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Crush Injuries at Work

Posted by James Aspell | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

 

Crush injuries occur when an object crushes all or part of a person's body. In our practice we most frequently see this in pallet jack and conveyor belt accidents.  These types of injuries can cause serious problems.  Crush injuries to the whole body can be fatal.  Crush injuries to part of the body can cause permanent pain and disability.

This article discusses different types of crush injuries.  This article also discusses some important things to consider when you have a Connecticut  workers' compensation claim from a crush injury.

It is important to understand that I am an attorney.  I am not a doctor.  Nothing in this article is intended as medical advice.  We are happy to work with you to find you a doctor that is familiar with Connecticut workers compensation to get the best treatment for your crush injury.

It is very important to get a medical evaluation after a crush injury

 

How do crush injuries occur at work?

Crush injuries at work can occur a number of different ways.  Some common causes include:

  • Car wrecks where part of the car crushes part of the driver or passenger's body
  • Crush injuries from machines where part of the machine crushes a worker's arm or leg
  • Injuries where a person's feet or legs are crushed by a pallet jack, forklift or other heavy vehicle operating in the workplace
  • Conveyor belt injuries

Workers suffering from crush injuries need to make sure that they get medical evaluations quickly.  Doctors may need to perform diagnostic testing such as x-rays or CT scans to evaluate for fractures or other types of internal damage.  Doctors may also need to evaluate you for other conditions that could develop from crush injuries.

Other medical conditions that may develop from crush injuries

Several different medical conditions can develop from crush injuries.  Some serious conditions that I have seen develop after injuries at work include

  • Complex Regional pain  syndrome– this condition is sometimes known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).  It can be an extremely painful condition which can “spread” to different parts of the body.  Early diagnosis and treatment of this condition seems to improve an injured worker's outcome.
  • Compartment syndrome– swelling after a crush injury can cause damage to muscles and nerves
  • Fractures
  • Amputations – A crush injury to the fingers or toes can often require amputations of part or all of a digit.  Quick medical treatment might decrease the chance that an amputation is necessary.

Getting good medical treatment will probably improve the chance of you having a better recovery from your injury.

What if I have a permanent impairment from a crush injury?

Many crush injuries cause permanent impairment.   Connecticut General Statute Section 31-308 provides for payment fore the permanant loss of function due to a crush injury which is one of the three basic types of Connecticut workers' compensation benefits.

You should make sure that you receive PPD benefits if you have a permanent impairment.  The insurance company should ask the doctor to give you a PPD rating.  In fact, the law requires it.  But it often does not happen.  So, make sure to ask your doctor to evaluate you for a PPD rating when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).

 What if my crush injury prevents me from going back to work?

Even minor crush injuries can keep you out of work for some time.  Severe injuries sometimes cause a permanent and total inability to work.

Connecticut workers' compensation law provides that your employer or their workers' compensation insurance company should pay you temporary total disability (TTD)Many crush injuries cause permanent impairment benefits while you are out of work as a result of your injury but there are limits on how long you can receive these benefits..

These limits on benefits make it difficult for people with severe injuries.  Permanent restrictions from an injury can make it difficult to get back to work.  However, the
limits on how long you can received TTD benefits can cause your benefits to stop even if you are not able to go back to work yet.

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What if I have other questions?

Connecticut  workers compensation law is  confusing. I am happy to talk to you if you have other questions.

You can schedule a free consultation with me about your workers' compensation case. If you want to know more about how that process works and what you will learn before scheduling one, just read this short article.

If you want to go ahead and schedule a free consultation now, just call my office at (860) 523-8783or complete the Free Consultation form.

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...

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