Losing a limb is one of the most traumatic experiences any person can ever go through. Unfortunately, limb amputation accidents are fairly common among Texas maritime workers, whose jobs frequently require close interaction with heavy, dangerous machinery and equipment. If any equipment onboard the vessel suffers from a design or manufacturing defect, or if other workers are careless or negligent, the risk of injury increases greatly.
Equipped with more than 20 years of accumulated knowledge and experience, the Texas maritime amputation accident lawyers of Queenan Law fight hard to recover maximum benefits for injured offshore workers and seamen in the Houston, Arlington, and Fort Worth areas. We will aggressively seek compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, anticipated expenses, and other hardships caused by the injury. To talk about your Houston amputation injury claim in a free legal consultation, call our law offices as soon as possible at (817) 476-1797.
How Much is My Houston Lost Limb Settlement or Lawsuit Worth?
It is impossible to determine the potential worth of a claim or lawsuit arising from a maritime lost limb injury without making an assessment of your case. Every situation is unique, but generally speaking, the amount of compensation an injured maritime worker in Texas can recover for a traumatic amputation accident will depend on factors such as:
- The nature and location of the amputation.
- The amputation’s effects upon the victim’s ability to earn income in the future.
- The medical bills, including anticipated costs, arising from the injury.
- The manner in which the injury occurred. For instance, it may be possible to recover punitive damages in situations where an amputation occurred due to extreme misconduct.
With regard to employment-related injuries, offshore maritime workers are subject to special laws that explicitly deal with this industry. Examples of workers’ compensation acts that may apply to maritime accident victims in Texas include:
- Jones Act – Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act applies to workers who are defined as “seamen,” meaning men and women who spend at least 30% of their time onboard a vessel.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers and Compensation Act (LHWCA) – In addition to harbor workers and longshoremen, the LHWCA applies to many dockworkers and shipyard workers.
- Public Vessels Act – The Public Vessels Act may be applicable in cases where an amputation injury occurs due to a public vessel that is owned and operated by the federal government.
Physical and Mental Effects of Amputation Injuries
Losing a limb can have absolutely devastating mental, physical, and financial effects. This is especially true in cases where the victim’s former occupation involved heavy physical labor, and, due to the amputation, he or she can no longer perform the same job. If the amputation victim was previously supporting his or her family, the loss of income can be absolutely catastrophic.
The physical effects of a limb amputation are more extensive than many people realize. Even though the arm or leg is no longer physically present, numerous amputation victims continue to experience severe phantom limb pain (PLP), which occurs because nerve endings at the amputation site continue to function and transmit pain signals to the brain. According to a 2011 medical study on phantom limbs published in Pain Research and Treatment, “The incidence of PLP has been reported to range from 42.2% to 78.8% in patients requiring amputation.” Statistically, females are more likely to experience PLP than males.
In addition to causing intense physical suffering, PLP can also have profoundly negative emotional and mental effects. Many patients suffer severe depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness or poor self-esteem. They may isolate themselves from social or romantic relationships due to poor body image caused by the amputation, which further contributes to stress and depression. According to a study published in 2008, “The prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms [in lower limb amputation patients] were 37% and 20%, respectively.”
Houston, Texas Maritime Lost Limb Attorneys Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you, your spouse, or one of your family members was injured in a maritime accident off the coast of Texas, such as the Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, you may be entitled to compensation. It may be possible for you to file a workers’ compensation claim, or, in cases where the injury was caused by a defective product, a product liability lawsuit against the product manufacturer.
However, because maritime law is very technical and complex, accident claims involving maritime injuries demand careful analysis from a personal injury attorney who has specific experience representing injured seamen and offshore workers. The Houston maritime amputation attorneys of Queenan Law have over two decades of experience handling lost limb injury claims, making us eminently qualified to handle these types of cases.
If you or a loved one lost a hand, foot, arm, or leg in an accident at sea, do not wait to seek legal help. We urge you to contact Queenan Law as soon as possible at (817) 476-1797 for a free and confidential consultation.