We make the following general suggestions to a seaman or fisherman who is injured on the job. Each case is different and there may be additional advice we would give in a specific case. Feel free to call us toll free at 1-877-DECKLAW (1-866-974-9633) and we will provide the best advice we can which is specific to your case. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our answering service. Or, you can reach us by e mail.
- Report the injury to your supervisor or the captain
Maritime law relating to fishermen requires an injury to be reported within seven days. If the injury is not reported, that does not mean that you do not have a claim. But, the injury should be reported as soon as practical after the incident. Frequently employers and vessel owners dispute accidents that are not properly reported.
- Complete an accident report
Again, the injury should be reported as soon as practical after the incident. And, if the accident is in writing, there is a record. The verbal reports are later subject to being "forgotten."
- Get the appropriate medical attention
As we discussed fuller in our FAQ section, injured seamen or fishermen have the right to all reasonable medical care, to be paid by the employer or the employer's insurance company. There is no deductible for the injured seaman or fisherman. The employer must pay for this medical care up until the seaman and fisherman reach a point of "maximum medical improvement." In other words, the seaman is entitled to medical care until he is as good as the treatment can get him/her.
- Remember the witnesses. Get their phone numbers and addresses
If there were witnesses to your injury, try to get their phone numbers and addresses. Many times, after the passage of time, it makes it difficult to relocate these witnesses. Also, try to get a close relatives phone number if the witness may be moving around some.
- Know your rights
The insurance adjusters and company claims people are good at what they do. Their number one job is to save the insurance company money. Know your rights so that they can not take advantage of you. Contact an experienced and qualified maritime lawyer. At Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC, in Seattle and Anchorage, our maritime lawyers offer a free initial consultation so that we can inform the injured seaman what to expect and describe his or her rights.
- Do NOT give a recorded statement
An insurance representative or insurance adjuster may ask to record a statement from you. Do not agree to give a recorded statement. You do not have to give them one. A skilled questioner may twist your words around. And, recorded statements can be manipulated. Things can be left out. It is best not to give a recorded statement.
- Contact a maritime law attorney at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC
Get all your questions answered, learn about your rights, and decide on the next course of action by scheduling a free initial consultation with an experienced and nationally recognized maritime personal injury law firm.