Onboard vessels, like tankers, offshore drilling rigs, and others in the Gulf of Mexico and other navigable waters, crewmembers, and offshore workers in transport can suffer severe, often lasting injuries due to toxic fume and chemical exposure. Some of the most common causes of these injuries include:
- Fires and Explosions
- Gas Leaks
- Lack of Safety Gear
However, other issues can lead to dangerous levels of exposure as well. Were you exposed to toxic fumes or chemicals while onboard a vessel? While countless maritime workers and oilfield workers suffer exposure injuries every year, tragically, only a fraction of these workers take action to protect their legal rights. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we are committed to helping injured workers enforce their right to just compensation, and we can use our vast experience in work-related catastrophic injury cases to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Symptoms of Toxic Fume and Chemical Exposure
If you suspect that you may have suffered an exposure injury, it is critical that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Under the Jones Act and general maritime law, you are entitled to see a doctor of your choosing, and it is important that you not solely rely on the advice of your employer’s on-staff physician. In order to satisfy your employer (who is also their employer), these physicians will often prescribe only the absolute minimum treatment necessary to curtail the damage from your injury. When you see your doctor, be sure to describe your symptoms in detail, and explain what you suspect may be the cause of your injury. Symptoms of exposure injuries commonly include:
- Burning or irritation in the eyes, nose, or throat
- Chest pain
- Coughing and wheezing
- Difficulty breathing
- Sputum (mucus and saliva) mixed with blood
Prognosis and Treatment for Toxic Fume and Chemical Exposure
The prognosis and treatment options available to maritime workers, who suffer exposure injuries onboard vessels, vary widely depending upon the cause and extent of the injury. While some workers are able to make a quick, full recovery, others experience lasting complications that can lead to exorbitant medical bills and prolonged absences from work. Some of the most common long-term effects of toxic fume and chemical exposure include impaired lung function and airway restrictions.
Compensation for Toxic Fume and Chemical Exposure
In light of the risks for long-term complications, it is critical that workers who suffer serious exposure injuries speak with an experienced chemical exposure attorney about their legal rights. Compensation may be available; and, if so, you may need to act quickly in order to protect your chances of securing a full recovery. Our top-rated injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can assist you in getting the medical treatment you need, and we can conduct a prompt and thorough investigation as a first step toward helping you secure maximum compensation.