it difficult to claim.
In order to claim compensation for a crush injury, you need to prove that the accident was caused by negligence. This means that you need to show that a breach of duty of care caused the accident to happen.
In subsequent sections, we will look at different scenarios in which you could experience a crush injury. We’ll also examine the ways in which an injury like this could be caused by a breach of duty of care.
Every road user has a duty of care to one another while on the road. They have a responsibility to adhere to the standards of care and skill of a competent driver.
The Highway Code outlines the things that road users are expected to do when on the road. If a road user fails to do any of these and a road traffic accident occurs as a result, then you could be owed compensation.
You could suffer a crush injury as the driver or passenger of a car. For example, you could be travelling down the main road when another car pulls out of a side road. The resulting collision could crush your legs.
You could also suffer from a crush injury if you’re a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist. For example, you might be hit by a car as a pedestrian or cyclist when crossing the road. This could cause you to be crushed under the weight of the car.
If you’re on a motorcycle, you could be waiting at a traffic light when another car approaching the lights swerves into your lane and knocks you off your bike. Your bike could fall onto you and cause a crush injury.
The Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 requires all employers in Britain to provide a safe work environment as far as is reasonably practicable. This includes adequate training, supervision and the correct maintenance of all tools, machinery and processes.
Regular risk assessments need to be carried out to ensure that you are safe as you do your job. If your employer fails to do this and you’re injured in an accident at work as a result, you could claim.
For example, you might injure yourself on a piece of machinery that malfunctions. If, for example, the emergency stop button failed and it was found that a risk assessment had not been performed, you could claim compensation for the crush injury on your finger.
You could also claim if your employer failed to provide you with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to do your job. For example, if you were not given safety shoes when you needed them, and someone dropped an item on your foot, crushing your toe, you could be owed compensation.
Any party who is in control of premises that are legally accessible by the general public has a duty of care to make sure that the venue is as safe as possible for use. Failure on their part could mean that a member of the public is injured.
For example, you could be in a shop when a heavy shelving unit that is not secured to the wall falls on top of you. As a result, your arms, legs or chest could be crushed, causing you injury.
It’s important to ensure that doors, windows, and moving parts on machinery or other facilities are safe. This might be the responsibility of the occupier of a public space or an employer in the workplace.
Fixtures and fittings are subject to damage and disrepair, rendering them hazardous to use. Its the responsibility of employers and occupiers to carry out regular risk assessments to make sure premises are kept as free from potential risk as possible. Failure to stay on top of this means you could be injured.
For example, there might be a door in your workplace that is held open by a magnetic door holder. While you’re passing through, this magnet malfunctions, and the door slams shut as a result. If you can show that this was a result of negligence on the part of your employer, you could be able to claim compensation.
It’s important to note that there is a general three-year time limit to starting a personal injury claim. This is called the limitation period.
However, there are some exceptions to this. For instance, you might be injured while under the age of 18. Minors cannot legally represent themselves in court, so the time limit would be suspended until you turn 18. While the time limit is suspended, someone else could claim on your behalf as a litigation friend.
A litigation friend could also claim on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to do so themselves. If they regain their mental capacity, then the three-year time limit starts again. Otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended.
If you would like to know more about the time limits that apply to making a claim for a crush injury, why not speak to someone on our team today? You could be connected with a personal injury lawyer from our panel.
The first thing that you should do when you suffer a crush injury is to seek medical attention. A serious crush injury is a medical emergency.
Next, you should make sure that there is a record of your accident. For example, you might report the accident to your employer or request that it be put in an accident book at a shop or other public place.
You should also make sure that you get as much evidence as possible relating to the accident. For example, you might take photographs at the scene of a car accident.
In addition to this evidence, you will also need to supply evidence of any costs or losses that you have incurred as a result of your injuries. For instance, you might use bills, receipts or invoices to show the financial impact your injuries have had.
You don’t need to seek out the services of a solicitor in order to make a claim. However, we suggest that you take this step. Their guidance and support could help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
A No Win No Fee agreement is an agreement between you and your solicitor that sets out the conditions that they need to meet before being paid.
With a No Win No Fee agreement, you won’t be asked to make any upfront or ongoing payments. You also won’t be asked to pay anything if you lose.
The only time you will be asked to cover their costs in a situation like this is if your claim is successful. Then, they will deduct a legally capped “success fee” from your compensation.
For more information on how a No Win No Fee agreement could help you fund legal representation for a crush injury claim, speak with our team today. We could connect you with a lawyer on our panel to work on this basis.
In conclusion, thank you for reading this guide on crush injury. Please feel free to get in touch if there are any questions you have.
We have also included these guides below for your reference:
Below are some frequently asked questions about this topic. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need further help with anything relating to your claim for personal injury.
Is your employer always liable for workplace accidents?
Employees have a responsibility to look after their own safety at work as much as possible. Accidents must have been caused by a breach of the employer’s legal duty of care. Check with our advisors if you are unsure.
What if you were partially at fault?
Importantly, there may be instances where you were partially to blame for your injuries. A reduced part of compensation could still be possible. This is called a ‘split liability’ claim.
Could you claim for multiple crush injuries?
Yes. You can claim for multiple injuries, including both physical and psychological injuries.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim compensation for a crush injury.
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