Lost Limbs and Amputations During Maritime Work
An amputation is one of the most devastating workplace injuries to affect those in the maritime industry. Even with prompt surgery and extensive physical therapy, those who suffer amputations often struggle with pain and limited functionality for months or years after their injury.
If you’ve suffered a lost limb in the course of your maritime work, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, you’ll need to consult a maritime injury attorney to protect your rights. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation right away.
Maritime Work is Dangerous
Unfortunately, maritime work is one of the most dangerous ways to earn a living. Seamen work in all types of weather, use a wide range of machinery and equipment, and are reliant on the careful work and experience of other seamen. This means that injury rates are significantly higher in this field than in many others, and that includes amputations and other serious injuries.
A wide range of issues or mistakes can lead to amputations and lost limb injuries. Machinery can be dangerous if poorly maintained or used incorrectly, and in both cases, workers in the vicinity are at risk of severe injuries. If your boat collides with another vessel or obstacle, you may suffer a lost limb in the fallout.
Maintenance and Cure
After a maritime injury, including a severe one like an amputation, you are entitled to maintenance and cure. This is the most basic type of recovery under maritime law. Maintenance refers to the costs associated with daily living, such as rent, utilities, and basic phone service. However, it does not cover “luxury” expenses like cable television, nor does it allow you to recover from pain and suffering.
With regards to cure, you are entitled to medical care until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement. Unfortunately, when you’re talking about a lost limb or amputation, that does not mean a full recovery. It means the greatest level of functionality and mobility you can recover without a limb, as well as the lowest level of pain you can expect.
Maintenance and cure is generally the only type of compensation available in an accident where no one was negligent. For example, if the person who caused the accident used their best professional judgment and did what any similarly experienced person would have done in their shoes, they likely were not negligent.
Injuries Caused by Negligence
When your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, it’s a little bit of a different story. If a captain, supervisor, or vessel owner was negligent in the course of their work and you were subsequently injured, you may be entitled to further compensation under the Jones Act.
What does negligence look like in this situation? It could be a wide range of mistakes or errors in judgment. Consider, for example, a vessel owner who does not do appropriate maintenance or upkeep on their boat.
As the owner, they are expected to both know and keep up with the maintenance schedule for their boat. If they do not do so, either through ignorance or an unwillingness to do so, they may be liable for any injuries that occur.
Another example: a coworker is ordered to use a piece of heavy machinery, despite having received minimal training on said equipment. They unsurprisingly crash it, pinning you between a wall and the machinery. You have to have your limb amputated. Since your employer should not have had an inexperienced seaman operate a piece of machinery, their actions show negligence.
Treatment and Other Expenses
The expenses associated with an amputation are extraordinarily high, especially if you are unable to return to your former maritime position as a result of your injury. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a maritime injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Reach Out to Fuquay Law Firm Now
At Fuquay Law Firm, we have an extensive background in maritime injury law. We are committed to helping injured maritime workers get the compensation they deserve. Ready to find out how we can help you? Call us at 251-473-4443 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation with our attorneys right away.
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