Maritime Accident?

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Maritime Laws and Spinal Cord Injury Cases

If you consult medical experts about spinal cord injuries, the facts may surprise you:

  • The most common are due to trauma.
  • It is an injury most common in young men.
  • There are roughly 12k new injuries every year in the U.S. alone.
  • Of the cases in the U.S. most are to people under the age of 30.

What this shows is that young men, under the age of 30 are the most likely to sustain trauma to the spine that is bad enough to cause complete or incomplete injury. (MedicineNet.com, 2015)

The incomplete injury means that you will retain some function below the level of the injury, and complete means that you will lose all function below the area where the injury occurred on the spine. If your injury is at the bottom of your neck, you may lose all function below the neck, if it is at the lower back, you may lose the sensation and functions of the pelvic area and legs. Clearly, there is no such thing as a satisfactory type of spinal cord injury, but things are made even more upsetting if the whole incident could have been avoided.

Can My Employer Be At Fault for My Injury?

Whether you are on board a cruise ship, an oil rig, or you work on the docks, if you are involved in the maritime industries, there are supposed to be a lot of safety standards and guidelines in place to effectively prevent almost any serious accidents and injuries from occurring.

For example, there are to be plenty of safety protocols and employee training that would help to reduce the risks of:

  • Slip and fall accidents due to debris or slippery surfaces
  • Overboard falls due to inadequate safety guidelines and systems
  • Crushing accidents due to gear or cargo falling or equipment being used improperly
  • Gangway falls due to lack of rails or security systems

In all of these examples, the injuries they caused could have been avoided entirely simply by regular inspections and repairs or upkeep. If this is determined to be the cause of a spinal cord injury (even if it is not the obvious cause on first examination), the employer is liable due to negligence.

While we would like to say that it is easy to pursue what is due to you or a loved one who has endured one of the most catastrophic injuries possible, in reality a maritime employer is usually going to work to keep their liabilities to a minimal level. They may debate the extent of their culpability in order to reduce their financial or legal liability.

While you or a loved one strives to recover after a spinal cord injury, it is unlikely that you will have the time or energy it takes to simultaneously pursue a negligent employer. This is why you must get in touch with a firm or a lawyer with experience in maritime laws and legal cases. They will understand the challenges ahead of you as well as all of your rights. The key is to get in touch with them as soon as possible following the injury.

Focus on your recovery and allow a legal expert to focus on the laws and safety standards that were there to protect you when your employer failed to do so. No one is obliged to be at risk just to earn a decent living, even in a field as hazardous as the maritime industry. Don’t waste another day worrying about compensation and just contact a maritime lawyer.