Suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI) can change your life forever. Even if you are able to fully recover from your injury, you may become cautious about using your back, and you may choose not to participate in certain activities out of fear of getting injured again. If you are not able to fully recover, chronic pain and permanent physical limitations could negatively impact all aspects of your day-to-day life.

As a result, if you have suffered an SCI on the water, it is important that you speak with a maritime accident lawyer about filing a claim. While these injuries can be life-changing, they also entitle crew members and passengers to financial compensation in many cases. If you have a claim, recovering the financial compensation you deserve could be life-changing as well, and you can hire an experienced lawyer to represent you at no out-of-pocket cost.

5 Important Facts About Filing a Claim for a Spinal Cord Injury After a Maritime Accident

When dealing with a spinal cord injury suffered in a maritime accident, you need to make informed decisions. If you aren’t careful, you could lose your ability to recover the financial compensation you deserve. With this in mind, here are five important facts you should know:

1. Maritime Law Covers All Types of Accidents on the Water

First, maritime law covers all types of accidents on the water. So, no matter what happened, it is worth speaking with a maritime accident lawyer to find out if you have a claim. Captains, crew members and passengers alike can file claims after accidents including:

  • Recreational powerboat and sailboat accidents
  • Personal watercraft (PWC) accidents
  • Cruise ship accidents
  • Ferry and charter boat accidents
  • Private yacht accidents
  • Sightseeing tour and dinner cruise accidents
  • Parasailing accidents
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling accidents
  • Cargo ship, barge and tugboat accidents
  • Commercial fishing accidents

Even these are just examples. Regardless of the type of vessel or excursion on which you were injured, you may have a claim for just compensation—and you owe it to yourself to find out.

2. Taking Care of Your Injury Should Be Your First Priority

When you suffer a spinal cord injury, taking care of your injury should be your first priority. While you can see the ship’s doctor for emergency treatment (if one is available), it is important that you see a doctor of your own choosing once you get back to land. You have the right to choose your own doctor—do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

3. Your Legal Rights Depend on What You Were Doing When You Got Injured

In maritime accident cases, your legal rights depend on what you were doing when you got injured. Specifically, they depend on whether you were working or on the water for pleasure. Laws such as the Jones Act provide special protections to maritime workers. While captains and crew members can file for “no-fault” benefits in many cases, passengers must generally prove negligence in order to secure a financial recovery. On the water, negligence can take many different forms, and proving negligence starts with engaging an experienced maritime accident lawyer as soon as possible.

4. The Steps You Need to Take Depend on Your Legal Rights

When you have a claim for a spinal cord injury, the steps you need to take depend on your legal rights. The procedures for filing Jones Act claims and other types of claims are different—and this is yet another reason why you need an experienced maritime accident lawyer on your side. When you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will take all of the steps that are necessary to protect your legal rights based on the circumstances at hand.

5. It Costs Nothing Out-of-Pocket to Hire an Experienced Maritime Accident Lawyer

No matter what type of claim you need to file, it costs nothing out of pocket to hire an experienced maritime accident lawyer for your spinal cord injury case. Lawyers typically handle maritime accident claims on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront, you will not receive monthly legal bills, and you will not owe anything unless your lawyer helps you recover just compensation for your SCI. If you win your case, your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your recovery.

Protecting Your Claim After You Suffer an SCI on the Water

Along with understanding what is involved in filing a claim, you also need to know how to protect your claim for just compensation. Spinal cord injuries can be incredibly expensive, and to protect your ability to recover, there are both steps you need to take and mistakes you need to avoid. Here are some tips from maritime accident lawyer Keith Brais:

  • Do not ignore your pain or other symptoms. Even if you have already sought treatment, if you have concerns, you should contact your doctor promptly.
  • Once you obtain an SCI diagnosis, carefully follow your doctor’s advice throughout your recovery. Do everything you can to help yourself get better as quickly as possible.
  • Do not let the boat’s owner, your employer, the charter company or anyone else tell you what to do. Only rely on the advice of your maritime accident lawyer.
  • Take notes and keep any photos or videos you took after the accident. The more information and evidence you can share with your lawyer, the better.
  • Accept that the process will take time. While you may be tempted to settle quickly, you must work with your lawyer to seek the full compensation you deserve.

Speak with a Maritime Accident Lawyer at Brais Law Firm for Free

Did you suffer a spinal cord injury in a maritime accident? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To discuss your claim with a maritime accident lawyer at Brais Law Firm in confidence, please call 800-499-0551 or request a free initial consultation online today.

Back to Blog

National and International All Ports of Call. Anywhere Offshore.Brais Law is here for you.

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 800-499-0551.
Contact Us