Employees can get hurt in just about any work environment, even at sea. Working at sea can actually be quite dangerous. Common maritime accidents include falling overboard, slip and fall accidents, overexertion, and falling from elevated heights. If you are a maritime worker and recently got hurt on the job, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. However, in order to receive those benefits, you have to take the proper steps after the accident.
Inform your Supervisor
First and foremost, you must let your supervisor know that you have been injured. The Jones Act requires maritime workers to report an injury within seven days of its occurrence. If you do not report your injury by that deadline, you may not be eligible to receive benefits anymore. The insurance company may assume that you aren’t truly injured if you did not inform your employer right away.
Get Medical Attention
If you were injured while working at sea, a maritime lawyer. may advise you to seek medical care immediately. If you are very far out at sea, a Coast Guard helicopter may be able to pick you up and take you to the nearest hospital. A doctor should look over your injuries and recommend the proper treatment. When you see the doctor, give specific details about your symptoms. If you have pre-existing injuries, you will want to disclose that. Your employer is required to pay for your medical bills.
Be Careful When Speaking to the Insurance Company
After getting injured while at sea, your employer’s insurance company may want to speak to you about your case. Keep in mind that the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind. That’s why you should give them as little information as possible about your case. Do not give them details about your injuries. If they ask you to provide a recorded statement, politely decline. If you accidentally say the wrong thing in your statement, the insurance company can use that against you.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Once your doctor gives you a diagnosis and treatment plan, it is essential to follow his or her orders. Attend all of your follow-up appointments and do not participate in activities that your doctor advises against. If you don’t listen to your doctor’s advice, you could slow down your recovery. The insurance company may also take away your benefits if they find out that you haven’t been following your doctor’s orders.
Hire a Maritime Lawyer
If you want to pursue compensation for an injury you endured at sea, you should consult a maritime lawyer. The lawyer you work with should have extensive knowledge of maritime law. He or she will inform you of your legal options and answer all of your questions. Your lawyer will handle negotiations with the insurance company and prevent them from taking advantage of you.
Schedule a consultation with a maritime lawyer today to talk about your case in detail.
Thank you to our friends at Scott Vicknair, LLC for their insight into maritime law.