Paralysis Caused by Commercial Dive Accidents
Commercial diving is a difficult and dangerous occupation. Divers face a number of different potential hazards on a daily basis. Divers undergo extensive training before they can work underwater. Although divers take every precaution to ensure their safety, commercial dive accidents happen from time to time. When they do, severe injuries often occur.
A commercial diver faces a variety of possible accidents and injuries. Of these, the most severe may result in paralysis. Paralysis occurs due to catastrophic spinal cord damage which is possible with a broken neck or back. When the spinal cord is not intact, it cannot pass important signals that are necessary for body movement. The injury may cause partial or total paralysis.
When a diver is out of air or has a gas embolism, it is an emergency situation. If the diver is without oxygen for more than several minutes, it may result in brain damage. When brain damage is severe, the patient could be partially or fully paralyzed. The patient could be permanently disabled and may require lifelong care.
Medical Care after an Injury
After a commercial diving accident, the victim needs to undergo extensive medical treatment. Immediate emergency care must be provided in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Once the patient is stabilized, he will need considerable attention. In addition to paralysis, the patient likely suffered other injuries in the accident that must also be properly treated. Patients who are paralyzed will require ongoing treatment, physical rehabilitation, emotional therapy, and other types of care. The costs of this care can be extremely high.
Accidents Due to Negligence
Most commercial dive accidents are preventable. The company must ensure that safety guidelines are in place to keep divers from harm. Equipment should be tested to make sure it is functioning properly and replaced when needed. When companies take shortcuts with safety or fail to comply with OSHA requirements, it can lead to a serious accident and severe injuries.
Additionally, the company must have procedures in place to care for employees immediately following an incident. Many times the patient’s condition will worsen if treatment is delayed or inadequate. If the company is negligent, they could be responsible for the accident and the resulting damages.
Legal Help from a Reputable Commercial Dive Attorney
The Jones Act is federal legislation that allows employees to file claims against their employer if they were injured because of negligence. Following an accident that resulted in paralysis or other injuries, it is advisable to speak with a qualified commercial dive attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights and work to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Victims and their families may be compensated for medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, therapy treatments, and ongoing care. Additionally, you may recover other damages such as money for pain and suffering, lost wages, inability to work, and loss of enjoyment of life, among others. If you were hurt in a commercial diving accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case and ensure that you achieve positive results.