Drowning or Near-Drowning Commercial Diving Accidents
There are many dangers involved in commercial diving. One of the most serious is the possibility of drowning. These types of accidents are often preventable and may be caused by negligent actions of others. When working underwater, it is essential to be safe at all times. All workers and supervisors need to be alert to the needs of the divers’ and provide assistance to prevent accidents from occurring.
Drowning can happen when there is a problem with the diver’s equipment, an accident, or when the diver is not returned to the surface and runs out of air. A person drowns when the lungs take in water, and the body is deprived of oxygen. After just several minutes of oxygen deprivation the brain suffers damage, and soon paralysis occurs. If the person is rescued and life-saving efforts are made, the victim may survive. However, there may be permanent brain damage as a result.
Long-term Medical Problems Caused by Near-Drowning
Near-drowning occurs when someone is submerged in water for a period of time but is revived. The extent of injuries and prognosis can vary greatly depending on many factors including the length of time submerged, the age and general health of the patient, and the type and temperature of water in which the victim was submerged.
In a cold-water near-drowning, the cold temperature may help protect the body during submersion, but it can cause secondary medical problems due to hypothermia. The type of water that was ingested also has an impact on the outcome and on future treatment. For example, saltwater ingestion may cause electrolyte imbalance and the potential for infectious complications.
Permanent Brain Injuries
Many of those who almost drowned suffer from severe and permanent brain injuries. There are two main types of brain injuries that may occur. Partial lack of oxygen results in a hypoxic brain injury, while a complete lack of oxygen results in an anoxic injury. Extensive testing with an MRI, CT scan or EEG will help determine the extent of the damage. Recovery from a near-drowning is not always possible. If the patient survives, they will need to undergo a long road of physical and speech therapy to relearn everything.
Seek Legal Assistance after a Commercial Diving Accident
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, is legislation that permits those injured in commercial diving accidents the ability to bring a negligence lawsuit against their employer. After a commercial diving accident, you need assistance from an attorney with experience in these types of claims. Action can be taken against the negligent party.
You may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by the accident. The victim could collect money for medical bills, physical and psychological therapy and future medical treatments. Additionally, you may suffer punitive damages such as lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. While nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, the family of a diver who died after an accident could recover funeral costs and other monies.
Contact a knowledgeable commercial diving accident attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney will review the details of the accident and will work to protect your rights and get you the compensation you and your family deserve.