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Updated by MorrowSheppard on Nov 11, 2016
Headline for 5 Effects of Offshore Injuries for Maritime Workers and their Families
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5 Effects of Offshore Injuries for Maritime Workers and their Families

Morrow & Sheppard LLP’s maritime attorneys discuss the consequences of offshore injuries and the sources of compensation that injured workers may have available.

For offshore workers, on-the-job injuries can be devastating. Unfortunately, for many workers, the scope of the damage is far greater than they realize, and as a result they end up suffering without the money they need to cover their medical bills; provide for their families; and cope with their pain, suffering and long-term disabilities.

Consider the following, which are all typical consequences of offshore injuries, and for all of which compensation is available under the law:


Medical Bills

Injuries from offshore accidents can lead to exorbitant medical bills. On top of emergency medical care, offshore workers frequently need surgery (and in some cases, multiple surgeries) to treat broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, closed head and traumatic brain injuries, and other traumatic injuries. Then, there are hospital fees, physical therapy costs, rehabilitation expenses, prescription costs, follow-up visits…the list goes on and on. In many cases, injured workers’ medical needs can last for years. For severe injuries, it is not unusual for the total medical costs to run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Non-Medical Expenses

On top of medical expenses, injured workers and their families are often face other expenses as well. From travel costs for treatment to making home modifications to accommodate an injury-related disability, little (and not-so-little) expenses here and there can quickly add up to more than most families can handle.


Loss of Income

Of course, these expenses all come at a time with the offshore worker is unable to go to work, which means that a steady paycheck is no longer coming in. When offshore injuries lead to permanent disabilities, workers and their families may need to plan for an entirely new future without job-related income.


Pain and Suffering

One cost that many injured workers do not account for is the pain. With many types of traumatic injuries, the pain does not go away – not for weeks, not for months, maybe not ever.


Loss of Support, Companionship and Enjoyment of Life

All of these factors can create extreme hardships which, whether immediately or over time, can take a severe toll on injured workers and their families. Adjusting to a new, unexpected life can strain even the strongest relationships, and the inability to enjoy hobbies or spend meaningful time with loved ones can have psychological and emotional consequences for even the most stalwart individuals. In many ways, it is these costs that are the most difficult for accident victims and their families to overcome.

So, is there any good news? Potentially, yes. Recognizing the inherent dangers of working offshore, maritime law provides special protections for injured workers and their families. The Jones Act and other laws provide injured workers with options for recovering both no-fault benefits (which are somewhat limited) and full injury compensation from their employers, vessel owners, and other responsible parties. This includes compensation not only for out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages, but pain, suffering, and other forms of psychological and emotional harm as well.