It is understandable that your first thought after a maritime injury was to get emergency medical care. The most important thing after a fall on the deck or heavy equipment accident is to treat your pain and prevent your injuries from getting worse. However, now that your immediate medical needs have been taken care of, it is time to take action to protect your recovery—and this begins with the crucial step of reporting your injury to your employer.

Why You Must Report Your Accident to Your Maritime Employer Immediately

While maritime law requires injured workers to file accident reports within seven days of an incident, it is vital to report an injury as soon as you can. Even if an employer has been made aware of the accident, it is still important to make an official report of your injury because:

  • It protects your rights to compensation. If you do not fill out your own incident report, somebody else will. You do not want to rely on someone else’s version of events if your case goes to court. Reporting the injury yourself gives you a chance to make sure that the report is accurate, and timely reporting makes it more difficult for the company’s insurer to deny your claim.
  • It gives your employer the opportunity to do the right thing. Your employer needs to complete an official report to get your benefits, so helping him or her complete the report gives an employer the opportunity to compensate you for your work-related injuries.
  • It allows the time-consuming claim process to begin as quickly as possible. Your accident report must be sent to many different parties, including your supervisor, the human resources department, and the insurer. In addition, the Captain must enter the incident into the ship’s log and complete federal paperwork to comply with maritime regulations. Any delay in starting the claims process only reduces your chances of getting proper compensation.
Unfortunately, recovering fair damages in a maritime accident is not as easy as simply filling out an accident report. You may have to fight to get the damages that you deserve, but you do not have to fight alone. Contact us today to discuss your case with a maritime injury attorney, or learn more about your rights in our FREE publication, The Legal Rights of Injured Seamen and Other Commercial Mariners.
Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.