Workers in the maritime occupation can be injured while in the line of duty. However, they may not be covered with traditional workers’ compensation like other workers. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and Jones Act protect them instead, depending on their role within the industry. Thus, if you are injured in a maritime job, you also have the legal right to file a claim to be compensated. However, like workers in other industries, what you do after the accident matters.
Here are three things to do.
1. Seek medical attention
Your company should have a maritime doctor who can treat crew members when they are injured or fall sick. If you are injured, it will help to see the doctor. If you are near the shore, the physician can manage the condition, so you can go to a hospital.
If the injury is severe and the onboard doctor is not specialized in the particular matter, you or one of your colleagues should call 911 to have an ambulance waiting for you when you dock.
2. Report to your employer
If you can move around after the accident, you should report the accident to your employer. It’s best to do it straight away to avoid missing the relevant deadlines.
3. Gather evidence
Immediately after the accident, you should take pictures of the scene and your injuries. If you can’t, request a colleague to do so. Evidence is key to receiving the compensation you deserve. Other documents to gather are witness statements, medical records and any bills that stem from the injury.
If you are injured in a maritime environment, you should seek more information to protect your rights.