How Do You Protect Yourself After an Offshore Accident?
When you get injured offshore, it can be hard to know what to do next. Should you report the accident? Should you see the ship’s or rig’s doctor? What else should (or shouldn’t) you do to protect your legal rights? Should you contact an offshore accident lawyer before you get back to land? These are all very important questions.
As someone who works offshore, protecting your legal rights when you get injured can be challenging. Not only are there important steps you need to take, but there are also costly mistakes you need to avoid. You can—and should—contact an offshore accident lawyer right away, and your lawyer will be able to explain everything you need to know in order to maximize your chances of receiving full compensation.
What to Do to Protect Yourself After an Offshore Accident
Along with contacting a lawyer as soon as possible, there are some other steps you can take to help protect your legal rights as well. For example, if possible, you should:
1. Take Pictures and Videos with Your Phone
Since your accident happened offshore, conducting a timely investigation will prove challenging (though not impossible). With this in mind, it is important to take pictures and videos with your phone if you can. Try to document the location of your accident thoroughly, and take photos of your injuries as well.
If you can, you should do this before reporting your accident in case your employer (or the ship or rig owner) tries to cover up what happened.
2. Report the Accident to Your Captain or Supervisor
You will need to report the accident, and, while you should take photos or videos if you can, it is also important that you file your report promptly. When you tell your ship’s captain or your supervisor what happened, he or she should provide you with instructions for submitting a formal written report. Before you submit your report, take a picture of this as well.
3. Seek Treatment At the First Available Opportunity
You need to seek treatment promptly, and this will most likely mean seeing the doctor on your ship or rig. This is important for protecting your health and your legal rights. When you see the doctor, try to clearly explain what happened, and be sure to describe your symptoms as thoroughly as possible. Seeking treatment may also mean taking a helicopter or crew boat back to land, and you should not hesitate to do this if it is the only option you have available.
4. Take Notes or Record Yourself
In addition to taking pictures and videos of the accident site and your injury (if possible), you should also take notes or record yourself describing what happened. Here, too, you should be as clear and thorough as possible. You should try to do this promptly, and you should not let what anyone else says influence your version of the events.
5. Prioritize Your Recovery
Whether you are facing a week off the job or you could face consequences for the rest of your life, you need to prioritize your recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice, and work with an experienced offshore accident lawyer to seek the financial compensation you deserve. If you ignore your injury, return to work too soon, or try to handle your situation on your own, you could end up bearing the costs of your injury unnecessarily.
What Not to Do After an Offshore Accident
As we mentioned above, in addition to taking these steps (among many others), there are also costly mistakes you need to avoid. For example, here are some examples of things not to do after suffering an offshore injury:
1. Wait to Report Your Accident or See a Doctor
When you get injured offshore, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to wait. If you wait to report your accident or see a doctor, this will make it much more difficult to prove how and when you got injured.
2. Only Rely on Your Ship’s or Rig’s Doctor
While it is important that you see a doctor promptly, it is also important that you not rely only on your ship’s or rig’s doctor. Once you get back to land, you should see your own doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis. While your doctor will focus on making sure you fully recover, a doctor who works for your employer might be more focused on getting you back to work as quickly as possible—even if this means not providing the most comprehensive treatment possible.
3. Let Your Employer Tell You What To Do (or What Not To Do)
After getting injured offshore, it is important not to let your employer tell you what to do (or what not to do). In this scenario, your employer won’t necessarily have your best interests in mind. Instead, you should call an offshore accident lawyer for advice, and you should follow your lawyer’s advice to protect your legal rights.
4. Post on Social Media
If you use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, you should not post about your accident online. Depending on what you post, doing so could potentially create problems for your claim.
5. Assume There is No Point in Filing a Claim
Finally, while it is easy to feel helpless when you get injured tens or hundreds of miles offshore, you should not assume there is no point in filing a claim. U.S. maritime laws exist for a reason, and this reason is to protect offshore workers in your exact situation. You can hire an offshore accident lawyer at no out-of-pocket cost, and your lawyer will be able to handle many aspects of your claim on your behalf.
Get Help from an Experienced Offshore Accident Lawyer for Free
Do you need help after an offshore accident? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an offshore accident lawyer at Brais Law Firm, call 800-499-0551 or tell us how we can get in touch with you online now.