Offshore Burn Injury Lawyers
Severe Burns on Offshore Platforms & Maritime Vessels
Burns are among the most catastrophic injuries a seaman can suffer aboard an oil platform or a vessel. Offshore burn injuries can cause lifelong medical complications, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and serious pain and suffering. The emotional distress from severe burn injuries can also haunt victims for the rest of their lives.
Offshore burn injuries are often subject to maritime law and the Jones Act, which allow the injured seaman to seek financial compensation from their employer. If you suffered severe burns while working offshore, you should act quickly to discuss your case with a qualified offshore burn injury attorney. At Arnold & Itkin, we are passionate about advocating for the rights of injured seaman and offshore workers. Our trial lawyers have decades of experience in handling offshore injury claims, and our winning track record demonstrates our ability to fight for our clients.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help with your offshore burn injury case.
Burns Caused by Offshore Accidents & Oil Rig Explosions
We've worked extensively in the area of catastrophic offshore injuries. We represent seamen, harbor workers, longshoremen, and others in this field who have suffered harm in on-the-job accidents. Offshore occupations can be extremely hazardous when safety precautions are inadequate, and serious burns are one of the possible results.
While working offshore, burn injuries can result from various sources, such as exposure to chemicals, radiation, friction, heat, and electricity. Oil rig fires and explosions pose particular risks of burns and other life-threatening injuries.
Offshore burn injuries can be classified into one of four categories:
- First-Degree Burns: These are the mildest of burns, affecting only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Common symptoms include redness and dry skin, and the pain can be significant. These burns typically heal within a week. A familiar example is a sunburn, though repeated first-degree burns can increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Second-Degree Burns: These burns are divided into two types. The first, superficial partial thickness burns, extend through the epidermis into the upper layer of the dermis and are characterized by red, blistering skin. They generally heal in two to three weeks, though infections can prolong recovery. The second, deep partial thickness burns, reach the deeper dermal layer, leading to bloody blisters and potentially causing scars. Healing can take several weeks.
- Third-Degree Burns: Contrary to what one may expect, third-degree burns can be painless initially due to nerve damage, as they penetrate through the entire dermis. The skin may appear dry, leathery, and charred. In severe cases, impaired circulation may necessitate amputation if the affected area is beyond saving.
- Fourth-Degree Burns: These burns extend through all skin layers, fat, and into muscles and bones. The appearance is often dry, blackened, and charred. Treatment may require surgical removal of damaged tissue and, in extreme cases, amputation. Fourth-degree burns can lead to complications like gangrene, functional impairments, or even death.
Each degree of burn injury requires specific medical attention, and in the context of offshore work, immediate and appropriate treatment is crucial due to the potential severity and complications associated with these injuries.
Treating Offshore Burn Injuries
Some burns may only need to be cooled and cleaned to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of infection. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed to decrease the chance of infection or cure it if it has already developed. The wound may need to be dressed and a cream applied beneath gauze to help speed up the healing process.
The skin that has been damaged may require excision and if gangrene develops, or if the area is burned significantly enough, it may be necessary to amputate. It is not necessary to seek medical treatment for every kind of burn, but it should be sought when a significant portion of the body is burned, a more sensitive area such as the face is harmed, the condition worsens, it is life-threatening, infection develops, or other serious factors are involved. Since burns can lead to scarring, it is important to treat the area effectively to reduce this risk.
Causes of Burn Injuries in Oil & Gas Operations
According to a 2013 study performed by the CDC, offshore workers employed in the oil and gas industry are seven times more likely to die on the job than in any other industry. Accidents that occur in the offshore oil and gas industry are avoidable. When fires and explosions could have been prevented, someone should be held accountable for the negligence that led to the incident.
Some of the most common causes of burn injuries in the offshore industry include:
- Engine room explosions/fires
- Equipment failure or malfunction
- Hazardous chemicals
- Welding accidents
- Gas line ruptures
- Fuel explosions
- Improper fire prevention systems
- Steam pipe bursts
- Pipeline accidents
Call Our Offshore Burn Injury Attorneys at (888) 346-5024
If you suffered severe burns while working on an oil rig or on a maritime vessel in the middle of the ocean, Arnold & Itkin is here to stand up for your rights and fight for the fair compensation and justice you deserve. We have won more than $20 billion for our clients, and we are committed to providing injured offshore workers with the level of legal representation they need to successfully file or resolve their cases. We are passionate about the work we do and dedicated to serving our clients with the utmost excellence. There is nothing more important than protecting your future.
Contact Arnold & Itkin today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our offshore burn injury attorneys.