Commercial Dive Burn Injuries
Commercial diving is a dangerous occupation. Working under the water’s surface is difficult and hazardous. Although divers are highly trained and extremely experienced, accidents may occur over which they have little or no control. Underwater welding and other construction and repair tasks can result in an explosion or fire. In these instances, the diver may have little ability to get away and may sustain severe burn injuries.
Causes of Burn Injuries to Divers
Many people are unaware that explosions can occur underwater. In fact, serious bodily harm may happen to those involved in underwater accidents. Welding accidents, equipment failures, and unsafe apparatus can all lead to serious explosions or fires. When a catastrophic event occurs underwater, the results can be even more devastating because the divers are unable to resurface quickly. In addition to burns that occur during a dive mission, there are dangers aboard the diving support vessel itself. Fires on board the ship and other accidents cause burns to divers and crew members.
Burns are among the most painful and debilitating of all injuries. Burns are classified by severity and are treated accordingly. The most severe are third-degree burns. These wounds are the deepest, reaching down into the lower layers below the skin. In addition to destroying the skin, these burns also cause nerve damage. Severe burns require immediate emergency treatment. When burns are covering a large portion of the body, there is concern over survivability.
There are numerous complications that occur from severe burns. The risk of infection is great because of open wounds. When the skin is damaged, it is no longer able to control the body’s temperature so the patient could experience hypothermia. Additionally, there may be a great deal of blood loss. The tissues and bones can be damaged from scar tissue as the injury heals. Burn injuries can take weeks or months to heal. The patient must undergo extensive treatments and may need skin grafts, and reconstructive surgery.
What to Do After a Serious Burn Injury
The first weeks after a severe injury are difficult, and the outcome of the patient is unknown. Burn injuries require a lengthy recovery period. The patient needs treatments and ongoing care that is often very expensive and painful. When the accident was the result of negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. The Jones Act is legislation that ensures that victims of maritime accidents, including commercial divers, are allowed to file legal action against their employer. It is advisable to consult with an experienced commercial dive attorney immediately following the accident.
Protect Your Legal Rights
An attorney with expertise in the area of commercial dive accidents will protect your rights and help you seek justice. You and your family are likely facing astronomical medical costs, and you will be unable to work for an extended period of time, if ever again. Your lawyer will review the details of the accident and gather information necessary to prove negligence. In many of these cases, your attorney will negotiate a settlement to get your family the money they deserve.