A broken bone is a painful and unfortunately common injury in maritime workers. A fall from height, repetitive lifting, or becoming caught between heavy objects can fracture one or more bones, requiring surgery and weeks of immobility to heal properly. In some cases, employees will suffer lasting disability from a fracture that can cost them the ability to earn a living.
Common Bone Fracture Injuries in the Maritime Industry
At best, a bone fracture will mean weeks off of work and limitations on activities while the bone heals. In worse cases, a break can affect a person’s ability to earn a living, causes disability that limits future income, and seriously affect the quality of life.
Fractures that may have long-lasting effects include:
- Skull fractures. A blow to the head from a slip or fall, a fall from height, or being struck by swinging or unsecured cargo can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in permanent cognitive or personality changes.
- Broken legs and arms. An arm or leg that is caught or compressed may result in compartment syndrome, causing cell and tissue death that requires amputation. Even if this is avoided, a break on one side can cause one arm or leg to become shorter than the other after healing.
- Foot and ankle fractures. Dropped tools, snapped lines, or stress fractures from daily use may all cause permanent limps or a misshapen joint.
- Hip and pelvis breaks. These breaks often require surgery to remove bone fragments and place rods and screws for stability, increasing the risk of blood clots and post-surgery infections.
- Hand and wrist fractures. Incomplete healing from a hand fracture may result in nerve damage, chronic pain, limited mobility, or even result in amputation.
- Back fractures. Fractures in the spine often cause lifelong pain, lifting restrictions, and nerve injuries such as sciatica and numbness.
- Clavicle fractures. Collarbone fractures are extremely painful and may permanently affect mobility in the arm or shoulder.
- Rib fractures. Crush injuries and falls are the most common cause of rib fractures, which may cause internal bleeding and organ damage from bone fragments.
- Facial fractures. A break in the nose, cheekbone, chin, jaw, or forehead may result in loss of vision, nerve damage, or permanent facial disfigurement.
If you have suffered a broken bone in the service of your vessel, our Jones Act and maritime injury lawyers can fight on your behalf to get you the full compensation you are owed. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.362.9329 to schedule your free consultation with Hofmann & Schweitzer today.