DO YOU NEED A MARINE INJURY LAWYER? HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN A MARINE OR MARINE Accident?
The ocean is the most dangerous workplace on the planet. The US maritime industry is found in almost every state and employs more than 400,000 workers nationwide. Maritime workers find jobs in various fields, such as shipbuilding, marine terminals, fisheries, aquaculture, shellfish processing, commercial diving, and shipping. According to the Centers for Disease Control, maritime workers face a higher risk of death, injury, and illness than the average American worker.
From slips and falls to equipment failure, collisions, fires, and unsafe work practices and negligence, offshore injuries usually require expensive, sometimes long-term, medical treatment. A catastrophic injury can mean that an injured worker who relies on his or her physical abilities is unable to return to work. This can destroy families, especially if the worker is the sole breadwinner and can no longer make a living.
Offshore injuries are covered by different laws than those that apply to onshore workers. If you or someone you love has been injured or fell ill while working overseas, we encourage you to contact an experienced offshore injury attorney at Montagna Maritime Law as soon as possible to request a free case evaluation.
TYPES OF OFFSHORE INJURY
When an offshore worker accepts a job in the maritime industry, it is understood that the job is physically demanding and carries inherent risks that are far more dangerous than working onshore. Injuries are common and range from the very minor to the gruesome, and even death. In many cases, minor injuries can become much more significant over time.
Some of the most common types of offshore injuries include:
Offshore Injury Lawyer Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI can be suffered in a variety of ways. Offshore workers are constantly placed in construction and industrial environments. A blow to the head due to a slip or fall, or being hit by a swinging or unsafe weight, can cause a traumatic brain injury. This can result in permanent cognitive or personality changes.
Spinal and Back Injuries: Operating equipment, carrying heavy weights, and lifting heavy weights can be tiring work that requires hours of standing, lifting, twisting, and pulling. Offshore workers can be injured by falling or being hit by vehicles or unstable loads. Back or neck injuries can cause chronic pain, limited mobility, and in the most severe cases, can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Even when immediate medical attention is given, long-term disability associated with spinal and back injuries can occur.
Slips and Falls – Injuries experienced during slips and falls are the most common and can be serious.
Slips and falls can cause concussion and bruising to broken bones. In some cases, slipping on the deck of a ship or platform can send you overboard, which immediately becomes a very dangerous situation.
Hearing Loss – If hearing protection is not provided or required, workers may eventually be exposed to noise significant enough to impair their hearing. In some cases, when the work environment is quite noisy, tinnitus or total hearing loss may develop.
Loss of Limbs – Walking inadvertently into the path of a truck or forklift, working on cables under tension, or getting a leg trapped and crushed under unstable loads such as coils, pipes, plates, and tires can all lead to injuries requiring amputation. Loss of a limb is a life-changing injury and often requires a prosthesis.
Crush Injuries and Broken Bones – Offshore work typically involves significant reliance on heavy machinery, whether for construction or daily work. Injuries can often occur when this machinery breaks down or when safety procedures are not followed. These injuries often result in broken or crushed bones. Crush injuries can also lead to internal organ damage and create life-threatening situations.
Hypothermia and Frostbite – Maritime and offshore employees often work in extreme environments and at all times of the day and night. This means that offshore workers are often exposed to extremely cold conditions, which can cause hypothermia or frostbite. These dangers are exacerbated by exposure to water, whether from adverse conditions or a fall overboard.
Drowning – A fall overboard can quickly turn into a life-threatening injury, especially if recovery is not immediate. Also, hypothermia can become a problem even in relatively warm waters.
Lung damage: When safety procedures are not followed or enforced, or when accidents cause spills, workers can suffer serious chemical injuries. When these chemicals are inhaled, serious and long-term lung damage can occur. In certain cases, exposure to large amounts of these chemicals can become immediately life-threatening. In other cases, smaller exposures can result in smaller injuries that can become chronic or cumulative.
Fatalities: Every year, offshore workers are tragically killed in accidents along the East Coast of the United States. If you have lost a loved one who died as a result of an accident or negligence, you have the right to claim damages for their death.
REQUEST FOR COMPENSATION FOR OFFSHORE INJURIES
A serious offshore injury can be life changing, especially if it is classified as catastrophic. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances that contributed to them, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Lost Earnings – A lost wages claim can be very important to injured offshore workers and their families. If you are no longer able to work because of your injury, you may be able to claim damages for income you have lost, are losing, and will lose as a result of your injury.
Medical Expenses – If you were seriously injured on the high seas, your medical bills are likely to pile up. You may be able to claim current expenses as well as anticipated future medical expenses. Claims may include costs for surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, mental health care, and transportation costs for treatment.
Pain and Suffering: It can be divided into physical and mental pain and suffering: pain from your actual physical injury, as well as pain and suffering from scar tissue, disability, and ongoing complications; and mental pain and suffering, including mental anguish, stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Also, if he qualifies as a Jones Act sailor, he is entitled to Care and Healing, which is a basic right of all seafarers. If you have a work-related injury, your employer must pay your general living expenses (maintenance) and medical expenses (healing) while you are not working for recovery.
Offshore workers who do not meet the definition of “seafarer” may be eligible for benefits under a different federal law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
In the most serious cases, offshore injuries can lead to death. The worker’s family may be entitled to compensation through an unfair death suit against the responsible party.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOREIGN INJURY LAWYER
If you have been injured in an offshore accident, it is imperative that you have an experienced maritime or offshore injury attorney on your side who can aggressively fight for your legal rights. Maritime attorneys are skilled litigators who understand federal and state maritime laws and international treaties, and have good judgment when it comes to helping you win your case and get the maximum compensation you deserve for your injury.
Maritime law is a highly skilled and specialized area of law and not many lawyers practice in the field as effectively as lawyers at Montagna Maritime Law. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options with an experienced maritime attorney, at no up-front cost.