Hip Replacements in Jones Act Cases
Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Workers are exposed to a high risk of injury, including hip fractures. If the fracture is severe, the injured worker may be required to undergo a hip replacement. During hip replacement surgery, the doctor removes the damaged portions of the hip joint and replaces them with artificial parts (prosthesis). After hip replacement surgery, the activity that you can perform is limited, and physical therapy is required for up to a year to rebuild the strength in your hip. At least in the short-term, you will not be able to go back to working long-hours climbing ladders and stairs, operating heavy equipment, and walking on uneven surfaces.
It is critical to understand your legal rights if you are a seaman suffering from hip pain, whether from a slip and fall accident or crushing injury. Some company doctors may be unwilling to do proper testing, such as MRIs, to determine whether or not hip replacement surgery is needed. An MRI is critical because it can show soft tissue and ligament damage, which may not be evident on an X-ray. Under maritime law, you are allowed to seek medical treatment from a private doctor that you trust. If you are suffering from a hip injury, you should reach out to an experienced maritime attorney to ensure that you are receiving the medical care and compensation that you deserve.
The Jones Act is a federal statute that gives significant protections to injured seamen. It requires employers to provide its employees with a reasonably safe place to work, and it entitles seamen injured during the course of their employment to sue their employer for negligence damages. The Jones Act is unique because the majority of employees in the United States are limited to filing standard workers’ compensation claims in the event of a workplace injury. In general, to be considered a seaman under the Jones Act, the employee must spend at least thirty percent of his or her time on a vessel that is in navigation. All crewmembers, including deckhands, engineers, cooks, and supervisors, are considered seamen.
It is critical to understand the true value of your claim. Insurance companies or employers may try to offer you significantly less than what you are entitled to. Under the Jones Act, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, lost fringe benefits, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. Your recovery may be reduced if your employer can prove that you contributed to your injury. It will be reduced by the percent to which you contributed to your own injury.
Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing seamen who have required hip replacement surgery against vessel owners, maritime employers, and maritime insurance companies. If you or a loved one were injured in a commercial fishing or shipping accident, contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through this website.