Understanding the Nature of Crush Injury Claims
In the UK, most crush injury claims arise after an accident at work. It’s a particularly common risk amongst workers in the construction, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Whenever an incident occurs, the body parts suffering the most damage are hands and fingers.
Crush injuries occur whenever a body part suffers a jam, pinch or squashing by or between objects. For instance, the trapping of a person under a rolling vehicle. Often, there is little visible evidence on the outside of the body, but the hidden damage can be extensive.
The pressure can damage bones, muscles and internal organs, depending on the degree of force. Sometimes, the crush injury is so severe that amputation is necessary, leading to some life-changing consequences.
If you have sustained a crush injury due to the negligent actions of another person, we can help. Our expert panel of crush injury lawyers can offer timely and compassionate legal assistance. Moreover, we can potentially help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Common causes of crush injury claims
Crush injuries can occur in any situation, but most commonly happen in the workplace. The following describes some of the leading causes of crush injuries.
Machinery at work causes over 1,500 serious injuries a year, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Crush injuries typically occur with a worker’s entanglement with a machine. Most machinery-related crush injuries affect the hands and fingers and can permanently affect the injured person’s ability to work.
Employers have a duty to ensure that:
- machinery is working properly, and;
- staff have training on how to operate it safely.
In addition, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 offer more employer requirements. One of those is to fix suitable guards; another is to establish “danger zones” around machinery. In turn, no worker comes into contact with a dangerous moving part.
If the employer doesn’t take reasonable steps to protect you, they may owe you compensation for your injuries.
Falling objects crush injury claims
Crush injuries can occur when a heavy load collapses trapping someone beneath. For example, materials falling from a warehouse shelf or collapsed structures on a building site. The object does not have to fall very far to cause serious injury.
Employers are responsible for keeping the work environment as safe as possible. They must also supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect workers from this type of injury. An employer may be liable for injuries you sustain if they fail to supply:
- hard hats;
- steel toe-capped boots and so on.
Work vehicle claims
Diggers, cranes, forklift trucks and certain types of farm vehicles are dangerous pieces of equipment in general. Particularly because they can cause serious crush injuries without maintenance or correct operation. The vehicle could pin someone up against an object, run over their feet, or roll over a person. They can also collide with other objects such as storage racks causing those objects to topple and crush people.
Employers must design safe working processes so cranes, forklifts and other vehicles can move safely around the workplace. Employees also need training on how to use these vehicles safely. If you suffer injury in a workplace vehicle accident, you may be able to make a crush injury compensation claim.
Road traffic accident crush injury claims
These kinds of crush injuries can occur when the roof of a vehicle collapses in a rollover accident. Or, whenever the compression of the body of a vehicle is so bad that it traps the driver/passengers inside. Crush injuries can also affect cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians who either:
- become trapped between vehicles or;
- between a vehicle and another object, like a wall.
All road users have a duty to act responsibly and take reasonable care for the safety of other road users. If a driver acts recklessly and negligent, they may owe compensation to anyone suffering an injury from those reckless actions. If so, the negligent driver’s insurance company often settles the claim instead of the driver directly.
Finger entrapment crush injury claims
Doors are responsible for a considerable number of crush injuries to the hands and fingers. The best way to avoid injury is to keep your wits about you; however, there are certain steps that a building owner should take to stop their visitors trapping their fingers indoors.
Children are especially susceptible to door trapping injuries since they may not be aware of the risks. A soft closure system – which stops the door from closing quickly – prevents injuries in schools, nurseries and other public places. At the hinge side, a finger protection device minimises the door and frame gap can eliminate the finger trap.
The law, in essence, requires employers, local authorities and building owners to identify hazards and protect people. Those that fail to do so may expose themselves to a compensation claim.
Crowd control crush injury claims
Crowds are a condition of modern life. Most of us encounter them at concerts, football matches, parades and shopping sales every year. Large numbers of people do not pose a threat when they are properly managed and controlled. But something may restrict the flow of pedestrians (for example, blocking off the exit). Then the crowd can exert a suffocating pressure known as crowd crush.
The organisers of large public events have a duty to protect visitors from any risks to their personal safety. That includes potential crush injuries, too. Perhaps you suffer an injury from a crowd crush because the organiser didn’t implement appropriate crowd management techniques. If so, you may deserve to claim compensation.
Making a successful crush injury compensation claim
To make a successful claim, your solicitor must be able to prove two main things.
- First, the cause of the accident is the fault of another person (negligence).
- Second, that you suffer injuries as a direct result of the accident (causation).
Depending on the type of accident, any number of people in different occupations can be at fault, too. The negligent person could be an employer, a car driver, the local authority or someone else.
The success of your claim hinges on the strength of the evidence. Your solicitor will gather and examine evidence to support your claim such as:
- witness testimony;
- CCTV footage;
- machinery specifications and;
- repair logs.
What compensation can you seek for crush injury claims?
In crush injury claims, the victim may receive compensation for their injuries in the form of “damages” from the liable party. Damages are there to return you to the position you were in prior to the accident. In general, compensation law divides damages into two main categories.
General damages cover the pain and suffering associated with your injury. This includes pain and discomfort at the time of the accident and any future suffering from injury and treatment. Damages for pain and suffering depends on the extent and duration of the crush injury. In essence, the more pain in the present and future, the higher the compensation.
You cannot work out the value of general damages simply by adding up bills and receipts. Determining the amount is subjective and open to interpretation. People experience crush injuries in different ways, and the Courts recognise this fact.
In general, we calculate compensation on the basis of your individual experiences. For instance, the loss of your ability to enjoy hobbies and other recreational pursuits. Also, the emotional distress your accident causes to you.
General damages can come either in the form of a:
- Court judgement or;
- more usually, agreement via an out-of-court settlement between the parties.
Insurance companies, lawyers and Courts can usually come up with a fair settlement. They usually refer to a document – the Judicial College Guidelines. The Guidelines recommend an upper and lower limit for various types of crush injuries. Accordingly, they reference the level of compensation awards in similar cases.
Expenses with direct relation to the accident and the injury are special damages. They include such items as medical treatment costs, lost income, travel costs, property damage and the cost of medical aids. You can also claim for adaptations that you need to make to your home. For instance, the installation of wheelchair ramps or shower rails.
In more serious crush injury claims, you may have a claim for future, as well as past, loss of income. This will be the case where you are unable to return to work as a result of your injuries. Or if you’re unable to work the same number of hours or at the same salary level. In this scenario, an employment consultant’s expert report can determine precisely what you can do in the future.
In truth, you can calculate special damages with reasonable specificity. But it requires documentation or you won’t be able to include it in your claim. It’s therefore important that you gather all your medical bills. These may include treatment providers, wage slips, and receipts for purchases, replacements and repairs.
Our crush injury accident specialists will be able to give you a rough idea of the value of your claim. We can do this when you first contact us with details of your accident. Moreover, we’ll revise that estimate with the collation of medical evidence plus a better understanding of your injuries.
Who pays the compensation for crush injury claims?
The insurer of the person liable for the injury usually settles the claim. For example, the employer’s insurer will pay compensation if the crush injury occurs in a work accident. In contrast, a driver’s insurer will pay compensation if the injury occurs on the road.
Sometimes, we may not be able to trace the at-fault person. This might happen if a negligent driver flees the scene of the accident without leaving their details.
In most cases, it will still be possible to make a compensation claim. Various statutory bodies help to compensate the innocent victims of accidents where the at-fault person isn’t subject to a lawsuit. This includes the:
- Motor Insurer’s Bureau (for the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers) and the;
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (for the victims of crime.)
Where an employer has gone bust, their insurer must still settle the compensation claim in some circumstances.
Not sure who the at-fault person is? Please contact us and let us carry out some investigations for you. We will be able to tell you very quickly whether a claim can be made.
How long do you have to make crush injury claims?
As with all personal injury claims, you’ve three years from the date of the crush injury to make a claim. Sometimes, you can make claims outside the three-year deadline but the Courts will only allow this in exceptional circumstances. If you are close to the deadline, please contact us to find out whether you can make a claim.
Family members can contact us for advice. Especially if their loved one suffers a serious injury and is unable to start the claim on their own.
One can also make claims on behalf of minors before the child’s 18th birthday. The child then has a further three years to make their own legal claim i.e. until they are 21.
With crush injury claims, we can help. Our No Win, No Fee funding arrangement means that you do not pay a penny if you lose your case. Accordingly, you don’t have to worry about the financial burden of making a claim at this difficult time.
To start a claim, simply call us on for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our panel of expert crush injury law firms will quickly figure out whether you have a claim. Furthermore, they’ll answer any questions you might have about the legal process.
Need some help finding crush injury claims solicitors and experts?
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: extent of your injuries, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be keep up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us for crush injury claims expertise?
No Win No Fee*
We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be. However, if your claim is successful we will charge up to 25% of the total compensation awarded and if you terminate the agreement before your claim for damages ends then you may be liable to pay basic charges in addition to this.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information you provide, which helps us to determine its likely success rate.
Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our panel of personal injury lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Team
Each client is provided with their own Personal Injury lawyer who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of the lawyer.
Expert Crush injury claims experts working for you
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case you don’t pay! Once you make contact, our experienced team will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
However, you should be aware that the panel of solicitors we work with may charge up to 25% of the total compensation awarded if your claim is successful. Further, if you terminate the agreement before your claim for damages ends you may be also be liable to pay basic charges including (but not exclusively) disbursements, and barrister’s fees.