What if a Toxic Spill on Your Vessel Leaves You Injured

Toxic Spill at Sea: How to Protect Your Recovery

Paul Hofmann
Specializes in personal injury, with emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims

We often think of the devastating environmental impact of a toxic spill at sea, and those environmental issues deserve our attention. However, if you’ve been hurt because of a dangerous chemical or substance spill on your boat then your own concerns are more pressing, immediate, and personal.

You Need to Know How to Recover

On board a ship, you could be injured by any of the following toxic substances:

  • Gas, oil, or fuel
  • Batteries
  • Paint, solvents
  • Antifreeze
  • Hazardous waste
  • Other substances

Regardless of which chemical or substance caused your injury you are going to need a plan to make a prompt recovery. After receiving first aid on your vessel, plans should have been made to get you to shore. Now that you are back on land, it is important to follow your doctors’ orders and to protect your recovery by:

  • Staying out of work as long as is necessary to heal. Do not feel pressured to go back to work before you have medical clearance to do so.
  • Getting the medical treatments you need. Do not let money prevent you from getting the necessary medical treatments.
  • Understanding, and protecting your legal rights. Do not jeopardize your recovery because you don’t know what you can recover. Instead, learn how to protect yourself. You can start by reading our free brochure, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights .

This won’t be an easy time in your life, but the steps you take now may make your future easier. Accordingly, we encourage you to:

  • Be honest with your doctors. Let them know exactly how you feel so that you can receive proper treatment for your injuries.
  • Watch what you say to your employer or his representative. Anything you say can be used against you and anything you sign may be binding.
  • Take steps to protect your rights. This may include contacting a lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options.

While your employer may not be on your side, it is important to know that you are not alone. Your family, your doctors, and your maritime injury lawyer will help you so that you can get back to the life you want to live.