Disfigurement Due to Commercial Dive Accidents
Serious and painful Injuries can occur because of a commercial dive accident. These injuries can be very serious and often require emergency hospitalization and ongoing medical treatment. Recovery can be long, difficult and traumatizing. In some cases, the victim may have an ongoing disability or disfigurement. Disfigurement is just one of many possible long-term consequences of serious injuries that could occur.
Serious Burns or Lacerations
Underwater welding is one of the most dangerous types of activities that are undertaken by commercial divers, yet it is also one of the most common. There is a need for welding underwater when working with damaged oil rigs, ships, docks, or other structures. The use of welding equipment in the water does not keep someone from becoming burned. It is more difficult to weld in water and more dangerous.
Welding accidents may result in serious burns or lacerations. Severe burns and cuts are difficult to treat and require immediate care. Burns are among the most painful of all injuries. The most serious burns cause permanent disfigurement due to the development of scar tissue. Even with skin grafts or reconstructive surgery the victim often still has pain and scarring.
Amputation of Limbs
Commercial divers are also at risk of the loss of a limb due to a catastrophic accident underwater. A diver may get injured by a ship propeller or other object. This can occur when the diver is pushed into it by forceful pressure during the dive. Another situation that can occur is an underwater explosion. These accidents can cause severe damage to a limb, which could result in surgery and the need for amputation.
The loss of a limb is a lifelong disability. The victim not only endures severe physical pain but also may be unable to work for the rest of his life. Additionally, there may be extensive medical treatment necessary including surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. After a disfigurement causing accident, the victim could also suffer from anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems.
When a commercial diver is seriously hurt or permanently disfigured due to an accident, the negligent party should be held responsible. The Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 688) is federal legislation that allows commercial divers and others to file injury claims against the employer. The costs for medical care and ongoing treatment can be astronomical, especially if the injury is disabling. Injury claims may include requests for damages that include expenses such as the costs of medical care, rehabilitation expenses and future medical bills. Additionally, in some circumstances, the victim may request punitive damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, psychological care, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Legal Help after a Disfigurement Injury
The victim of a commercial dive accident needs to seek medical and other treatment to care for the physical and emotional damage that has occurred. Keep all medical records and other paperwork that documents your injuries. Contact an experienced commercial dive accident attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer will review the details of your accident to determine how best to proceed. It is advisable to speak with an attorney as soon after the accident as possible to protect your rights and assure that you receive the compensation you deserve.