First Steps After An Accident Working On A Ship   

Work on a ship isn’t typically dangerous due to safety precautions, education, and training, but many accidents happen yearly. Between 2011 and 2017, workers died at a rate of 15.9 people per 100,000 workers. You could get injured on a barge, tanker, offshore drilling platform, docked boat, or anywhere else on the water due to unforeseen circumstances. In addition to personal injuries, you might receive a financial blow because you need to recover at home and miss work. 

Instead of suffering financially, you should be represented by a maritime lawyer who can represent your compensation claim. Maritime law is a complex and often confusing area of the law. A Miami maritime lawyer will guide you step-by-step on how to file for a settlement and educate you on the legal process. According to the Miami maritime lawyers at LM&W, P.A., you can take immediate action and start preparing for your maritime accident claim. 

Workplace Accidents Aren’t Treated Like Workers’ Compensation Claims

Seamen are protected by The Jones Act, which is a federal law passed in 1920 allowing them to file a lawsuit against their employers for personal injury damages. The Jones Act protects seamen who are injured or killed while working on a ship. It allows them to file a claim against their employer for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Jones Act is important because it ensures that maritime workers are protected and can receive compensation for injuries that occur on the job. It helps ensure that ship owners are held accountable for the safety of their employees and that workers can receive the financial assistance they need to recover from an accident.

Steps You Should Take After An Accident

If you have been injured in an accident while working on a ship, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Seek Medical Attention 

You should seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. Regardless of whether or not you believe that your injuries are serious, it is important to have them checked out by a doctor.

Collect Evidence 

Make sure to document everything that happened leading up to the accident and any injuries you suffered. This information will be vital in establishing liability and obtaining the compensation that you deserve. If you are able to move, take photographs of where the accident happened and your injuries. Take pictures after you’re treated if you were incapacitated at the time of your injury. 

Get Eyewitness Information 

Accidental injuries can happen in a flash, but an eyewitness may have seen what happened and how you were wounded. Directly after your accident, try to get the contact details for any eyewitnesses, such as coworkers, who were there. Your maritime accident lawyer can reach out to them at a later date.

Speak To a Miami Maritime Lawyer 

After these initial steps, you can consult with a maritime lawyer who can help guide you through filing a claim and negotiating with the insurance company. Maritime lawyers have experience dealing with these types of cases and can help ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation.

Report To Your Superior

You should report the accident to your supervisor or the maritime law firm handling your case. 

Contact An Attorney As Soon As Possible

Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or even your employer, reach out to your maritime lawyer. They will guide you through the process by doing the following:

Incident Report Filing

Before you submit your incident report to your employer, your attorney will review it and ensure it is filled out correctly. You must include details of the accident, your injuries, and even a summary of your emotional suffering. Maritime attorneys will do their best to make sure you get compensated correctly. However, they can only do that if the report has all the information necessary to support your demands for a settlement. They will make sure the report isn’t lacking vital information. 

Review Paperwork 

If your employer or their insurance company requires you to sign any paperwork, your attorney can help. They will review any paperwork that requires your signature to ensure you are not being given an agreement for far less compensation than you deserve. All of the paperwork that needs your signature, who can then inform you of whether you should sign it. If it requires new information or more compensation, your attorney will adjust it for you. 

Provide Valuable Advice

Your employer’s insurance company may attempt to obtain a recorded statement from you. While this may seem innocent, it can endanger your ability to receive full compensation. Anything you say in your recorded statement may be used against you and as an argument for why your settlement should be reduced. Your attorney will manage all communication between you and the insurer and represent you in your best interest. 

Get a Second Opinion 

Even though your company will send you to their certified doctor, your attorney will encourage you to get a second opinion. They can recommend a doctor who has a background in diagnosing and identifying accidental injuries. This way, you know you are getting a fair and accurate statement based on your injuries’ severity. 

Consult With A Maritime Lawyer 

While you are recovering from your maritime injuries, you should get additional guidance from your attorney. They will put in all the hard work necessary to investigate the evidence and support you through your healing process. Your maritime attorney will ensure you receive a fair settlement that reflects the severity of your wounds.

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