Anyone who is working on a vessel, on a dock, or in close proximity to the sea faces a constant risk of hypothermia. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), hypothermia and frostbite are some of the biggest risks faced by maritime workers. It may be critical to contact a distinguished maritime injury attorney about seeking compensation for your injuries.
Hypothermia can be a serious medical condition that if not properly, and promptly treated, can result in permanent injury and even death. While many cases of hypothermia can be prevented, many maritime workers suffer the ill effects of hypothermia because of employer negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of hypothermia, a Charleston maritime hypothermia accident lawyer can help guide you through the difficult process of filing for compensation.
Hypothermia is a medical condition wherein the internal body temperature drops below an unsafe level. If this condition is not promptly addressed and treated, it can result in permanent damage and even death. Maritime workers are particularly susceptible to hypothermia because of exposure to water.
Hypothermia generally is categorized in three stages; mild, moderate, and profound. Some of the signs and indications of hypothermia from mild to severe include:
- Shallow or recessed breathing
- Blue skin, particularly around the lips, ears, nose, fingers, and toes
- Uncontrollable muscle movement
- Stiff unmovable limbs
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slurred and unintelligible speech
Maritime workers who are exposed to the elements can be prone to hypothermia, and it is important to note that hypothermia can occur even when the temperature is above freezing. However, boat owners and boating companies have a duty towards maritime workers to ensure that vessels are seaworthy. This may include providing shelter in the event of in climate weather, as well as employing safety precautions against such things as hypothermia.
Recovering from a Hypothermia Injury
Fortunately, maritime workers in Charleston and throughout the country are protected by several federal laws designed to prevent harm and injury to employees. These laws require employers to provide workers with appropriate working conditions, including providing appropriate gear and equipment as well as heated shelters.
Maritime workers aboard a ship should also be provided with appropriate safety guards to prevent accidental falls overboard, which often results in hypothermia injuries and accidents. While it is impossible to entirely protect against the elements, boat owners and operators need to be concerned for their employee’s well-being and should make every effort to prevent hypothermia injuries.
All too often maritime workers suffer the ill-effects of hypothermia because their employer failed to provide appropriate protection from the elements. In these cases, a maritime worker may be entitled to significant compensation under the various maritime laws.
Charleston maritime hypothermia accident lawyers have devoted nearly 40 years to helping Charleston residents and maritime workers hold boat owners and operators for injuries. We understand the rigor and stresses of working on a boat or on the docks in Charleston and have helped those affected by hypothermia recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Cure and maintenance
- Wrongful death
Benefit of Hiring an Attorney
While laws such as the Jones Act, The Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act, Death on High Seas Act, and Maintenance and Cure provide injured maritime workers with a means of seeking recovery, filing for compensation can be incredibly complicated and often requires expert testimony.
Charleston maritime hypothermia accident lawyers are familiar with the unique challenges a hypothermia accident can entail and can work closely with you to help determine your injuries, damages, and the types of compensation you may be entitled to.
Maritime lawyers can help provide crucial guidance and legal support to maritime workers suffering from workplace injuries. Contact an attorney with experience managing hypothermia accidents as soon as possible.