Working on any maritime vessel – including a dredger – can come with plenty of risks. Work conditions can be demanding and there’s plenty that can go wrong when performing your maritime duties.
If you suffer an accident on a dredger, it can be quite stressful and leave you uncertain about what to do next. The Houston maritime lawyers of Lapeze & Johns have provided the comfort and guidance maritime workers need when they have suffered through a maritime accident.
Please consider the following if you have suffered a work-related injury while on a dredger.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Dredger Work-Related Injury
Following your dredger accident, you will want to take measured action in order to protect yourself and your rights. It is vital that you take the following steps so that you can build evidence for filing a maritime injury claim:
1. Report the accident to your supervisor or the proper authority. Maritime law requires that dredge workers notify their employer within seven (7) days of their injury.
However, it is in your best interest not to take that long. Employers and their insurance companies may very well assume that your injury was not serious enough for you to report it sooner, which can lead to them putting up a bigger fight to provide you the coverage and care you deserve if filing a claim.
2. Regardless of how severe your injury is, seek out medical attention. While you may not consider your injury to be very serious, it is important that you take care of yourself. The effects of some injuries – such as a brain injury that occurs from a slip and fall – can take hours or even days to manifest.
Additionally, receiving medical care will help you to secure documentation of your physical condition, which will be important if you decide to file a maritime accident claim.
3. If possible, try to photograph the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the area and any equipment involved in your incident. If you are unable to do so, request help from a trusted co-worker.
Securing this type of evidence quickly is important as the owner or manager of the vessel may attempt to cover up the accident by fixing or correcting the issue that caused your injury.
You’ll also want to document the memories of the event soon after they happened – the sooner, the better. Take detailed notes of what happened during the accident, the equipment that was being used, the aftermath, who you informed, what occurred when you met with your doctor, their instructions, and essentially any other piece of information you can remember.
All this information can help you tremendously further down the road if you decide to file a maritime injury claim.
4. While you are healing, it is absolutely vital that you follow your doctor’s orders. Attend every appointment scheduled as failing to so can be taken as a sign that you have (1) already healed and do not need any additional support or (2) that your injuries were not severe.
5. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance company or adjuster. Unfortunately, insurance companies are invested in holding on to as much money as possible, which means they want to minimize your claim. An insurance adjuster may ask you leading questions in order to get you to make an inaccurate statement that can jeopardize your claim.
6. Seek out legal counsel from a knowledgeable maritime attorney. It is important that the law firm/attorney you choose has experience with maritime law as it can vary greatly from traditional personal injury law.
Before making your choice, make sure to ask plenty of questions, request testimonials from previous clients, and bring up any concerns you may have. Remember, you should not feel coerced into choosing the lawyer and do not have to work with the first attorney you come across.
If you or a loved one was injured on a dredge vessel, the Houston maritime lawyers of Lapeze and Johns are ready to hear your story. With over 30 years of combined experience, we know exactly what it takes to hold negligent employers liable for the pain they have caused you.