Limb Amputation Injuries in Jones Act Cases
The loss of a limb changes your life forever. It is a devastating injury for anyone to suffer, but especially for workers on commercial fishing and shipping vessels, who depend on their arms, hands, legs, and feet to earn a living. Because of the dangerous nature of the work, seamen have a higher chance of suffering a limb amputation than workers in other industries. Commercial fishermen can be crushed by unsecured cargo, injured during a collision with a dock or vessel, or caught in winches, lines, and equipment.
Some amputations occur at the time of the injury, while others are completed surgically after the accident. Medical care for a limb amputation continues long after the surgery. In addition to pain treatment, you will need physical and occupational therapy. Many amputees require the use of a prosthetic, which requires weeks of training and therapy to learn how to use. Because it is such a traumatic injury, it is common for amputees to also suffer psychological and emotional damage. It is critical to work with a trusted medical provider to ensure that you are getting the care that you need.
If you have had a limb amputation, you deserve fair compensation for your injury. If the limb amputation was the result of your employer’s or another crewmember’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act requires employers to provide seamen with a reasonably safe work environment. Your safety should be the top priority. Machinery must be properly maintained, the crew must be trained, and safety procedures must be implemented. Failure to provide a safe working environment can lead to liability.
To recover under the Jones Act, the injured seamen must prove that the employer’s negligence played some role, however slight, in causing the injury. An injured seaman can recover under the Jones Act, even if they were partially at fault or there were other contributing causes to the injury. This burden is very low compared to other personal injury cases and is referred to as “featherweight causation.”
Under the Jones Act, injured seamen are entitled to compensation to cover medical bills, lost past and future wages, disfigurement, and pain suffering, among other damages. This compensation is critical because the cost of losing a limb can be overwhelming. In addition to extensive medical expenses, you may need to take a considerable amount of time off from work to recover, or you may never be able to return to work again. Through working with an experienced maritime attorney, you can ensure that you are recovering the maximum amount that you are entitled to.
Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing seamen who have suffered limb amputation injuries 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.