What to Do After an Offshore Accident

What to Do After an Offshore Accident

What to Do After an Offshore Accident



There are a number of steps that injured offshore workers should take following an accident. Although many workers may be shaken and scared at the time of the injury, it is important for them to be aware of these steps and follow them to the best of their ability.

1. Seek Medical Attention

On land, if you suffer an injury, help is available much more readily. On a vessel, victims are more isolated. Telephone and other communication services may not be working, which means emergency crews may not be reached until hours later. Even if they are reached quickly, a vessel may be out at sea in the middle of nowhere, and it can take several hours for an emergency team to reach the victim. Furthermore, not every vessel is equipped with onboard medical facilities. On land, victims who are injured can be transported to a number of hospitals or clinics, but that’s not the case at sea.

Regardless of when or where you receive an injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately following the incident. Your health and wellbeing are of utmost importance, but some people choose to self-medicate or simply disregard their injuries altogether. Our attorneys advise against this and urge accident victims to promptly seek attention from their own doctor or a local hospital emergency room as soon as possible.

2. Inform Your Employer About the Injury

Injured offshore workers should always advise their employers of their injuries as soon as possible. That means at the very least, the harmed individual should advise his or her immediate supervisor or superior directly. Depending on the nature of the injuries, fellow co-workers may take it upon themselves to inform the employer of the accident; however, accident victims should not rely on those workers to handle that for them. In fact, accident victims are encouraged to write down what happened and provide the employer with a copy of that report as soon as they are physically able to do so.

3. Compile Necessary Information

Unfortunately, some employers will do their best to avoid properly compensating an accident victim for his or her injuries. That is why it is crucial for injured offshore workers to maintain complete documentary evidence of everything that took place after the occurrence of the accident. The documents should include contact information for all witnesses to the incident, as well as photos of the accident area and all equipment that may have caused the injury.

4. Keep Quiet and Never Sign Anything

While it is true that offshore workers should report their injuries to their employers, they should never speak to others about the specifics of the incident. Simple comments made to a friend at work or other co-workers may be used against you at a later date, should it become necessary to sue your employer. Likewise, victims should never sign any documents presented to them by their employers or accept any settlement offers without first consulting with a lawyer or admit any level of fault.

5. Seek Legal Guidance

The laws protecting offshore workers are very specific and can be quite complex. Accordingly, injured workers should seek legal advice from lawyers who are knowledgeable in maritime and offshore injury law. Working with such attorneys will provide victims with the best opportunity of obtaining just compensation for their injuries.

Employers have specific rules and obligations under the law, and when they fail to follow those rules, they can be held legally responsible.
Types of Offshore Claims

Generally, there are four possible ways in which most injured offshore workers and their families can recover. However, individuals should note that many factors must be considered when determining which method is best to use based on the specific facts of the case that caused the worker’s injury or illness. For instance, one must consider the kind of work being done at the time of the accident or the occurrence of the illness, along with where the accident or illness took place.

If an offshore worker has been injured or killed due to a maritime-related accident, he or she (or his or her loved ones) may be entitled to recovery under general maritime law, the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act or the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.


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