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Fractures & Broken Bones in Offshore Accidents

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When the wind cuts through your hair, the salty sea air filling your lungs, and the thrum of the engine beneath your feet, it’s easy to forget that offshore work is one of the most hazardous occupations in the world. It’s not just the risk of drowning or hypothermia that makes offshore work perilous – it’s the hard, unforgiving surfaces, the heavy machinery, and the high heights that lead to a myriad of serious injuries. Among these, fractures and broken bones are especially common and can have devastating, long-term effects on the life of an offshore worker.

The Offshore Industry and Its Risks

The offshore industry is a vast, sprawling network of oil rigs, wind farms, and shipping vessels, each with its unique set of risks and challenges. Working offshore means braving extreme weather conditions, long hours, and… high-stress environments. It’s not uncommon for workers to be hundreds of miles away from medical facilities, making accidents even more dire.

Did you know that the offshore industry has a higher injury rate than construction and manufacturing combined? That’s a sobering fact, considering the offshore industry is relatively small compared to these sectors.

Fractures and Broken Bones: What’s the Difference?

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of offshore accidents, it’s important to differentiate between fractures and broken bones. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to slightly different conditions.

A fracture is any break in the continuity of the bone. It can range from a tiny, hairline crack that’s barely visible on an X-ray (known as a “stress fracture”) to a serious break where the bone shatters into several pieces (a “comminuted fracture”).

On the other hand, a broken bone typically refers to a complete break in the bone. This is where the bone has snapped into two or more pieces, often resulting in a visible deformity and severe pain.

Regardless of whether a bone is fractured or broken, the result is the same: intense pain, loss of function, and a lengthy recovery period.

Common Causes of Fractures and Broken Bones in Offshore Accidents

Working offshore involves a variety of tasks, each with its unique set of hazards. Here are some of the most common causes of fractures and broken bones in offshore accidents:

  • Falls from height: Whether it’s a slip from a wet deck or a fall from a rigging, falling from a height is one of the leading causes of fractures and broken bones offshore. The impact of the fall can cause the bone to break or fracture.

  • Machinery accidents: The offshore industry is rife with heavy machinery. If a worker’s limb gets caught in machinery, it can lead to severe injuries, including fractures and broken bones.

  • Being struck by objects: Whether it’s a swinging load or a falling tool, being struck by an object is another common cause of bone injuries offshore.

The Long-Term Impact of Fractures and Broken Bones

Fractures and broken bones can have serious, long-term impacts on an individual’s health and quality of life. Here are just a few of the potential consequences:

  • Chronic pain: Even after the bone has healed, many individuals experience lingering pain in the affected area.

  • Reduced mobility: Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, individuals may have difficulty walking or moving… a real hindrance in a physically demanding job like offshore work.

  • Psychological effects: The trauma of the accident and the prolonged recovery period can lead to psychological issues, including depression and anxiety.

Legal Rights and Compensation for Offshore Workers

Under the Jones Act, offshore workers have the right to sue their employer for negligence if they are injured on the job. This includes injuries resulting from fractures and broken bones.

If you or a loved one has suffered a fracture or broken bone in an offshore accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills: This includes the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and physical therapy.

  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injury, you can claim compensation for the wages you would have earned during your recovery period.

  • Pain and suffering: This is compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.

Seek Legal Help

Navigating a personal injury lawsuit can be complicated, especially when dealing with the intricacies of maritime law. That’s where we come in. At Adley Law Firm, we have years of experience representing offshore workers and fighting for their rights. We understand the unique challenges of offshore work and are committed to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

Don’t let a fracture or broken bone derail your life. Contact us at (713) 999-8669 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.

In the end, remember this: offshore work may be tough, but you’re tougher. With the right legal support, you can overcome this hurdle and get back to doing what you love.


Fractures and broken bones are a common consequence of offshore accidents and can have significant long-term impacts on an individual’s life. However, with the right legal guidance, offshore workers can claim compensation and get the help they need to recover.

So, next time you’re standing on the deck of an offshore rig, remember this: you’re not alone. There are resources and legal protections in place to help you. And remember – at Adley Law Firm, we’re always here to help.

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