Brain Injuries in Commercial Dive Accidents
Commercial diving is a necessary job, but one that is also dangerous. Certainly, those who choose this profession enjoy diving and spend a considerable amount of time training and gathering experience. As safe as divers always try to be, sometimes accidents occur that are beyond their control. Some of the most serious accidents result in long-term or permanent injuries or disabilities. Brain injuries are among the most severe injuries caused by commercial dive accidents.
How Brain Injuries Occur
Brain injuries can occur when serious accidents happen underwater. The body is only able to survive without air for a short time. Lack of oxygen for just a few minutes will result in serious and permanent damage. Some of the most common injuries that may affect the brain include decompression sickness, gas embolisms, near-drowning, hypoxia, and out-of-air emergencies.
A diver can run out of air underwater, can become tangled in lines, or may experience an accident that causes lack of oxygen. Getting to the surface quickly can be dangerous because it, too, causes injuries. Gas embolisms and decompression sickness can cause a diver to lose consciousness or worse. Once out of the water, emergency medical care must be quickly provided for the most favorable outcome.
Treatment for Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are often significant and require extensive treatment. The patient will have to undergo many tests and surgical treatment. The extent of brain damage will determine whether the patient will recover. If the damage is minimal, the patient may be able to go through rehabilitation to regain some function.
Unfortunately, in situations where the victim was deprived of oxygen for more than 5 minutes, the outcome is bleak. The damage could be too severe for the patient to recover. In these cases, the victim will be disabled and need ongoing care for the rest of his life. It presents a very difficult and traumatic situation for the diver and his entire family.
Legal Help after a Brain Injury
Companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers at all times. If they don’t, they could be negligent. Negligence could include a number of different actions or lack of actions. For example, the company may not have provided safe equipment, not followed OSHA rules, or could have failed to properly train the crew. If a commercial diving accident happens, the company needs to take immediate steps to seek medical treatment.
The Jones Act allows those injured in maritime accidents, including commercial divers, the ability to seek legal action against the employer in cases where this is appropriate. If the company caused or contributed to significant injuries, they might be held responsible. While there is nothing that can be done to change the unfortunate circumstances, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party.
After a diving accident, don’t delay. Talk to a qualified brain injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review the accident and work to protect your rights. A legal case may be needed to bring about justice and get money for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Call an attorney to discuss your case today.