Maritime accidents are events that no one expects to happen, despite always taking the necessary precautions to prevent them. You can be operating a tug boat, working a dredging vessel, or just going on a leisurely boat ride. Accidents can happen on any of these vessels. When they do occur, a lot of seamen simply do not know what to do. Quite understandably, some might even go into a panic especially if they have suffered critical injuries. But this is actually a time to think logically and act fast so that you can get the appropriate compensation for all the injuries that you have suffered.
What Are the Steps to Take after an Accident at Sea?
Offshore injuries are not unheard of, and some can be really serious or even fatal. If you find yourself a victim of a maritime accident that leaves you with any kind of injuries, you have to do what you can in order to get financial compensation for your injuries. This will not undo the accident. But it can certainly help a lot in covering your medical expenses, maintaining your quality of life, or simply getting by during the period that you are unable to work because of the injury.
Get Immediate Medical Treatment
Regardless of the nature or severity of the injury, it is very important to have a doctor check you as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel anything amiss, you have to seek treatment because there might be underlying injuries that you are not yet aware of. This step is very important for your own health and safety, but in addition, the medical findings will also be helpful when it’s time to file for your compensation.
Let Your Employer Know of the Accident
Your employer or immediate supervisor must be informed right away if any accident occurs on board the vessel. If the resulting injuries are very severe, the other crew members should see to it that they let the employer know immediately of what happened. As soon as possible, the entire incident should also be formally reported to the employer in writing. Again, this will be included in the documentation necessary when filing for damages.
Gather all Documents
Getting proper medical treatment should be given top priority. Once this has been taken care of, you need to gather all the relevant documents that have to do with the accident and your injury. Compile all your medical records, the written narrative of the event, and any other evidence that can help your maritime attorney build a strong case for you. It is also very helpful to take photos of the location of the accident, preferably at the soonest possible time after the accident has taken place. Witness accounts in the form of signed documents or video recordings will also be of great help.
Do Not Talk to Anyone other Than Your Lawyer
This is very important. If you say anything at all, the lawyers of the opposing party might find a way to use it against you and might cause you to lose your case. It is particularly crucial not to agree to any settlement that the insurance company or the opposing lawyers might offer you. Most importantly, never sign anything without the express instruction of your trusted maritime lawyer. Affixing your signature on any document offered by these entities will most likely reduce the compensation that you can receive.
Follow the Advice of Your Lawyer
Once you have hired your own maritime injury attorney, you have to trust them and follow all their advice and instructions because they know exactly how to handle cases like yours. But of course, you need to be able to find a lawyer that you can trust to do right by you when you file your compensation case.
What Should I Consider When Finding a Maritime Injury Lawyer?
First, you need to select a maritime accident attorney who is an expert in the particular kind of accident that you have suffered. You should also choose one that has high familiarity and experience in the location of the accident. The reason for this is that different states have specific maritime laws, other than those stated in the Jones Act, which apply to all states.
It is also vital that you pick a maritime injury lawyer that will be able to handle your case with both competence and compassion. Suffering an injury from a maritime accident is not only a huge physical challenge but it can also cause a lot of mental, emotional, and psychological trauma.
You also need to know that there is a time limit for filing for compensation. It is usually two years after the accident has taken place, but the exact deadline might vary across different locations. This is one of the things that you can consult with your lawyer.
What Makes O’Bryan Maritime Lawyers Different from the Rest?
Here at O’Bryan Maritime Lawyers, we completely understand how difficult it is to be dealing with injuries, while having to go through a legal battle for damages at the same time. That is why we make sure to fight for you and your rights to the best of our abilities so that we can win the biggest compensation possible for you. We also take care of all the legal matters for you, from gathering documents to negotiating with the other party, so that you can just take it easy and focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our team of highly competent and extensively experienced lawyers have a proven track record of winning big in all the maritime injury cases that we have handled. No matter what kind of injury has befallen you in the line of duty, we guarantee that we will obtain for you the highest amount in damages that is legally possible for your particular injury. It also doesn’t matter what kind of boat you were on, or what kind of injury you have suffered. We are here for you.
If you need to know more, just fill up the form on our website and we will schedule a free consultation for you as soon as possible.