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Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal column connects the entire body and protects the spinal cord, which controls the functioning of all your body’s cells, tissues, and organs. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord telling the body what to do. It sends messages controlling conscious actions, such as telling the legs to walk or the arms to lift an object, and actions bereft of conscious thought, such as telling the lungs to breathe or the heart to beat. When the spinal cord is injured, paralysis or other devastating injuries can result. Unfortunately, there are many situations in the maritime industry that put crew members of a ship or harbor workers at risk of spinal injury.

Maritime Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

If you are a seaman or a worker at a harbor or dock who has suffered an injury to your spinal cord in the course of your duties, you have a right to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. A dedicated maritime injury lawyer at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can assist you if you have suffered a serious injury at sea, such as an injury to the spine. Call today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation.

We represent injured maritime workers throughout the Pacific Northwest in federal courts, including in Washington, Alaska, Oregon and California.


Info on Injuries to the Spine at Sea


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Maritime Duties Leading to Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

Working on a ship, in a shipyard, or on a dock is often a strenuous job that requires significant physical activity. Working as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, longshoreman or other maritime employee requires heavy lifting bending and other actions that put strain on the back.

Incorrect lifting procedures are a significant cause of spinal cord injury. That is why vessel operators are required to train workers on lifting objects.

The spinal cord can also become badly injured in a fall, such as off a causeway or deck. Falling objects or cargo improperly slung can also lead to a significant spinal injury.


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Long Term Effects of Damage to the Spine

All the body’s limbs are ultimately connected through the spine. There is a reason people refer to the core matter of an organization or idea as its “backbone”. The spine provides structural support to your whole body and enables flexible motion as well as providing balance so you can remain in an upright position.

More than that, the spinal column serves as protection for the spinal cord, the conduit for the central nervous system. The spinal cord is where all messages are carried to and from the brain. It tells body parts when to move and function, and it carries messages of sensation back to the brain.

Therefore, a spinal injury may also result in injury to the spinal cord which can have profound effects on a maritime worker’s mobility. Damage to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia. It can also result in severe pain whenever a person tries to move.

This can leave a person disabled and unable to work in the same job. It can also lead to extensive hospital bills and physical therapy.


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Maritime Employer Liability for Injury to the Spinal Cord

A maritime employer may be liable if the accident causing the spinal cord injury was caused by a failure to show reasonable care. This can include actions by the crew that constitute negligence and failure to implement procedures.

The vessel owner may also be liable for a spinal cord injury to a crewmember or other maritime worker caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel. A vessel is unseaworthy if it is unfit for its purpose. This may be due to a physical defect, lack of maintenance, inadequate staff, or inadequately trained staff.


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Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC | Attorney for a Maritime Spine Injury

If you have suffered a spine or spinal cord injury while on the job at sea or in a maritime capacity, contact a skilled lawyer at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC. We represent seamen and maritime workers who have suffered serious injuries, including injury to the spine throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to set up a free consultation.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

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  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
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