Perhaps you were on your way to work on a small boat operated by a professional when the storm blew up and you got swept overboard. Perhaps it was contact with swinging supplies that threw you off the side of an oil rig.
When someone working out on the open ocean has a near-drowning experience, they may count themselves lucky just to survive and regain consciousness. Those who enter a coma after nearly drowning frequently die, and some of them may depend on medical machinery for the rest of their lives.
For the population of workers who nearly drown on the job but eventually recover enough to leave the hospital, their career as they know it may be over.
Nearly drowning frequently causes brain damage
When someone drowns, their body essentially shuts down due to a lack of oxygen. The process takes some time, and it is possible to resuscitate those who have been underwater for several minutes, although not without long-term medical consequences.
Hypoxic brain damage is the technical medical term for damage to the brain that results from a lack of oxygen. As soon as someone stops breathing, time is counting down toward irreversible brain damage. Even if someone makes a medical recovery, they may never be the same again. Brain injuries can affect everything from your memory and sense of balance to your personality and sensory perception.
Hypoxic brain injuries may force an individual to leave their high-paying maritime job and seek a lower-paying position on land. Sometimes, workers have to retire early because their injury prevents them from gainful employment.
A brain injury could be grounds for a maritime claim
Unfortunately for those hurt while working at an offshore facility or in a maritime profession, workers’ compensation benefits typically are not available for those who work on the ocean or the navigable waterways of the United States.
Thankfully, workers who get hurt while pursuing a maritime profession can sometimes file a compensation claim against their employer. When regulatory non-compliance or negligence factored into your workplace incident, then you may be able to seek compensation for your medical cost and the lost income you won’t earn in the future. Seeking compensation will help you eliminate the lasting consequences of a maritime injury for you and your family members.