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Houston Maritime Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Houston maritime workers have some of the world’s most dangerous and back-breaking jobs. Not only do offshore workers have to work in some of the harshest industry conditions, but the physical and emotional demands they must endure can break even the most stoic individuals.

A typical day on the job for seamen is often filled with massive machinery, slippery surfaces, heavy cargo, many moving parts, and steel platforms — any of which could cause an accident resulting in spinal cord injuries.

Spinal cord injuries are a real threat to offshore workers, including oil platform workers, barge workers, sailors, dockworkers, and marine welders. When an offshore worker suffers from spinal cord injuries, they are almost guaranteed to be out of work for weeks or even months, if not permanently. The fate of maritime spinal cord injury victims and their families is left in the hands of ruthless insurance companies, investigators, company doctors, and lawyers.

When maritime injuries turn your life upside down, contact Johnson Garcia for experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive representation. For over 35 years, our Houston maritime spinal cord injury lawyers have continually set extraordinary records in getting the results that injured victims deserve.

Causes Of Maritime Spinal Cord Injuries in Houston

Maritime workers aboard sea platforms and vessels are exposed to catastrophically unsafe conditions. Even without taking into account the natural dangers associated with the industry, such as the vessel’s movement caused by the ocean’s unstable nature, other factors can increase the risk of sustaining spinal cord injuries.

Common causes of spinal cord injuries on docks, shipyards, or aboard barges and other vessels include:

  • Falls caused by slippery conditions onboard
  • Falling overboard
  • Falling objects
  • Falling off ladders
  • Collisions or explosions
  • Machinery failure
  • Safety violations
  • Insufficient training
  • Incorrect loading or unloading cargo procedures
  • Being stuck between heavy equipment or being hit by cranes and other machinery
  • Assault by a fellow crew member

Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries In Maritime Settings

The spinal cord is a column of nerves and supportive tissue protected by the vertebrae in the spine that runs from the brainstem at the base of the skull down to the lower back near the waist. It is a pathway for instructions from the brain to reach the limbs and messages received through the senses to reach the brain.

Injury To The Spinal Cord

There are various ways the spinal cord can be injured. When an injury to the spinal cord occurs, whether it’s a bruise or a tear, it can cause partial or complete loss of motor control and sensation.

In cases where a victim suffers a severe bruise to the spinal cord, they may experience temporary numbness or short-lived paralysis that goes away once the swelling subsides. However, in cases where the victim sustains severe injuries that lead to broken vertebrae or lacerations of the spinal cord, they can suffer the horrifying consequences of paralysis.

Paraplegia vs. Quadriplegia

After a spinal cord injury is suspected, the prognosis can vary greatly. Still, it generally depends on two primary factors: the section or area of the spinal cord that is affected and the injury’s severity. The higher the site of the injury on the vertebral column — the closer the location of the bruise or tear of the spine is to the brain — the higher the chances of the victim suffering a loss of sensation and motor function.

Below are the two main types of spinal cord injuries, depending on the body parts that will become completely or partially paralyzed.


Paraplegia refers to the partial or total paralysis of the body’s lower section, including the legs, due to a spinal cord injury to the ligaments, vertebrae, or spinal column discs in the thoracic or lumbar regions.


Also known as tetraplegia, quadriplegia refers to partial or total paralysis — loss of muscle strength — of both arms and legs due to a spinal cord injury in the neck region.

If a spinal cord injury is suspected, immediate medical attention is imperative. The time between injury and treatment can significantly impact the long-term effects of the injury. This places offshore workers at a significant disadvantage, as they may be several hours, days, or even weeks from shore, making it difficult for them to get the medical intervention necessary to avoid lifelong injuries.

Complications Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Certain complications may occur after a spinal cord injury because of internal bleeding, inflammation, and fluid accumulation, among other reasons. While not all maritime spinal cord injuries have secondary complications, the most common complications that injured offshore workers may experience after an initial spinal cord injury include:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Persistent pain
  • Sexual dysfunction and infertility
  • Loss of sensation in the skin
  • Spasticity
  • Increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems
  • Inability to regulate body temperature and blood pressure
  • Depression

If you’ve endured a spinal cord injury in a port, shipyard, sea platform, or vessel, your care will not end after the initial treatment. Because of the complications that come with a spinal cord injury, you will have to keep regular appointments with your treating physician and always stay current on your medical care, which may continue for the rest of your life. Your life may be changed forever, never to be the same again, all because of an accident that could have been prevented.

The Houston maritime injury lawyers from Johnson Garcia can help. Our legal team is ready to get you the results you deserve and give you a chance to rebuild your life.

Talk To Our Experienced Houston Maritime Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Today

A spinal cord injury for maritime workers could mean expensive medical care for years or even a lifetime, severely endangering your future. Whether you’re a commercial fisherman, dockworker, longshoreman, offshore oil rig worker, or any other maritime employee, Johnson Garcia can fight for justice on your behalf as we help you understand how maritime laws, including the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, may affect your case.

The motivation behind our Houston maritime spinal cord injury lawyers is a desire to support maritime workers in the traumatic aftermath of serious accidents. We never stop fighting for you, even if it means going to trial against the world’s largest corporations. Call us now at 832-844-6700 to take back control of your future. We will guide you every step of the way.

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