After a Maritime Injury, Follow These Steps
No one expects to get injured, but everyone working in the maritime industry should know what to do in the event of an on-the-job injury.
At Beard, Stacey and Jacobsen, LLP, in Seattle, Washington, our attorneys advise you to take the steps outlined below. Each case is unique, however, and it is important to talk to an attorney about the specifics of your case. Call us toll free at 1-877-DECKLAW (1.866.974.9633) or contact us by e-mail. We are available through our answering service around the clock, seven days a week.
1. Report your injury.
Tell your supervisor or the captain about the injury as soon as possible after the accident, preferably within seven days of the injury. Failure to report an injury promptly can lead to disputes over compensation.
2. Put it in writing.
Completing and submitting an accident report creates a record that can be referred to later on, unlike a verbal report. Keep a copy of it for yourself, if possible. Don’t admit fault without knowing your rights or the law. If you are filling out an accident report ashore consult with a maritime attorney first before filing the report.
3. Seek medical care.
You have a right to all reasonable medical care from a physician of your own choosing. Your employer's insurance company must pay for all your medical bills until you have healed or recovered as much as is possible. You do not have to pay deductibles.
4. Gather contact information for any witnesses.
Who saw the accident that injured you? Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses or close relatives who may know how to contact them.
5. Don't sign your rights away.
Don't sign anything from an insurance company without first speaking to an experienced maritime law attorney. The insurance company's goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Our goal is to see that you receive fair financial compensation you deserve and are entitled to under the law.
6. Don't allow yourself to be recorded.
Do not agree to give a recorded statement to any representative of the insurance company. They may ask for one, but you do not have to agree. Just say, "My attorney advises me not to give a recorded statement." In fact, it is best not to discuss your case with an insurance company at all without first speaking to a maritime lawyer.
For specific advice about your maritime injury, please contact Beard, Stacey and Jacobsen, LLP, for a free consultation and case evaluation. We are here when you need us.