It’s important to understand the laws that may apply to your case before going over the actions to take after a maritime injury. Maritime laws are in place to assist injured maritime workers in recovering compensation for their losses. Although there are several marine regulations, the following are the most important ones that apply to harm cases:
The Jones Act – The Jones Act is federal legislation that allows a maritime industry worker to sue an offshore employer for injuries caused by the employer’s or a coworker’s negligence.
The Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act – Employees of a land-based marine business who are injured while working on a bridge, pier, or harbor are covered by the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
What To Do After a Maritime Injury
If you’ve been wounded in a marine accident at work, there are a few things you should do right away to protect your right to compensation under maritime law:
Report the Injury to Your Employer
When an injury happens, it is critical to notify your employer. A worker should, at the very least, report an injury to their immediate supervisor. Coworkers may potentially report the mishap to the employer if the injury is severe enough.
It’s important for workers to prioritize their own health and safety; they should never rely on others to report their injuries unless they are unable to do so themselves. A copy of what transpired should also be attached to the injury.
The sooner you can put what happened down on paper, the better.
Seek Medical Attention
What should you do initially if you’ve been hurt? Seek medical assistance. As quickly as possible, go to the emergency department, your primary care physician, or a healthcare clinic—and, if necessary, contact an ambulance at the scene of the accident. Any delay in getting to the hospital could harm your health or jeopardize your legal case. Most insurance companies regard 72 hours following an injury to be a reasonable time frame for seeking medical attention.
Mention all difficulties and pains to your doctor, even if you believe they are minor. On the other hand, avoid embellishing or exaggerating. Simply tell your doctor the truth and follow their instructions.
Take Notes and Photos
Accidents occur quickly, but determining who is to blame can take months, if not years. Take some time soon after the accident to write down what happened, including the names of everyone who was present. Photograph the equipment and the surrounding environment.
Don’t Sign Any Documents Without a Lawyer
Following a maritime injury, your employer or insurance company may request a statement from you. You may be asked to sign paperwork as well. Both of these actions should be avoided until you have spoken with a marine attorney. If you submit a marine injury claim, anything you say or sign could be used against you.
Hire a Lawyer
It is critical to contact an marine accident attorney as soon as possible before proceeding with your claim, regardless of your occupation. This is especially true for seamen, who frequently face a slew of challenges before receiving just recompense.
Longshore and harbor employees are not guaranteed benefits, notwithstanding the no-fault system. A skilled Jones Act lawyer can assist you in filing a claim, disputing any denials, and representing you in court if necessary. If a negligent third party contributed to the accident, your attorney can advise you on additional legal alternatives.