Serious Broken Bone Injuries Caused by Maritime Accidents
Maritime vessels have a lot of heavy equipment, slippery decks, and other potential hazards. When employers fail to properly repair and maintain equipment, or when staff is inadequately trained, workers are at risk for broken bone injuries.
Broken bones may cause chronic pain, disability, and even organ damage for accident victims.
How Bones Are Broken
While the human skeleton is strong, sufficient force can still result in cracked, broken, or shattered bones. Most maritime broken bone injuries are caused by traumatic accidents, such as slips and falls, being struck by cargo or equipment, and groundings or collisions. Serious falls, repetitive lifting, or being caught between heavy objects can fracture one or more bones.
Some of the most common maritime bone injuries include:
- Stable fractures. These occur when there's a clean break, and the two broken pieces of bone are still lined up.
- Displaced fractures. Unlike stable fractures, displaced fractures occur when bone pieces move relative to one another.
- Compound fractures. These injuries occur when the bone breaks through the skin.
- Comminuted fractures. These shatter a bone into three or more pieces.
Broken Bone Complications
Typical broken bone symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising. These injuries may cause serious complications if left untreated, such as compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome can cut off blood flow to various body parts, leading to cell and tissue death. Potentially fatal blood clots may form, and wounds caused by broken bones can become infected. Broken ribs can pierce organs, causing damage.
Jones Act Compensation
If you’ve suffered broken bone injuries while working in the maritime industry, you may be entitled to benefits under the Jones Act. Maintenance and cure cover your basic living costs and medical expenses. You may also pursue a personal injury case if your employer is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries.
To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.