The term “crush injuries” is pretty horrible, and it describes a wide range of mild to severe injuries to death. The technical definition shows just how wide ranging they are, and explains that one, “Occurs because of pressure from a heavy object onto a body part. A crush injury may also arise from squeezing of a body part between two objects,” (MedicineNet, 2015). The definition also explains that they can be greatly complicated by everything from broken bones, damaged muscle, and bleeding.
Clearly, if you suffer a crush injury while working in the maritime industry, it is not something you can ignore, even if you feel it is somehow “no one’s fault”. There are few incidents in this industry that can be described as unavoidable, and so there has to be a chain of events that led to the crushing industry.
We know that a crush injury happens when a body part is pressed between two objects. That tells you that there are countless ways someone working in the maritime industry may experience such an injury. For instance, move cargo you might do something that injures a limb or a part of your body, you might open a hatch incorrectly and crush a hand or limb, you could fall between the dock and a boat and experience crush injuries, and so many other incidents are possible.
However, you may also be injured due to negligence on the part of your employer or another party. A vessel that is not kept up to mandatory safety standards or is not seaworthy could be the cause of your injury; untrained colleagues could be at fault, and this would be something that is actually viewed as negligence by the employer; and even lack of safety equipment can be identified as a reason behind a crush injury.
This means that you just cannot accept the risks of injury as part of your job, and if you do sustain a crush injury you must consider just who should be held accountable for the incident.
Depending upon the severity of your crush injury, you may be unable to pursue any sort of legal case. This is why the smartest first step immediately after you sustain a crush injury in the maritime industry (or if a loved one has been seriously injured) is to get in touch with a maritime lawyer. Sitting down and explaining what happened and reviewing all of the facts is necessary before proceeding.
There are many protective laws in place for those who work in such a risky field as the different maritime industries. This does not mean that the laws say that you assume the risks, though. They are saying that a lot of security and safety precautions should be constantly monitored and upheld. This is what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emphasizes all of the time. There are also many laws in place for the time after an injury has occurred as well. This is to ensure that the employee (or their surviving dependents) is not left without maintenance and care.
The chain of events that led to your crush injuries may seem unclear, long, and somewhat convoluted. However, don’t let that prevent you from getting the compensation that is rightfully yours. If negligence played a part in your suffering and your injury, an experienced maritime lawyer can work with you to get you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after a crush injury, and be certain that you get the support that is yours under the law.