PTSD Maritime Injury Attorney

The Risks of PTSD Following Major Maritime Accidents

Maritime accidents cause profound amounts of damage, not just to ships but to ecological systems, infrastructure, and people who keep the industry functioning. Those who work aboard vessels are at risk of serious physical injuries during a maritime accident. Beyond that, there is also a strong chance that victims will develop post-traumatic stress disorder, often shortened to PTSD. It’s important to understand your rights and advocate for yourself after a maritime injury so you can get the physical and mental treatment you need.

That’s where we step in. At Fuquay Law Firm, we fight aggressively on behalf of maritime workers who have been injured at work. Call our Mobile, AL office at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation with a maritime injury attorney now.


Major Maritime Accidents

A wide range of maritime accidents have the potential to lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Ship collisions, oil spills, equipment accidents, and offshore platform accidents can lead to severe or even fatal injuries. In the aftermath of a maritime accident, there may be irreversible ecological damage, multiple injuries to tend to, and vessel damage. You can expect an extensive investigation after any serious maritime accident, as well as the involvement of attorneys on all sides.

It’s important to ensure that your needs aren’t overlooked during this chaotic time. It’s easy for vessel owners and employers to forget about those most heavily affected by maritime accidents: workers who were injured or who witnessed the accident.


How Common is PTSD After a Maritime Injury?

Research out of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology looked at the trauma suffered by seafarers. Their goal was to understand how significantly seafarers are affected by severe mental stress and the psychological side effects that follow stressful situations.

Of the seafarers they looked into, about 36% experienced shipwrecks or other severe accidents, and 17% were affected by piracy. Over 80% of the victims experienced unwelcome repeated thoughts of the events and were reminded of the accidents by relevant noises or smells. Some even committed suicide in the wake of their accidents.

What does this mean for your Mobile, AL maritime injury case? It means that what you are experiencing is very real and very serious. You cannot ignore the psychological consequences of your experiences and you must seek the care you need.


How a Maritime Injury Can Lead to PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur after any situation in which an individual is exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence, per the DSM-5. Maritime accidents put workers at risk of serious injury or death, and in some cases, workers must watch their coworkers die in accidents. This type of trauma can follow an individual for the rest of their life if it isn’t addressed properly.

Note what this means: you do not have to be seriously injured to suffer PTSD after an accident. If you are involved in a situation where it could have happened, that is enough to cause PTSD to develop.

PTSD manifests in a wide range of symptoms. People report recurrent and intrusive memories of the event. Recurring dreams of the traumatic event can also be a sign of PTSD. Other symptoms include flashbacks, psychological distress when exposed to reminders of the event, and physiological reactions when encountering reminders of the accident. Physiological reactions may include sweating, an increased heart rate, and nausea, among others.


A Victim’s Rights

As a maritime worker, you are entitled to certain benefits when you are injured on the job. Unfortunately, employers don’t always make it easy for you to claim those benefits. Depending on your job title and where you work, you may be entitled to maintenance and cure, additional benefits under the Jones Act, or benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Those benefits may include the mental health treatment you need to manage your PTSD after an accident.


Start Your Maritime Injury Claim with Fuquay Law Firm

Ready to pursue the benefits you’re entitled to after a maritime accident? Let Fuquay Law Firm guide you through this process. Contact our Mobile maritime injury team online or call us at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation right away.

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