Crush Injury

worker injured by forklift

Maritime Crush Injuries

Crush injuries, true to their name, occur when a worker is crushed beneath or between any heavy, moving equipment onboard a vessel. The varied nature of most maritime work means that the risk of crush injuries are always present, and easily preventable through careful training, signage, and maintenance – steps that many vessel owners tend to neglect.

Causes of Maritime Crush Injuries

Due to the presence of heavy equipment and machinery on most vessels or docks, including cranes, shipping containers, and similar fixtures, crush injuries can be caused by a multitude of accidents. Some of the most common causes of crush injuries include:

  • Hazards on board, such as unsecured containers sliding across the deck or toppling over from improper stacking
  • Improper use of equipment, such as incorrect (or improperly trained) usage of ladders or forklifts
  • Improperly maintained equipment, where wear and tear leads to a malfunction through standard usage 
  • Collisions between vessels, where two vessels colliding with each other (or when a vessel collides with a dock) causes equipment onboard to shift around

While crush injuries can come from a number of sources, these are among the most common – and most dangerous.

Common Types of Crush Injuries

During a crush injury, a number of injuries can occur, depending on where the crush took place and other factors. Some common results of crush injuries include:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Cracked ribs
  • Injured vertebrae
  • Compartment syndrome (increased pressure in the muscle that causes nerve and tissue damage to the arm or leg)
  • Infections (caused by bacteria infecting an open wound following a crush accident)
  • Crush syndrome (kidney failure caused by traumatic crushing or shock to the muscular system)

Any number of these can be experienced by the victim of a crush injury, as the causes – and symptoms – can be widespread from incident to incident.

What To Do If You Are The Victim Of A Maritime Crush Injury

The first thing any victim of a crush injury (or related accident) should do is seek immediate medical attention. These injuries, even if seemingly minor at first, can cause lifelong complications and the potential for further injury or death if left untreated.

Once the injury has been treated by your doctor, you should then contact the maritime attorneys of O’Bryan Law. No matter where in the United States your injury took place, our team of maritime lawyers will help to uncover the facts surrounding your injury and help you fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today with the details of your maritime injury case, and let us help you seek justice.