Working on a ship can be hard labor, but vessel owner negligence and unseaworthiness turn the work from tough to dangerous. And sometimes that dangerous situation leads to amputations (loss of limbs). Shipboard amputations are a big deal. If you lost a limb aboard a vessel, the Jones Act and general maritime law may entitle you to recovery for your damages. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Significant maritime injuries seldom occur without negligence by a vessel owner, captain, or crew. Even more so for lost limbs. For example, a common source of carelessness leading to shipboard amputations is failure to maintain machinery or equipment. If you work with machinery on a ship, it should be maintained regularly to ensure that it is in good working order and inspected for damaged or failing parts. This is your employer's obligation, as is ensuring that you are properly trained to use the equipment and follow safety instructions. If your employer negligently breaches these duties and you lose a limb due to a machine accident, your employer may be liable for negligence.
Lost limbs sometimes result from negligence when an employer or vessel owner fails to offer employees a safe place to work. The following factors often play a significant role in such incidents:
The sailors were forced to work with faulty and malfunctioning equipment.
Adequate training, including procedural, safety, and equipment training, was not provided.
There was insufficient navigation planning.
Collisions or allision during navigation.
Equipment was beyond its useful life or in a failed condition.
Amputations are often difficult to treat and may result in permanent damage or disfigurement. Surgery, or even multiple surgeries, are common. Another serious issue with lost limbs is infection. Antibiotics may be needed as soon as possible to prevent the spread of infection which risks other undamaged parts of the body. Even after surgery, many amputation victims will need extensive physical therapy—not to mention psychiatric assistance with the severe emotional effects of losing a limb. Some seafarers ultimately suffer from phantom limb pain—the sensation that the missing limb is still there. This can be excruciating. Regardless, amputation victims may be left with long-term damage, sadness, anxiety, and tension. Emotional therapy to help you cope with the accident and maritime injuries may be just as vital as the physical treatment.
Common amputation claims arise from the partial or total loss of a mariner’s finger tips, fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, or legs. These cases often need the assistance of a Jones Act attorney to obtain maximum compensation under the Jones Act, LHWCA, unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure.
You may be entitled to compensation if you lost a limb on the job or had to have an amputation as a result of a workplace incident. Lost limbs are among the costliest maritime injuries to treat, and you'll almost certainly have expenses related to the loss for the rest of your life (sometimes including prosthetics).
Suppose the unimaginable occurs and you lose a limb as a result of your maritime profession. You have rights and may be entitled to benefits. The Jones Act and general maritime law may apply favorably in your case. A lawyer who is familiar with these concepts of law and has assisted clients who have suffered maritime amputation injuries can help you go through your options and walk you through the procedure of filing a claim.
Mariner Law, PLLC has handled countless maritime injury cases under the Jones Act and maritime law. You can trust Admiralty lawyer Adam Deitz to give you sound legal counsel. Mariner Law, PLLC never represents insurance companies. The firm only works with injured seaman and fights for their compensation. Call (253) 600-2531 now. The firm proudly serves mariner clients in Washington, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and nationwide.