Offshore Brain Injury Lawyers
Head Trauma & Brain Damage Affecting Maritime Workers
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and head trauma are considered catastrophic offshore injuries. They may affect every single aspect of an offshore worker’s life, resulting in overwhelming medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional trauma, cognitive difficulties, memory loss, and even personality changes. Offshore brain injuries may occur in falls, explosions, machinery accidents, blowouts, and other incidents on fixed platforms, jack-up rigs, barges, and other vessels.
If you or a loved one sustained a brain injury while working offshore, it is important to know your rights. By speaking with an offshore brain injury attorney at Arnold & Itkin, you can learn about your options and what to do next. We have fought for injured seamen and oil and gas workers’ rights, helping after every major maritime disaster in the past 20 years. Our results speak for themselves: over $20 billion won for our clients.
About Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries may occur in serious and seemingly minor accidents alike, often as the result of “open head injuries” or “closed head injuries.” Open head or penetrating brain injuries occur when the skull is pierced, such as by a piece of metal. Closed head injuries are caused by sudden impact or blunt force trauma, including head trauma caused by a fall or being struck by a falling object.
Medical intervention and treatment can help stabilize brain injury victims, and various therapy options can help patients manage certain symptoms or cope with disabilities. However, there is currently no medical treatment readily available to actually reverse brain damage.
Brain injuries are a serious concern for offshore workers, given the physically demanding and often hazardous nature of their work. The severity of these injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, and in the worst cases, they can be fatal. Recognizing the signs of a concussion is crucial. These can include symptoms like confusion, difficulty remembering, blurred vision, headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, disrupted sleep, and difficulty concentrating. In more severe cases, a TBI can either be closed, where the brain is injured within the skull due to a fall or a strong blow to the head, or penetrating, where an object pierces the skull and enters the brain.
The consequences of a TBI can be long-lasting and sometimes irreversible. Victims may experience altered sensations, including changes in their perception, vision, touch, and hearing. Motor functions can be impaired, leading to a loss of control over various bodily functions. Memory loss is also a common effect, which may be temporary or permanent. Since the brain is integral to controlling the body's functions, any injury can have widespread effects.
Furthermore, TBIs can profoundly affect a person's emotional state. Changes in personality, depression, and anxiety are not uncommon in TBI victims. While some effects may improve over time, others might require intensive medical interventions, including surgery.
Symptoms of Brain Injuries
TBI symptoms can range from relatively minor—lightheadedness and dizziness—to severe: memory loss, cognitive damage, seizures, and changes in behavior. It is important to realize that any level of damage to the brain will have a direct and profound impact on the individual’s daily life. The victim could suffer from side effects and consequences that could even alter their personality and way of thinking.
Some symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Cognitive symptoms such as trouble with memory, attention, and concentration.
- Sensory symptoms: vision changes or loss; hearing loss, tinnitus, or sound sensitivity; loss of taste and/or smell.
- Behavioral and emotional symptoms such as irritability, anger, depression, and dramatic mood swings.
- Physical symptoms such as seizures, headaches, paralysis, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, menstrual changes, and/or chronic pain, as well as slurred speech and other language difficulties.
If you or a loved one sustained brain damage in an accident that occurred while working offshore, it may be easy to feel hopeless or alone—but you do not need to feel this way. There are steps you can take to protect your legal rights. It is important to know what your options are, and how you can take action to protect yourself and your future after a serious offshore accident. Our offshore brain injury attorneys can help you find the information you need.
Causes of Offshore Brain Injuries
Offshore work environments present a host of dangers, some inherent to the nature of the job and others due to human factors. The unpredictable ocean conditions, coupled with wet and slippery surfaces, are just the beginning of the challenges faced. Adding to this, negligence, inadequate safety measures, lack of proper training, defective equipment, and poorly maintained machinery create perilous situations that significantly increase the risk of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and other head traumas.
Brain injuries in offshore settings can result from various incidents, often exacerbated by the physically demanding nature of the work. The risk of falling or being struck by heavy equipment is considerably high. Such injuries can occur from direct impacts to the head, objects penetrating the skull, intense rotational forces, or exposure to blasts.
Among the general causes of traumatic brain injuries in the United States, falls are notably the most common, accounting for over 35% of cases.
Offshore, brain injuries and head trauma may be caused by:
- Overhead Hazards: Objects like pipes or equipment swinging overhead can strike offshore oil and gas workers unexpectedly, leading to severe head injuries.
- Falling Objects: Objects dropping from above, particularly in areas with heavy lifting operations, pose a significant risk of crushing head trauma, which can cause brain injuries.
- High-Altitude Falls: Falling from ladders, platforms, containers, or other elevated areas on a ship or offshore oil platform can result in traumatic brain injuries.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slipping and tripping can also cause serious brain injuries—at any height. If an offshore worker loses their footing, they may experience head trauma in a resulting fall.
The types of accidents that occur are not limited to those listed above. Whatever caused your head injury, speaking with an attorney is the right step to take. We have recovered over $20 billion for our clients. We are prepared to put that experience to work for any offshore worker who has suffered a severe and life-changing brain injury.
Call Arnold & Itkin for a Free Consultation at (888) 346-5024
Injuries to the head, neck, and brain are among the most catastrophic injuries a person can suffer. Seamen are protected under the Jones Act and other maritime laws designed to ensure workers are compensated for injuries sustained on the job. These protections help keep employers accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one sustained a brain injury while working offshore, speaking with a knowledgeable maritime lawyer is one of the best things you can do in the pursuit of protecting your rights. Our team can help you understand what your options are, starting with a free consultation. Our offshore brain injury attorneys help survivors and families get the answers and compensation they need after the worst maritime accidents. We are prepared to fight for your rights.
Contact us today for your free consultation.