Most offshore workers do not know what steps to take after an accident happens and they’re left with a maritime injury. By not taking action, injured workers may miss the window of opportunity to receive fair and just compensation. Make sure you know what steps to take if you suffer a maritime injured. Knowing what to do can help protect your interests and right to recovery.
This Maritime Injury Guide provides information on the following:
- Important steps to remember after an injury
- Common types of maritime injuries and accidents
5 Steps You Should Take After a Maritime Injury
After an offshore injury, such as an oil rig injury, it is important to take the right steps to ensure you are in a good position to receive the compensation you will need to maintain your quality of life, or to care for your family. These five steps will guide you on what to do if injured offshore:
1) Seek Medical Attention
It is important to seek medical attention and get the injury examined as soon as you can. These types of injuries are notorious for affecting issues that lie beneath the obvious. If these injuries are not treated, it could affect you in unforeseeable ways. It is always best to use your own physician if you can.
2) Inform Your Employer About the Injury
Informing your employer is key once an injury occurs. At the very least, the worker should advise their immediate supervisor of an injury. If the injury is serious enough, co-workers may also take it upon themselves to report the accident to the employer. It is important for the worker to ensure that their well-being and safety is first; they should never rely on someone else to report their injuries unless they are unable to. The injury should also be backed with a copy of what happened.
The sooner you can record on paper what actually happened, the better.
3) Compile All Information
Getting properly compensated for an injury can be a tedious process, especially if you have a negligent employer that has an issue with paying out claims. You must document all the evidence as quickly as possible, including any photos of the accident area, any equipment used or involved, and the contact information of all the witnesses to corroborate your story.
4) Remain Silent and Do Not Sign Anything
Do not discuss the particulars of your case with anyone but your attorney. Anything you say to co-workers or others can be used against you if you have to move forward with proceedings against your employer. It is also crucial that you do not sign anything while going through the process, nor should you accept any form of settlement payments without consulting your attorney. Once you sign documents, it will be harder to fight for any additional compensation you could have received as a result of your injuries. Remember – the goal of your employer’s insurance company is to pay as quickly and as little as possible.
5) Seek Legal Advice
The laws governing offshore workers are complex and intricate. These laws exist to protect employees and provide guidelines to the employers. Though employers have specific obligations under the law, it is not unheard of for them to turn a blind eye to the rules. This may be an act of negligence and employers can be held responsible their negligence.
Maritime injury is not to be taken lightly; in a number of instances, this could mean life or death and adequate compensation for the worker or their families. Insurance companies can be ruthless, working for the employer to keep their interests first. It is important to obtain counsel that will fight for your rights from beginning to end to help get you what you need, now and in the future. This offshore injury guide provides the best insight for dealing with these types of situations.
It is also imperative to seek counsel from attorneys who have specific experience in this area to provide the best opportunity of representation and compensation. You always want adequate representation to prevent being taken advantage of, affecting your quality of life.
Personal injury claims and cases are very serious matters, and can be tedious, time-consuming, and emotional. For more information on maritime injuries and accidents, and getting the right legal team in place that will work for you, contact the attorneys at Pierce, Skrabanek today.
Common Maritime Accidents
The offshore industry is a high-risk profession where a number of injuries and accidents can take place. Some of the most common accidents include:
Slip and falls
Slippery and uneven decks, an everyday part of work life, can lead to falls that can be debilitating and very severe.
Workers who are near the engine room and galley frequently become exposed to conditions where they could develop chemical burns.
A number of injuries also occur from performing the same duties and tasks for prolonged periods. This could cause injury to the legs, feet, hip, neck, back, and ankles, especially if the employee did not have proper training.
One of the most common types of injury due to the work environment, these frequently go untreated. It is important to get a head injury examined as soon as possible.
Loss of limbs/amputation
Due to the industry, lost limbs, or amputations are very common results of a maritime injury. After these types of accidents, workers are displaced and cannot carry out their specific duties. This means they no longer have a source of income where they can provide for themselves or their families. These types of situations usually occur due to malfunctioning equipment, poor navigation planning, improper training, or lack of training.
These types of injuries are very common in this role, but can be prevented with adequate safety equipment and measures in place.
In this profession, use of the shoulders to operate and stabilize heavy machinery is key. A shoulder injury can lead to other ailments, such as fractures, sprains, a dislocation, or more.
There are other injuries that could take place, including injuries occurring from being in enclosed spaces, falling overboard, fishing injuries, or negligence.
When a worker falls overboard, they may fall into deep water, be lost at sea, or could even be caught between two vessels. When this occurs, rescuing the worker can be difficult, and they may drown, be exposed to hypothermia or worse. During these types of situations, the family must be properly compensated for their loss, but obtaining adequate compensation for their loss could be an uphill battle.
Being trapped in a confined or enclosed spaces is also another maritime injury area where workers are injured but never acknowledged. Workers who are injured in enclosed spaces usually are exposed to areas that do not have sufficient oxygen and are working in toxic fumes. These workers are susceptible to poisoning or asphyxia.
Additionally, fishing injuries are very common, and a number of commercial maritime and fishing workers are killed due to a lack of training, safety gear, and equipment that is defective. This includes accidents that occur on the docks or piers that have large cargo areas where workers are exposed to vehicle accidents and other variables that leave them vulnerable.
Working in the maritime industry can be both challenging and dangerous. Our law firm hopes that you never have to suffer injuries resulting from working in the maritime industry. If you are injured, please use the guide provided to take measures to protect yourself.
For consultation or advice, contact the maritime & offshore attorneys at Pierce, Skrabanek. We work to ensure you receive the very best outcomes for your maritime injury matters.