Each fishing season seems to come with a variety of head and brain injuries. It seems to just be part of the job when it comes to working at sea. Unfortunately, these brain and head injuries can be debilitating. According to the Jones Act, seamen, tugboat workers, fishermen, crewmembers, and others who work at sea and have been injured have certain legal protections. The Maintenance and Cure doctrine is a no-fault maritime benefit which means the employer is required to pay for medical expenses associated with a brain or head injury including, but not limited to, the following:
- Emergency transportation and treatment
- Hospital stays
- Diagnostic tests
- Rehabilitation and therapy services
- Nursing services
Employers are also required to pay a daily allowance for living until the worker has reached maximum improvement possible for the condition.
Types and Complications of Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries may be open or closed injuries. In an open head injury, the skull is fractured, cracked, or pierced. A closed head injury does not result in cracks or breaks in the skull. Although it may sound like an open head injury would be worse, closed head injuries are often harder to diagnose and can be more severe than open head injuries.
Brain injuries are complex and can result in a variety of permanent disabilities. These disabilities may include balance disorders, blood vessel damage, brain hemorrhage, buildup of cerebral fluid, cognitive issues, chronic dizziness, coma, hearing problems, depression, loss of taste or smell, impaired mobility, nerve damage, memory loss, speech impairment, seizures, vision issues, and more.
Causes of Head Injuries
Although brain and head trauma can be the result of a variety of things, the most common causes of head and brain injuries in maritime workers includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Failure to implement and provide features to protect workers such as protective gear and railings and proper safety equipment
- Accidents involving cargo and cranes
- Slip and fall accidents due to surfaces that are not covered with skid protectant
- Conveyor belt accidents
- Equipment that is not properly stored
Maritime workers that suffer injuries due to unseaworthiness or negligence are entitled to receive compensation for their medical expenses both present and future, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more.
With proper safety measures, many accidents that occur at sea are preventable. That is why if you are injured in an accident at sea, it is important that you have an experienced attorney on your side. The sooner an investigation into the incident happens, the less likely that unsafe conditions or faulty equipment will be altered to hide much needed evidence for your case.
The attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm specialize in maritime law. We understand that head and brain injuries can impact your life both short and long term. We are dedicated to getting you the fair compensation that you are entitled to and will do what it takes to make sure your future is secured. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.