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Dredge Workers Face Serious Risks of Neck Injuries


Posted in Get To Know Maritime Law, High Seas, High Risk: Offshore Injury on July 6, 2019

Working on a dredger can be a dangerous job. With little room for error, an unexpected dredging accident can leave you reeling in pain. While severe lacerations or broken bones are undoubtedly painful, a neck injury can be absolutely life-changing.

A neck injury can be devastating, and depending on its severity, can lead to permanent disability.

Understanding your legal rights following your accident can help you to secure the benefits needed to begin healing from your injury. Maritime law can be complicated – especially when involving a neck injury – that’s why you need the trustworthy and dependable team of Lapeze & Johns. With over $415 million recovered for our clients, we know how to get you the results you deserve. 

If you are dealing with a neck injury as a result of your dredging accident, please consider the following. 

Common Causes of Offshore Neck Injuries 

Maritime work – including dredging – often involves heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals, and hazardous working conditions. Because of the work environment, accidents do happen. 

When an individual suffers an injury to their neck, including the muscles, ligaments, or bones in the area, then this may cause serious pain. Some of the most common causes of offshore neck injuries include:

  • Faulty equipment 
  • Lack of safety equipment 
  • Inadequate training
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Improperly trained coworkers
  • Lack of safety procedures
  • Unsafe work environment
  • Understaffing
  • Failure to follow regulations
  • Chemical spills
  • Lifting accident
  • Broken equipment 
  • Owner negligence
  • Operator negligence

A neck injury can occur from the previously mentioned causes in different manners, such as:

  • A slip and fall incident caused by water or chemical spill not properly cleaned up. 
  • An individual being hit by heavy equipment or falling equipment. 
  • A fall from a higher area of the dredger. 
  • Assault or violence. 

Common Types of Neck Injuries a Dredge Worker Can Suffer

A dredger accident can lead to a variety of neck injuries that can affect soft tissue, muscles, discs, nerves, or the spinal cord. If the injury is serious enough, you may not be able to return to work or continue on in the position you once held, which can result in lost wages and other financial issues. 

Alongside an inability to return to work, neck injuries can also severely affect your quality of life and relationships with others. 

Examples of neck injuries dredger workers can suffer from include:

  • Disc injuries (i.e. herniated disc)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament damage
  • Whiplash
  • Neck sprains 
  • Pinched nerves

 Signs that you have suffered a neck injury will vary depending on the type of injury you have endured but can include: 

  • Neck pain lasting for three weeks or longer. 
  • Shooting pain along your sciatic nerve.
  • Pain in the shoulder, neck, arms, or hands.  
  • Numbness in the feet or hands.
  • Difficulty standing or sitting for extensive amounts of time.
  • Tingling sensation in the feet or hands. 
  • Leg pain. 

Injuries caused by dredging accidents can be quite serious and require immediate medical attention to uncover whether you have suffered a soft tissue injury or a vertebrae-related injury. 

Proving Your Neck Injury

Medical attention will help to uncover the specifics of your neck injury. A qualified physician will be able to note: 

  • Visible damages
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Muscle spasms
  • Levels of pain 
  • Range of mobility
  • How the injury could hamper your ability to work

The experienced Houston maritime attorneys of Lapeze & Johns can help you to secure all the necessary evidence needed to develop a strong claim. Along with medical documentation related to your injury, we can also secure witness testimony, secure additional evidence, represent you in your dealings with insurance carriers, represent you in your dealings with your employer, and litigate your claim in court if necessary. 

The Jones Act protects offshore work employees – including dredge workers – and  it allows you to claim several types of damages, including: 

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

A neck injury can be excruciating, that’s why it’s important to seek out legal counseling immediately after suffering an injury. 

If you have been injured in a dredging accident, do NOT hesitate to contact Lapeze & Johns today at (713)766-0075 for a FREE case review.