Admiralty lawyers represent leg injury victims resulting from all sorts of negligence. Mariners may injure their legs on unseaworthy ships, tugs, fishing boats, barges, tenders, or ferries. The injuries suffered range from punctures, lacerations, cuts, burns, strains, and sprains to severe and permanently debilitating leg issues.
For example, fractures or crushed bones may occur if a maritime worker's leg becomes caught between heavy gear or if a heavy object is unexpectedly dropped. A seafarer can also suffer leg injuries while working with heavy industrial equipment in a shipyard, such as a forklift or a crane, or suffer a fracture or crushing injury that necessitates the amputation of a leg.
Any leg injury, especially one that causes lasting damage or even amputation, can be a distressing event. While leg injuries or damage might be severe, the long-term effects of leg injuries can compound the situation by impacting practically every part of life. Treatment, recovery, and physical therapy required to restore even partial use of an injured leg may be a time-consuming and costly process. The leg may ultimately make it difficult to find work or lead the same productive life as before.
Leg injuries are one of the most common maritime injury, and can occur in a variety of situations, including:
Equipment or machinery that is not working properly
Falling containers or equipment
Insufficient safety equipment
Inadequate training on how to use equipment
Collisions or allisions of vessels
Lack of non-slip or non-skid surfaces
Lack of warning signage (heavy machinery, slip and fall hazards, etc.)
Many of these types of maritime leg injuries could have been avoided with proper training and prudent measures on the part of the shipowner and/or maritime employer.
Hundreds of commercial fishermen, tugboat employees, ship crew members, and other marine workers endure painful and debilitating leg injuries every year, spanning from bone fractures and misalignments to amputations.
Some of the common, yet avoidable, maritime leg injuries include:
Fracture. A broken bone is referred to as a fracture. The tibia is the most commonly broken bone in the leg. Maritime workers who suffer fractures in the leg may be unable to walk or bear weight.
Dislocation. When a bone is yanked out of its joint, it is likely a dislocation injury. A dislocated kneecap is the most common dislocation injury in the leg.
Sprains. Sprains are ligament strains and rips. The most frequent ligament injury in the leg is a sprained ankle.
Strains. Strains are muscle strains and rips (a pulled muscle)
A direct impact on the muscle causes bruising. The discomfort of bleeding into the quads (thigh muscles) can be excruciating.
Bruise on the bones caused by a direct hit (like on the hip). It's known as a "hip pointer."
Injury to the skin. A cut, scratch, scrape, or bruise is an example. Workplace leg injuries can be common in all of these ways.
Leg injuries, no matter how minor they appear at first, can spell the end of a mariner’s career. And that may mean loss of future earnings. This, paired with the potential of limited mobility, can be scary for injured mariners. That’s why it is important to seek help from a competent Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. You may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act, LHWCA, unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure.
Mariner Law, PLLC can assist you if you have suffered an injury to your leg while working offshore. A seasoned maritime attorney can examine the facts of your case to assist you in understanding and identifying the events that led to your leg or other limb damage. The firm can then assess the vessel owner’s liability for negligence and unseaworthiness under the Jones Act and general maritime law. Call (253) 600-2531 for a free consultation. The firm proudly serves mariner clients in Washington, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and nationwide.