Infection Recovering From This Serious Maritime Injury

How to Recover Damages If a Minor Injury Becomes Infected While Working on a Boat

Paul Hofmann
Specializes in personal injury, with emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims

Your accident may not have been as dramatic as some you’ve heard about. You didn’t get knocked over by fishing gear and you didn’t slip on the deck and hit your head. Instead, what started as a minor cut on your hand progressed a little more slowly. Now you are suffering with a painfully infected wound. Yet, make no mistake about it. Your injury is every bit as serious and every bit as deserving of a recovery as other maritime injuries.

Infection At Sea Can Be Caused by Employer Negligence

Your employer may not have intended to cause your infection. The captain and owner of the boat would likely prefer that you were healthy and working. However, if your employer failed to provide you with a reasonably safe place to work and the unsafe conditions led to your infection then you may have the right to recover damages. For example, it might be reasonable to expect a maritime employer to:

  • Have first aid supplies on the vessel. This may include sterile cloths for cleaning your wound, antibiotic ointments, and clean bandages.
  • Call or return to shore for help if you are exhibiting signs of infection. Symptoms such as include fever or discharge from the injury site may be cause for concern.

Of course, the specific facts of your case will determine whether or not your employer acted reasonably and whether you can recover damages.

Protect Your Right to Recover Damages

Your employer may try to tell you that you don’t qualify for damages for the medical bills and lost time from work you incurred because of your infection. However, it is not just catastrophic injuries that are covered by the Jones Act and other maritime laws. Infections caused or made worse by the employer may also give rise to maritime injury lawsuits.

Thus, it is important to know your rights and to take the appropriate steps to protect your recovery. To that end, we encourage you to browse our related links and to read our free brochure, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights .