Recovering from injuries that are suffered over the course of performing maritime duties can be difficult indeed. That’s because these injuries are typically quite severe, given all of the elements that are at play in any maritime work environment. While in some cases injuries may be relatively easy to recover from and workers can return to work easily, in other cases injuries may require substantial recovery and rehabilitation. This is specifically the case when maritime workers need to return to their duties. For such a worker, vocational rehabilitation may be and often is necessary.
Like any kind of rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation can take many forms. However, regardless of the form, it has one purpose, and that is to rehabilitate a worker after they’ve suffered injury so that they can return to the duties and tasks that they had before suffering the injury. Such rehabilitation allows workers to both regain and retain their livelihoods.
To accomplish this, those who provide this kind of rehabilitation will employ a variety of different methods. In addition to normal medical rehabilitation techniques, workers will be provided with comprehensive counseling. There can be no doubt about it; workplace accidents can be incredibly traumatic for those who fall victim to them, even if they don’t result in death or serious bodily harm. Often, the mental scars left by these accidents cut deeper than any of the physical wounds that may have been suffered. That’s why counseling is such a crucial component of vocational rehabilitation. Through counseling, workers will regain the confidence they need to go about their jobs, and learn how to cope with any stresses that are a direct result of the accident to which they had fallen victim.
In addition to counseling and other rehabilitation services, a maritime worker may be provided with other services as part of his or her vocational rehabilitation. In certain instances, an injured worker can be provided with a personal assistant, who will help them to go about their tasks in the workplace, while also assisting that worker with regaining their independence. Depending upon the severity of the injuries that the worker suffered, this personal assistant may also provide transportation to and from the job site. All of this is done with the goal of helping the injured worker to regain their independence and to resume their life as normal.
Simply, this form of rehabilitation is needed when the injuries that a worker has suffered will prevent him or her from resuming work-related duties after a normal recovery period. If, for example, a maritime worker suffered nerve damage as the result of an accident that occurred at in the workplace, then he or she might find it difficult to regain the motor skills needed to conduct normal duties. Vocational rehabilitation will help a worker to cope with these difficulties and to overcome limitations with respect to resuming their normal tasks. Generally speaking, you will know if you need to avail yourself of this kind of rehabilitation in order to get back to work.
Vocational rehabilitation is one of the many benefits that can be received through the LHWCA. Injured maritime workers can also receive compensation in the form of medical payments, and they can also receive compensation for dealing with occupational diseases that they might contract. Of course, the LHWCA is not the only avenue through which an injured worker can get coverage for vocational rehabilitation. In order to get the fullest compensation possible for these services, it is often necessary to consult with a qualified maritime lawyer, who can pursue compensation and damages from all parties that were responsible for the accident that precipitated the injuries.