Crush Injury at Work in NYC

employee using a press machine at work, wearing proper PPE to avoid a crush injury

If you suffered crush injuries in a work accident in New York City, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. The attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., are ready to review your case, determine your options for financial recovery, and pursue maximum compensation for you.

We have been fighting for injured New Yorkers for more than 40 years and have recovered more than half a billion dollars for them in that time. Let us put our experience, tenacity, and dedication to work for you.

Contact us today to speak with a construction accident-crushing injury lawyer. Consultations are free, and we only charge a fee if we secure compensation first.

What Are Crush Injuries in NYC?

Crush injuries at work are one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Focus Four Hazards. According to OSHA, a crush injury is when a worker becomes caught in an object or between two objects.

Crush injuries are prevalent in construction. An OSHA safety training document notes that in one recent year, workers in the private construction industry accounted for about 23 percent of all fatal crush injuries across all private industry sectors. The same OSHA document also notes that of the 975 private industry construction workers who died that year, about 9 percent died from crush injuries.

How Crush Injuries Occur in the Workplace

Some of the causes of New York City crush injuries at work include:

  • Cave-ins when workers are excavating construction trenches
  • Equipment that is not secured when not in use
  • Workers getting caught in machinery
  • Workers wearing jewelry or loose-fitting clothing that gets caught in machinery
  • Scaffolding collapses
  • Workers getting caught between moving equipment and stationary objects
  • Workers pinned by runaway vehicles
  • Workers crushed under unsecured loads in transit
  • Workers crushed by heavy equipment that tips over
  • Workers crushed by materials that fall from being stacked too high
  • Workers pinned in a vehicle due to not wearing a seat belt

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Crush Injury?

Crush injuries can cause severe bleeding, swelling, bruising, and bone fractures.

These injuries can lead to long-term effects like the following:

  • Compartment syndrome – The swelling from a crush injury can cause muscles to put pressure on surrounding tissues. Because this surrounding tissue cannot expand, the swelling can create increased pressure in the affected area, which can cause additional harm to muscle tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.
  • Bone fractures – The force from a crush injury can shatter bones, causing intense pain, limiting mobility, and increasing the risk of a future injury.
  • Severed or amputated limbs – A crush injury can partially or fully sever a limb. When this happens, it may be necessary to amputate an injured limb because it is too badly damaged to repair without serious health risks.
  • Dead tissue – A crush injury can cut off blood flow to part of the body, causing it to lose oxygen and begin to die. This damage can lead to gangrene, amputations, and other complications.
  • Crush syndrome – Crush syndrome refers to various potential crush-related health problems such as kidney failure, shock, heart arrhythmia, and respiratory problems.
  • Blood clots – Crush injuries often stop circulation to part of the body, causing a buildup of blood cells called a clot. These clots can travel to the rest of the body when circulation resumes, potentially causing heart problems and other complications.
  • Worsening symptoms upon return to work – Crush injuries are often traumatic. Without appropriate treatment and rest, many people find their crush injury gets worse after returning to work.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Workplace Crush Accident?

Generally speaking, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical care, a portion of lost wages, and other benefits for employees hurt on the job. In exchange for this no-fault protection, New York’s workers’ compensation laws generally prevent workers from suing their employer after a crush injury. However, some crush injuries are the fault of negligent third parties who can be held liable through legal action.

Some potentially liable third parties include:

  • Property owners
  • Site architects and engineers
  • Vendors and equipment manufacturers
  • Contractors and subcontractors

If you are not sure who caused your crush injury, seek legal help immediately. Our crush injury lawyers are ready to investigate the accident and determine who may be responsible for compensating you.

What Compensation Can I Receive for a Crushing Injury?

The compensation you can receive for a crush injury at work depends on who is responsible for the accident. You are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the accident happened in the workplace. The law says your employer must pay all reasonable medical expenses for work-related injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you could also receive partial wage-replacement benefits and permanent disability benefits.

One exception to the rule against suing your employer for a crush injury is provided by New York Labor Law 240, which requires construction companies to provide safeguards to prevent scaffolding accidents. If your employer did not meet these requirements, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. New York Labor Law 241 could form the basis of a lawsuit against a contractor or property owner who failed to follow the New York State Industrial Code. Labor Law 200 could give an injured worker grounds to sue a company for its failure to provide adequate worker protection at a construction site.

Personal injury lawsuits allow you to seek compensation for a broader range of losses than a workers’ comp claim, including for:

  • Medical bills
  • All lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life

You may also qualify for Social Security disability benefits after a crush injury. Applying for Social Security disability is a complicated process, so you should consult with an experienced disability lawyer.

Contact The Perecman Firm to Support Your Workplace Crush Claim

If you sustained a crush injury at work, the New York workplace injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., want to help with your case. We know how catastrophic crush injuries can be and are ready to fight for maximum compensation for you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.