Maritime Injury?

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Sustaining a Brain Injury Working in the Maritime Industry

Those working in the maritime industry understand that theirs is a dangerous field. The uncontrollable conditions of the open waters and weather in addition to the difficulty in the work can combine to make things incredibly risky and life threatening. Many people get into a maritime career with the knowledge that they may face injury and danger on a daily basis, but it is by no means a sure thing that injury will occur. In fact, several federal and industry groups have specific sets of standards and laws in place to make the maritime industry as low risk as possible.

However, with certain factors being truly unavoidable, there are times when injuries occur. When they are head injuries or injuries that lead to damage or harm to the brain, they can be more than just a temporary issue and may lead to lifelong health problems. Because of that, it is of the utmost importance to pursue legal recourse and compensation if a brain injury is due to employer negligence.

How Can I Pursue a Case After a Brain Injury?

Whether you are an offshore worker, a seaman or someone who works onshore in a maritime industry, you can encounter many situations in which a brain injury is possible. Just consider:

  • Slipping or falling can cause you to hit your head sharply and sustain a brain injury – regardless of whether the head injury is open or closed.
  • Being in small spaces – Many people in the maritime industry find themselves in small spaces with poor ventilation, including cargo holds and storage areas. In such spaces, you can easily inhale toxic fumes or be at risk for lack of oxygen, and both can lead to brain injury.
  • Falling objects or gear that was improperly or inefficiently stowed or secured. Everything from cargo to machinery can come into contact with a maritime worker’s head and lead to brain injury.
  • Improperly diagnosed head injury. It is impossible to look at someone’s head and determine if there is a serious, but “closed” injury. Leaving these injuries untreated can easily damage the brain.

There are also explosions and fires that can lead to injuries to the brain, and a host of other incidents that can cause a serious head injury that causes long-term injury to the brain. In any of these examples, it is entirely possible that the employer’s negligence led to something that eventually caused the brain injury.

When you have sustained such an injury, or if you are the dependent of someone injured in this way, the medical issues will have most of your effort and financial resources. This is not often a time when you can re-direct your focus to a legal case, and yet you must if you are to receive compensation.

The Laws and Brain Injuries

The laws are on your side in such instances, and there are a host of maritime laws and standards that exist in order to ensure that injuries of this kind can be minimized, and if they happen that the injured worker receives adequate compensation to their needs. (OSHA, 2001) This is particularly significant when it was employer negligence that led to the injury. For instance, if workers were improperly trained in how to secure cargo, and you sustained a head injury that led to brain injury because of this, the firm would be liable to you for their negligence.

However, you would need to be able to prove this to be the case, and this is when a qualified and experienced attorney is your best resource. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel if you (or a loved one) sustained a brain injury while working in the maritime industry. The rules are there to protect you before and after such events, and you shouldn’t hesitate to pursue a case.