The maritime industry is one of the world’s most significant and lucrative industries because 80% of global trading is transported by sea. While the industry attracts new employees regularly, with about 2% being women, it is also known to be dangerous. Workers at sea face hazardous conditions daily, which means that the rate of accidents is high. Some examples of accidents at sea are fires or explosions, falling objects, and falls from lofty heights. These injuries sustained from accidents can be quite severe. Unfortunately, amid confusion and agony, many sea workers do not know the steps to take during an accident. However, if you have been injured at sea, here are some steps to take.
Seek medical attention
Seek medical care immediately after an accident. While you wait for a professional, getting first aid from your colleagues will be beneficial. Even if the injury is minor, it will help to still get checked by a medical professional to ensure there are no internal injuries or complications. Don’t reject medical attention because you want to get back to work or say you are fine because some injuries are not noticeable until you are checked. It’s best to put your health and well-being first when you are involved in an accident, so keep this in mind. Depending on your injury, you can get admitted to the hospital as soon as transportation is available to transfer you. When you get to shore, it will be a good idea to consult your doctor and tell him about the accident. The information you provide, along with their examination of your injuries, will show on your medical record.
Follow the doctor’s instructions
After you visit the doctor, follow all instructions and take your medication as prescribed. If you sustained a serious injury that requires you to stay in the hospital, make sure you have a loved one who will offer support. If the doctor prescribes bed rest at home, ensure you get all the rest you need. Take the prescribed days off to heal and avoid rushing back to work. Also, don’t miss your appointments because missed appointments will send a message to your employer and the insurance company. The insurance company might send investigators to record your progress and collect evidence. All this will be done without your knowledge and used against you.
It will be in your best interest to gather evidence supporting your claims if you are considering compensation. Also, if you aren’t unconscious, you should take pictures of the accident scene and your injury. For instance, if a falling object caused your injury, you must take a picture of it from different angles and the height it fell from. Gather reports from your colleagues who witnessed the incident and ask for their contact information. Take note of the specific tool or equipment that caused the accident, and keep receipts of your medical expenses and other bills relating to your injury. Your employer and their insurance company will request all this information. A successful lawsuit will rely heavily on the evidence you provide.
Report the accident
The next step to take after getting medical attention is to report the incident to your employer or supervisor. Under maritime laws, you must report the injury within seven days or promptly if possible. When you fail to do so, the insurer will doubt the severity of your injury. If you cannot report directly due to your injury, a colleague can do so on your behalf. However, you will need to personally inform your employer again. You can give them a copy of your medical records as well.
Do not take further action without a lawyer
The insurance company or your employer may ask for a signed statement or ask you to sign some documents. Avoid doing these without a lawyer, as the other party can use your statement against you. When you get into an accident, your lawyer is the first person to talk to. Don’t narrate the incident to people or post the details on your social media platforms. Your employer might use those details against you to avoid being liable. Also, avoid signing insurance documents without your attorney. When giving information, don’t offer extra detail or start your sentences with “I think.”. Every sentence should be factual and devoid of personal opinions or guesses.
Additionally, don’t apologize or take responsibility by being polite. To prevent the insurance company from contacting your loved ones or doctor to seek more details about the accident, avoid giving out their contact details. If you are yet to hire a personal injury lawyer, don’t give that information out. The insurance company might take advantage of your ignorance. Hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Hire a legal expert
If you have decided to file compensation claims, a legal professional familiar with maritime laws will help you do that. An offshore injury & Jones Act accident lawyer can take care of all your legal affairs while you deal with your health. The Jones Act allows you to sue your employer for negligence. Choosing the right lawyer who specializes in the Jones Act is essential. Your employer is familiar with the Jones Act and will have the best lawyers to defend them. Also, all the evidence you have collected will be in the safe custody of your lawyer, and they will help you understand the maritime laws so you don’t make poor decisions. Since maritime law can be stressful, your lawyer will help you avoid mistakes and get the right compensation for your injury. Also, an offshore lawyer has the resources and relevant experience to create your lawsuit. They can hire an investigator to get all the details concerning your case. This way, you will build a strong case.
Recovering from an injury can take a toll on your body and affect your quality of life and work. That is why you need to take the necessary steps to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.