Maritime workers are at high risk of suffering accidents with heavy machinery, falls, and other physical trauma to the spine that can result in paralysis. Severe damage to the spinal cord can result in quadriplegia, a form of paralysis that affects both arms and both legs. Since the cells in the spinal cord cannot be regenerated, Jones Act seamen who suffer severe back injuries may be permanently unable to earn a living—and suffer increased medical costs and difficulties for the rest of their lives.
Employers and Shipowners May Owe Jones Act Seamen for Quadriplegia
Seamen are owed maintenance and cure under the Jones Act for injuries at sea, but the costs of living with quadriplegia can far outweigh the funds offered by these benefits. With help from the right Jones Act injury lawyer, you could collect enough damages to provide for your family and ensure that you receive good care for as long as your injury lasts.
Seamen may be owed damages for:
- Surgery. Victims of a spinal cord injury often need surgery to remove debris, repair damaged vertebrae, graft new skin onto the patient’s back, or cope with the complications of paralysis.
- Physical rehabilitation. Once a patient is stable, treatment focuses on helping them learn to function and live with their disability. Physical therapists may be needed to exercise parts of the body, occupational therapists can help patients find a way to do minor tasks independently, and speech therapists can find ways to help the patient communicate more effectively.
- Complications. Quadriplegia can affect movement and sensation in the organs as well as the limbs. Patients may suffer bladder or bowel incontinence, pressure sores, difficulty breathing, and discomfort or pain.
- Nursing care. Patients who have no control over bodily movements may need home health care workers to help them dress, bathe, eat, use the bathroom, or do other daily tasks.
- Psychological therapy. The trauma and effects of quadriplegia take an enormous toll on victims, causing extreme depression or anxiety. Therapy can help victims overcome their losses, such as an inability to have children or constant reliance on others.
If someone else’s negligence caused your injury at sea, you shouldn’t have to bear the physical, emotional, and financial costs on your own. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer, or fill out our online contact form to set up your no-obligation consultation. To learn more, download your complimentary copy of our guide, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.