NEED AN OFFSHORE INJURY LAWYER? HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN AN OFFSHORE OR MARITIME ACCIDENT?
The ocean is the world’s most dangerous workplace. Nearly every state in the United States has a maritime industry, which employs over 400,000 people. Shipyards, marine terminals, fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing, commercial diving, and marine transportation are all places where maritime workers might find work. Maritime employees have a higher risk of death, injury, and sickness than the average American worker, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Slips and falls, equipment failures, crashes, fires, and unsafe work practices and negligence are all common causes of offshore injuries, which can necessitate costly medical treatment – sometimes for a long period. Catastrophic injuries can prevent an injured worker from returning to work if he or she relies on his or her physical abilities. This can be disastrous for families, especially if the worker is the primary breadwinner and is no longer able to support himself or herself.
Laws that apply to offshore workers differ from those that apply to land-based workers. If you or someone you care about has been hurt or becomes unwell while working offshore, please contact Montagna Maritime Law as soon as possible for a free case review.
TYPES OF OFFSHORE INJURIES
When an offshore worker accepts a position in the marine industry, he or she understands that the job is physically demanding and that the inherent hazards are significantly greater than those of land-based jobs. Injuries are prevalent and can range from minor to severe, including death. Minor injuries, in many circumstances, can become considerably more serious over time.
Some of the most common types of offshore injuries include:
•Traumatic brain injury – TBIs can happen for a variety of reasons. Offshore workers are frequently exposed to construction and industrial-like surroundings. Traumatic brain damage can be caused by a hit to the head from a slip or fall, or by being struck by a swinging or unsecured cargo. This could lead to long-term cognitive or personality problems.
•Spinal and back injuries – Operating heavy machinery, moving big items, and doing hard labor can be back-breaking employment, demanding long periods of standing, lifting, twisting, and tugging. Falls or being struck by vehicles or unstable goods can cause injuries to offshore workers. A back or neck injury can cause persistent pain, limited mobility, and even paraplegia or quadriplegia in the most severe cases. Even when medical help is given as soon as possible, spinal and back injuries can result in long-term disability.
•Slips and falls – Slips and falls are among the most common — and sometimes fatal — injuries. Slip and fall accidents can result in concussions, contusions, and shattered bones. Slipping on a ship’s or platform’s deck can sometimes send you overboard, which can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.
•Loss of hearing – If hearing protection is not provided or mandated, it’s possible that over time, workers will be exposed to enough significant noise to diminish their hearing. In some cases, where work environments are loud enough, tinnitus or total hearing loss can develop.
•Loss of limbs – Inadvertently walking into the path of a truck or forklift, working with cables under tensions, or getting a leg caught and crushed beneath unsteady cargo like coils, pipes, plates, and tires can lead to injuries requiring amputation. The loss of a limb is a life-changing injury and often requires a prosthetic.
•Crushing injuries and broken bones – Offshore work usually entails a significant reliance on heavy machinery, either for construction or for day-to-day 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. Crushing injuries can also result in damage to internal organs and create life-threatening situations.
•Hypothermia and frostbite – Offshore and maritime 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 the water, either through harsh conditions or a fall overboard.
•Drowning – A fall overboard can quickly escalate into a life-threatening injury, especially if recovery is not immediate. Additionally, hypothermia can become an issue even in relatively warm waters.
•Lung damage – When safety procedures are not followed or not enforced, or when accidents cause spills, workers can suffer serious chemical injuries. When these chemicals are inhaled, severe and long term lung damage can occur. In certain cases, exposure to high quantities 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 – Each year, offshore workers tragically die 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 a right to seek damages for their death.
CLAIMING COMPENSATION FOR OFFSHORE INJURIES
A serious injury offshore can be life-altering, especially if it’s 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 claim for lost wages can be very important for injured offshore workers and their families. If you are no longer able to work because of your injury, you can seek damages for the earnings you have lost, are losing, and will lose as a result of your injury.
Medical expenses – If you’ve suffered a serious injury offshore, there’s every chance your medical bills are piling up. You may be able to claim present expenses as well as anticipated future medical expenses. Claims may include costs for surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, mental health care, and transportation costs for receiving treatment.
Pain and suffering – This can be broken down into physical and mental pain and suffering: The pain of your actual physical injuries, as well as the pain and suffering from scarring, disfigurement, and ongoing complications; and the mental pain and suffering, including mental anguish, stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Additionally, if you qualify as a Jones Act seaman you are entitled to Maintenance and Cure, which is a basic right of all seamen. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, your employer must pay your general living expenses (maintenance) and medical expenses (cure) while you are out of work recovering.
Offshore workers who do not meet the definition of “seaman” may qualify for benefits under a different federal law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
In the most severe cases, offshore injuries can lead to death. Workers’ families may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT OFFSHORE INJURY ATTORNEY
If you’ve been injured in an offshore accident, it’s critical that you have an experienced maritime or offshore injury lawyer by your side who can fight aggressively for your legal rights. Maritime attorneys are skilled litigators who understand federal and state maritime laws and international agreements, and have sound judgment when it comes to helping you win your case and getting you the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Maritime law is a highly skilled and specialized area of law and there aren’t many attorneys who practice in the field as effectively as the attorneys at Montagna Maritime Law. Contact them today for your free case evaluation to discuss your legal options with an experienced maritime attorney, at no up front cost.
HIGHLY RATED OFFSHORE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN NORFOLK, VIRGINIA
Montagna Maritime Law is located on 425 Monticello Ave Suite B, Norfolk, VA. From Norfolk International Airport follow Airport Rd, Robin Hood Rd and VA-165 S to US-13 S. Then head east on Norview Ave toward Airport Parking Dep Rd and slight right onto Airport Parking Dep Rd. After that, turn right toward Airport Rd and turn right at the 1st cross street onto Airport Rd. Next, continue onto Robin Hood Rd and turn left onto VA-165 S. At this point, continue on US-13 S. Take I-264 W to St Pauls Blvd and take exit 10 from I-264 W. Then continue onto US-13 S and pass by Taco Bell (on the right in 1.0 mi). After that, turn right to merge onto I-264 W toward Downtown Norfolk/Portsmouth and use the right lane to stay on I-264 W. Next, take exit 10 for City Hall Ave and continue on St Pauls Blvd. Drive to Monticello Ave. Finally, turn right onto St Pauls Blvd and turn left onto E Charlotte St. Turn left onto Monticello Ave and Montagna Maritime Law will be on the right.
Source: Montagna Maritime Law