Maritime industry employees are surrounded by workplace hazards. As a result, serious injuries are a common occurrence for those who work in the maritime industry. Given the dangerous nature of many maritime jobs, even the most careful employees are likely to face injury at some point in their careers. Therefore, if you are a maritime industry employee, you know not only how to prevent injuries, but how to react if you are injured. Below are some common mistakes to avoid after a maritime injury.
Failing to Report the Accident
If you are injured at work, you should report the accident to your supervisor as soon as possible. Also, you should never let your employer pressure you into taking responsibility for the accident. This is a common tactic used by employers to prevent employees from obtaining compensation for their injuries.
Failing to File a Claim
Although your health insurance may cover some of your medical bills, you still need to file a claim if you want to recover lost wages and other compensation you may be owed.
Failing to Get a Second Opinion
Even if your vessel’s doctor diagnoses you after your accident, you must get a second opinion from an independent medical professional. Remember, a doctor who works for your employer is a company employee. Therefore, he or she may be pressured to minimize the seriousness of your injuries in written reports. This can hurt your chances of recovering full compensation for your injuries.
Relying on Your Memory
Following your maritime injury, you need accurate information regarding the events surrounding the injury. Therefore, rather than relying on your memory, you should document as much as possible. This includes thing like
- how you were hurt,
- what was happening around you when you were hurt,
- whether you were given any instructions that led to the injury,
- when you met with doctors, and
- what the doctors said about your injury.
Coming Back to Work Too Soon
If you return to work before your body is ready, you risk injuring yourself again. In addition, you may hurt your chances of recovery, as your employer may use your quick return as evidence that you weren’t hurt as badly as you claimed.
Accepting a Low Settlement Offer
Employers and insurance companies often offer injured maritime workers lowball settlement offers. They do this to get rid of personal injury cases quickly and cheaply. Therefore, you should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with a maritime attorney.
Failing to Contact a Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana Maritime Attorney
Finally, if you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, the biggest mistake you can possibly make is failing to obtain the services of an experienced team of Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico admiralty and maritime lawyers. At Koch & Schmidt, our maritime attorneys serve clients in Southern Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast region. If you’ve suffered injuries in a maritime accident, our talented legal team will do everything we can to ensure your Louisiana maritime law case has a successful outcome. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your Louisiana maritime law case.