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August 11th, 2022

Compartment Syndrome and Maritime Law: What You Should Know?

Working on waters near the Texas shore is a hazardous profession. Yet, these jobs are a mainstay of the state’s economy. Texas employs over 40,000 domestic maritime workers, and all of them are at risk daily for serious workplace injuries.

Many common dangers exist on a working vessel, such as fires, falls, and being struck by moving objects. These and many other types of injuries may be addressed quickly. Internal injuries are harder to spot, are more complex, and are usually more expensive to treat. One common injury common among mariners is a muscle and blood disorder known as compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome (or CS) is a condition that targets your circulation and blood flow to parts of the body. This condition is primarily due to built-up pressure in your muscles. The condition commonly occurs due to three main factors: the overexertion of your muscle function, blood flow to the muscle tissue, and pressure build-up in the muscle itself.

Compartment syndrome can be extremely painful and occurs when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This pressure can decrease blood flow, preventing nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells.

Compartment syndrome also can be either acute or chronic.

  • Acute compartment syndrome is classified as a medical emergency. Acute cases are common to severe injury. Without treatment, this can lead to permanent muscle damage.
  • Chronic compartment syndrome, also known as exertional compartment syndrome, is usually not a medical emergency. It is most often caused by severe exertion over time and possibly debilitating.

Due to the nature of maritime work, many workers are contracting compartment syndrome and could end up losing their livelihoods, physical mobility, or the ability to work at all.

If you are injured because of a maritime accident, even if it seems minor, or have pain or other symptoms, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Although immediate treatment may not be available due to your location, putting off medical attention could lead to compartment syndrome and negatively affect your health and finances.

All these cases are legally complex. You need to consult with a Houston maritime injury lawyer to get all the information you need and pursue the correct legal option, so you and your family’s rights are successfully protected.

What Are Some Signs That I May Have or Be Developing Compartment Syndrome

o Some common symptoms of compartment syndrome could include:

o Paleness, or a “lack of color” to your skin.

o Pain that increases over time

o Decreased sensation or tingling or burning sensations in your skin and muscle tissue.

o A decreased range of motion, muscle tightness, and weakness.

Compartment syndrome may also be caused by a crushing type of injury, fractures, badly bruised muscle, and reestablishing blood flow after any form of blocked circulation.

This condition can occur in your hands, forearms, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, or legs.

After compartment syndrome has been treated, it can take months, or even years, of therapy to recover fully. Since compartment syndrome restricts blood supply to muscles and nerves, it can cause devastating injury. It can adversely affect your life and ability to work, and you should act immediately.

The dangers inherent in maritime work and the extreme physical stress it usually demands make compartment syndrome a real risk to your health, no matter your age.

If you, or a loved one, has suffered an offshore maritime injury, it is mandatory that you consult with a knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced offshore maritime injury lawyer. You will then know your legal rights and get the compensation you require to recover and provide for your financial future.

What May I Receive As Compensation With a Compartment Syndrome Claim?

If you’ve had a severe accident or contracted a condition such as compartment syndrome, then you could be entitled to significant compensation. This compensation could include lost wages, medical bills, ongoing treatment, pain and suffering due to your condition, and more. However, in many cases, you, as the victim, are underpaid if you try to collect compensation without the help of an experienced and knowledgeable maritime injury lawyer.

Commonly the first thing you do is file a claim for maintenance and cure benefits. Normally, under general maritime law, you may be owed a daily stipend for your meals and housing while you are unable to work, plus any amount it takes to pay for your “necessary” medical costs.

It’s unfortunate, however, that large insurance companies and employers commonly pay only what they must. This amount may not even come close to covering all your losses. All these cases are different, but under certain conditions, your employer may be held liable for any lack of training, equipment maintenance, safety violations, or overworking personnel that caused or contributed to your injury.

Consult with a maritime lawyer, and all the details of your specific case will be legally and thoroughly investigated. You are entitled to compensation for all you need, and your maritime lawyer will fight for your rights to receive it.

What Other Injuries Can My Maritime Lawyer Help Me Obtain Compensation?

If you work in the maritime industry in Texas, you’re aware that you, and your fellow workers, must cope with a myriad of on-the-job hazards. Harsh weather conditions often make workplace duties exceedingly tricky, and a sudden high wind can send workers overboard. Slip-and-fall accidents are frequent, as walking surfaces often are always wet. Some vessels carry toxic chemicals that are accidentally released into the immediate environment.

Some of the most common injuries that your maritime lawyer files claim on are:

o Head or brain injury.

o Spinal cord injuries.

o Compartment Syndrome.

o Burns and Amputations.

o Lung disorders.

o Frostbite, hypothermia, and more.

If you’ve been injured at sea, your Texas maritime lawyer can provide you with assorted options when it comes to obtaining the compensation you need and are entitled to.

I Believe I Have Compartment Syndrome, How Should I Proceed?

If you work in the Texas maritime industry, you are undeniably prone to more risks at your job than in most other sectors. Also, if you even think you may have compartment syndrome, get the advice of a medical professional immediately. You have a lot more to lose than just some time off work.

Then, consult with a qualified, experienced, and professional maritime law firm as soon as possible, so you can navigate your options and get help with the high medical bills and other factors needed for your recovery.

The Houston maritime law firm of Schechter, Shaffer, & Harris has a long and successful record of fighting for and helping Texas maritime workers get the compensation they need and are entitled to. Consult with them first, and get the legal advice required to help you and your family recover and thrive.

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