The knee is the largest joint in the human body, connecting the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone) and the femur and patella (kneecap). Ligaments, tendons, and muscles also connect to the fibula and the other bones to allow for movement and to stabilize the knee. An injury to any of these critical components could adversely affect a person’s ability to walk, run, perform physical labor or otherwise fully enjoy life.
Maritime workers are especially susceptible to knee injuries, given the demanding, physical nature of their work conducted in varying conditions. Workers in the maritime industry can suffer knee injuries aboard a ship, barge, tugboat, or fishing vessel, or on the docks while loading or unloading cargo.
Most maritime-related knee injuries are covered under federal maritime and admiralty law, which provides for “maintenance and cure” benefits to pay medical expenses for injuries incurred by seamen who are injured in the service of a ship. In addition, the federal Jones Act provides for compensation for injuries that occur due to negligence. Seafarers are also owed a warranty of seaworthiness, which ensures that a vessel and its equipment and gear are all reasonably fit for their intended purpose. A breach of the warranty imposes liability on the vessel owner regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the defective condition if it results in injury to the seaman.
Damages that may be recoverable include lost wages in the past and future, compensation for the inability to work as before, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
Attorney for Maritime Knee Injury in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska
If you suffered a knee injury in a maritime or admiralty accident or incident in Washington or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, including the States of Oregon, Alaska, or California, contact an experienced maritime attorney Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC to discuss your knee injury claim.
Negligence or unsafe conditions may have contributed to your injuries. Your legal rights include compensation for a knee injury if you no longer are able to work or cannot resume regular duties at a previous job due to a knee injury.
The maritime lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC have nearly 100 years of combined experience in maritime law. We are familiar with many of the injuries that occur at sea or in port and we know when they could have reasonably been prevented.
We have recovered just compensation for many maritime workers over the decades. We realize that a knee injury can be catastrophic and may prevent a person from both working to support one’s family and enjoying life. In addition, the financial repercussions can persist indefinitely.
The attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC are experienced in maritime knee injury cases, including fractures, dislocations, ligament tears and sprains, and cartilage, meniscus and tendon sprains and tears.
Some of our clients require surgery and long periods of rehabilitation, while others suffer serious, long-lasting physical damage that surgery and rehabilitation cannot fully correct. We fight for proper compensation for all of our clients.
Our clients come to us from throughout the Pacific Northwest, and we have offices in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, San Francisco, California, and Portland, Oregon. Many maritime employment contracts require the injured maritime worker to litigate against the employer in a certain venue, often Seattle.
If you suffered a maritime knee injury due to employer negligence, unsafe conditions, or defective equipment in Washington or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, contact the knowledgeable maritime injury attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLCby calling 1 (800) 262-8529 today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you get the medical treatment you need and compensation you deserve in order to get you back on your feet.
Maritime Knee Injury Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska
Just a generation ago, a knee injury may have resulted in a lifelong debilitation. In the past few decades, medical advances have helped professional athletes prolong their careers and non-athletes resume a normal life, including returning to physically-demanding jobs after a knee injury.
In the maritime industry, knee injuries may occur due to either the constant or sudden physical exertion of workers aboard a ship or along the docks. Pulling, lifting, carrying, twisting or handling heavy gear, whether on board a ship or in port along the docks, may result in a knee injury. An unexpected wave or other adverse sea conditions may also cause a knee injury. Trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall incidents are common causes of knee injuries.
Causes of Maritime Knee Injuries
By their nature, many jobs on board a ship or along the docks are physically-demanding occupations. Some knee injuries happen in a moment, but other knee injuries occur gradually over time as a result of continued stress.
Some of the most common causes of knee injuries to seafarers, commercial fishermen, longshoremen, and other maritime workers include:
- Slip and fall on wet surfaces
- Sudden or unexpected wave in rough seas
- Heavy lifting
- Improper fall protection equipment for high-elevation tasks
- Improper handling of mooring lines, tow lines, and winch cables
- Equipment failure
- Faulty vessel or vessel equipment design
If a shipping company or other maritime employer fails to teach proper safety techniques or provide necessary equipment, a knee injury may result. Such failure is often negligence, which could expose a company to liability under the Jones Act or other maritime law.
Types of Maritime Knee Injuries
Some types of maritime-related knee injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Patella (kneecap) injuries
- Ligament strains, sprains, and tears — including the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament), and LCL (lateral collateral ligament)
- Meniscus strains, sprains, and tears
- Tendon strains, sprains, and tears
A dedicated maritime and admiralty attorney may be able to help you recover damages from the party responsible for your knee injury if you were injured at sea or along the docks and incurred unpaid medical expenses or were unable to work temporarily or permanently.
Knee injuries can result in extreme discomfort, or worse, a permanent disability, so it is important to know your legal rights if you suffered a knee injury while working in the maritime industry. The attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can help you get the medical treatment you need.
Treatment for the injury and other related medical expenses may be required for many months or years. Complex medical procedures such as MRIs and X-rays, or invasive medical procedures — including reconstructive surgery or a partial or total knee replacement — may be required to restore normal function.
Knee injuries may result in a prolonged period of recovery and unemployment. Improper training and inadequate equipment both cause or contribute to knee injuries in the maritime industry. Shipping companies are required to train workers on safe and proper techniques, but sometimes, serious knee injuries occur during shipping operations.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) — Knee Injuries — AAOS maintains an informative website that includes information about knee injuries and treatments, as well as articles about specific types of knee injuries.
Find an Attorney for Maritime Knee Injury in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska
The long-term effects of a maritime knee injury can resonate for months or years. If a maritime-related knee injury is serious, the financial implications can extend for many years and render a person unable to resume previous employment or other normal activities.
You should not allow a maritime-related knee injury to drain your financial resources or prevent you from living a full and prosperous life. Call Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC at 1 (800) 262-8529 or submit an online form to schedule an appointment to meet with our dedicated maritime attorneys today.
This article was last updated on Monday, July 30, 2018.