Maritime Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are always dangerous, and those that occur at sea can be particularly devastating for maritime workers. These employees must routinely handle electrical equipment and combustible liquids, subjecting them to fire, explosion, and electrical accident risks.
Burn Injury Causes
Maritime vessels may be surrounded by water, but fires can still break out and spread quickly when there is an:
- Engine room fire. Engine room fires can spread when equipment malfunctions and ignites.
- Electrical accident. When electrical equipment sparks, it may start a fire.
- Explosion. Fuel used aboard ships is highly combustible, and it may cause a serious explosion.
Burn Injury Complications
Severe burn injuries frequently lead to serious medical, psychological, and financial difficulties. Treatment often requires painful skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and even amputation. Recovery typically involves long periods of hospitalization, fighting serious infection risks, and coping with psychological trauma. Some of the most common burn injury complications include:
- Infection. Skin is the body’s primary protective barrier against infection, and burns compromise the integrity of this barrier.
- Sepsis. When an infection spreads rapidly, it can lead to a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.
- Hypothermia. When skin is damaged due to burn injuries, hypothermia may result from the extreme loss of body heat.
- Hypovolemia. Burn injuries can damage blood vessels, causing loss of blood and other bodily fluids.
- Damaged joints. The buildup of scar tissue resulting from burn injuries can cause joints to fall out of alignment.
When you’ve suffered burn injuries while working at sea, you’re entitled to maintenance and cure benefits to supplement your income and cover your medical expenses.
If your accident was caused by employer negligence, the Jones Act also gives you the right to sue your employer for damages. These claims can be complex, and you need representation by an experienced maritime injury attorney. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.