Maritime work can be dangerous, and you could be at risk for some of the most serious, life-altering injuries out there.
Lost limbs and amputation are some of the most life-changing maritime injuries you can experience as an offshore worker. What’s worse, there’s no guarantee that boat owners always take care of injured workers.
If you get hurt, they might even consider you “damaged goods” and give you the “one-way ticket” home.
Luckily, you always have The Maritime Injury Law Firm on your side. Our Louisiana-based practice has over 20 years of experience representing offshore workers from around the Gulf Coast and across the country. Let us walk you through everything you need to know about lost limbs and amputation in maritime accidents.
What are common accidents that lead to lost limbs and amputation in the maritime industry?
Losing a limb in a maritime accident leaves you with a permanent disability, and you will have to learn to live your life in a completely different way if this happens to you. But how could this happen to a maritime worker?
It’s no secret that offshore work is steeped with risks. Here are some common accidents that could lead to losing a limb, or even amputation:
- Working with malfunctioning equipment
- Working with equipment that has deteriorated too much over time and should be replaced
- Boat fires or explosions
- Inadequate training on equipment, safety or procedure
- Collisions or allusions
- Understaffing that makes it impossible to operate safely
- And more
As you can see, there are a variety of conditions that could lead to a maritime employee losing a limb or getting an amputation. Once you know what to look out for, you can perform the proper safety protocol and do your best to prevent these accidents from happening.
Can I get treated for a lost limb?
Unfortunately, there are times when your best safety efforts cannot prevent the worst. However, if you lose a limb or have to get an amputation due to a maritime accident, there are still medical options for you.
There are several medical consequences for lost limbs, but there are also different treatment options.
- For example, many people who have lost a limb can experience phantom limb pain or sensations. There is long-term therapy to help your brain reorganize around these phantom sensations.
- Physical therapy is also a possibility, and it can help you navigate your life as smoothly as possible after you lose a limb or have an amputation. A physical therapist can help you retrain your body during recovery, or even help you learn how to use a prosthetic if needed or desired.
- Additionally, while it may not be the first type of treatment that comes to mind, mental health care can be extremely helpful in the case of a lost limb or amputation. These are completely life-altering medical conditions and procedures, and the help of a mental health professional can ease the life transition.
You can probably guess that this treatment and care does not come without a price. Treatment for a lost limb can be extremely costly, but under the Jones Act, you may be entitled to financial compensation from your employer to help cover these costs.
Can the Jones Act help me if I lost a limb in a maritime accident?
If you’re a maritime worker, chances are you’ve heard of the Jones Act, which outlines compensation for maritime employees who work on and off the seas. The Longshore or Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) similarly does so.
One of these acts could be your golden ticket to the financial compensation you deserve for all the distress you face after losing a limb or getting an amputation after your maritime injury.
The Jones Act: Everything you need to know
The Jones Act was established in 1920 to protect the rights of injured seamen. Under the Jones Act, seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure, two types of benefits that you will need if you are injured in an offshore accident.
- Maintenance: Benefits related to the cost of living while you are injured, such as rent, food, insurance, lost wages and more.
- Cure: Benefits related to your medical expenses, such as medical bills and transportation to and from medical appointments.
One thing that makes the Jones Act unique is that you do not have to prove employer negligence led to your injury. You are entitled to maintenance and care whether or not your employer was negligent. However, you may be able to maximize your compensation if you can prove employer negligence led to your lost limb.
What is the LHWCA?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act protects longshore workers that do not work at sea, but whose occupations are still “maritime in character.” This can include workers who work on docks, harbors, terminals and more.
Under the LHWCA, longshore and harbor workers can receive financial compensation for injuries like occupational diseases, hearing loss, illnesses and other injuries – including lost limbs and amputations.
In addition to compensation for employees, the LHWCA also outlines payments to the family and dependents of workers who pass away on the job.
Contact a Jones Act lawyer at the Maritime Injury Law Firm today
If you lose a limb or need an amputation due to a maritime accident, it might seem like there is no hope for you and your family’s future.
The Maritime Injury Law Firm is here to make sure that isn’t true. George Vourvoulias has decades of experience representing injured offshore workers from all throughout Louisiana and the country, and he won’t rest from your case until you receive the compensation you’re owed.
Start your journey to justice today. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.