Injury Claims: Offshore Workers, Rescuers, Clean-Up Workers
Latest Alert: Health risks to humans may be the result of pollution and contamination of the food chain. Those involved directly in the cleanup of crude oil may face additional health hazards. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 resulted in 11,000 clean-up workers making 5,600 visits to health clinics for upper respiratory damage alone. Many volunteers are being exposed to hazardous materials and should be aware that citizens along the Gulf have already reported health ailments related to toxic exposure (Natural Resources Defense Council).
Throughout the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding coastal regions, offshore workers are exposed to extreme dangers in their daily work environment. Maritime employees often suffer from injuries caused by those dangerous conditions on offshore platforms, spars, jack-up rigs, tankers, crew boats, charter boats, lay barges and other vessels. The Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion that caused the BP oil spill is just one example of the possible tragedies that can take the lives of innocent maritime employees. Not only are the workers at risk, but the rescue teams and cleanup crews can also sustain burns, become crushed or even become the victim of wrongful death.
Serious Burns: When the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred, BP oil ignited fires that raged, causing smoke inhalation, serious burns and other injuries. When a serious burn occurs, the most likely symptom is disfigurement of the skin, although body chemistry and organ damage can follow if the burn is serious enough. The treatment for serious burns can require skin grafts or replacement, physical therapy, and reconstructive surgery. These are long term, expensive treatments that make working and maintaining a normal quality of life very difficult.
Head injuries were one of the most common injuries sustained by workers at the time of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion. Closed head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be especially traumatic because they involve the brain and sensitive membranes and tissues that surround it. Without thorough testing, these injuries can be hard to diagnose and can lead to long term difficulties, and can be fatal if left untreated.
Crushing Injuries: When offshore oil rigs explode and quickly begin to tilt to one side, they cause unsecured equipment to dangerously pitch and plummet. Any crew member unfortunate enough to be in the path of this equipment would be in danger of receiving a crushing injury. Depending on the circumstances, most crushing injuries result in bone fractures, loss of muscle function, neurological damage, kidney and renal failure and even cardiac arrest.
Hearing Loss: For workers on board the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the initial explosion, hearing loss may well also be a reality. Hearing loss can have just as much impact to your future as the other serious injuries you can receive from a maritime disaster. If you have difficulties hearing, it can affect your personal relationships, make driving a challenge, change the way you work and even diminish overall quality of life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was possible. The mental and emotional fallout of a tragedy can leave lasting scars just as deep as physical injuries. Some of the symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, emotional numbness, trouble remembering the event and feeling on edge well after the incident occurred.
Wrongful death is defined as the loss of a loved one due to the mindless actions or negligence of another person or company. When a loved one has been lost due to these circumstances, the surviving family members may not know what they are entitled to under the law, nor the timeframe in which to file a claim. The family now suffers the loss of financial support that would have been provided by the lost family member. Other factors include the pain and suffering that the victim experienced prior to his or her death and the loss of companionship provided by the victim to the spouse and children.
Our team includes professionals who can help evaluate and represent the medical and financial interests of those who have been injured. If you have suffered a personal loss due to the negligence of others in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the maritime law attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help. Call toll free at 888-498-8212 or contact us online. We will discuss your concerns and provide a candid evaluation of your claim, all as part of a free consultation.