The Crushing Effects of Truck Accidents: How Serious Are Your Compression Injuries?
Due to the weight, size, and height of commercial trucks, accidents involving these steel monsters can be catastrophic. In addition to normal collision injuries such as whiplash and broken bones, a truck accident—especially a rollover or jackknife accident—can result in life-threatening crush injuries.
A crush injury occurs when a body part is subjected to a high degree of force or pressure, usually after being squeezed between two heavy objects. Crush injuries are often obvious in truck accidents after a person has had one or more of his body parts compressed by being pinned in a car. However, some crush injuries are not immediately obvious.
Although the majority of crush injuries will leave external evidence such as bruises and cuts, the magnitude of the injuries will be internal. Unfortunately, internal injuries are difficult to detect and often life-threatening.
And Some Crush Injuries Can Develop Even After the Collision
Internal crush injuries can vary from compressed nerves to broken bones to mashed organs. The symptoms of these injuries can also vary from excruciating pain to numbness to a feeling of rushing fluids. However, no matter the physical effects, internal injuries are often difficult to locate. Internal bleeding can occur without any warning. Organs can die.
Two types of crush injuries can develop hours or days after the trauma of a truck crash. In each case, the body has attempted to deal with changes in pressure and fluid levels from the initial injury. Then, at a critical point, the body is no longer able to compensate. The built-up pressure leads to conditions like…
- Acute compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome occurs when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This pressure prohibits nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells as a result of decreased blood flow. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says the classic sign of acute compartment syndrome is pain, especially when the muscle within the affected area, or compartment, is stretched. The muscle may feel tight, or there may be burning or tingling in the skin. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery.
- Rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which muscle tissues break down, releasing muscle fiber contents (also known as myoglobin) into the bloodstream. The myoglobin particles get caught in the kidneys, coagulate, and form a barrier. This barrier prevents the kidneys from expelling or draining urine. When the kidneys fail they can no longer filter your blood, allowing toxins to build up in your bloodstream and body. If not treated, rhabdomyolysis can lead to kidney failure and blood poisoning.
Help to Breathe Easier
Crush injuries are not necessarily obvious. That’s why it’s always important to seek medical attention immediately following a truck accident. Despite the severity of the collision or the compression period, if you feel pain or irregularities, you need to rule out internal injuries. In fact, it’s a good idea to get a medical evaluation after an accident, even if you don’t feel pain.
Once you have been evaluated and treated, your next step is to secure your injury compensation claim.
Call attorney Steve Lee today at 713-921-4171 to learn more about your claim options, your eligibility for injury compensation, and how to begin to build your case. Your initial consultation is always FREE, but the guidance you’ll receive is priceless. Contact us today and see how we can help you take the weight of your accident off your shoulders.