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What Should I Do After a Maritime Accident Injury?

Maritime accident cases often come with complications that differ from traditional personal injury claims. This is because injuries at sea don’t always fall under the jurisdiction of the laws of a particular state—instead, federal laws may apply to maritime injury claims. This may entitle those who work in the maritime field to a unique set of benefits and procedures following a work injury, depending on the circumstances. Non-maritime workers who are injured during a recreational boating excursion or while on a cruise ship may also find filing a maritime personal injury claim confusing. Our Anchorage maritime accident lawyer is here to help by providing you with some basic tips on what to do after a maritime injury to better protect your claim.

Seek Medical Attention

This is the first and most important thing any injury victim should do after an accident. Even if you aren’t in pain or don’t have any obvious wounds, it is best to be on the safe side by visiting a doctor as soon after your accident as possible. Certain injuries may not show up right away and can lead to complications later on if not treated.

Seeing a doctor will also help you protect your accident claim. Medical records are a vital piece of evidence when it comes to personal injury claims. Without proof that you saw a physician who treated your injuries, your claim may be denied due to it appearing as if you are exaggerating or faking your injuries.

For serious injuries, head to the emergency room immediately and worry about the steps below later (or simply have a lawyer take care of them for you). Otherwise, stay on the accident scene until the following steps are completed before scheduling your doctor’s appointment.

Take Photographs of the Accident Scene

Your claim needs strong evidence to prove your accident happened the way you say it did. If you can, take as many pictures of the accident site as you can as soon after the accident as possible. Things to pay attention to include any injuries (yours and others’), property damage, and anything that may have caused or contributed to the accident, such as poor weather conditions or an obstruction.

File an Accident Report

Further strengthen your claim by filing an accident report with the proper authorities. If you are on a cruise ship or rented a boat from a rental company you may want to go through their channels—otherwise, contact the police.

Don’t Sign Anything

Insurance companies will try to invalidate your claim before you can even make it in order to protect their bottom line. Don’t sign anything or even speak to an insurance agent until consulting with a lawyer.

Contact a Lawyer

Even if you choose not to file a claim, an experienced attorney’s legal advice is invaluable. It is difficult to provide general advice because each case is different, and the viability of each claim depends on unique factors such as how your accident occurred, who is responsible, and how severe the injuries and property damage are. A lawyer will listen to your case and break down what steps you need to take in order to protect yourself as well as whether or not you have grounds to actually file a claim.

An attorney can also help with:

  • Securing medical treatment
  • Determining liability
  • Calculating how much compensation you are owed
  • Filing your lawsuit and other legal paperwork
  • Representing you in negotiations or trial

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident involving a water vessel, we can help. The Anchorage maritime accident attorney at The Law Offices of David Henderson has over two decades of experience handling such cases and securing clients the fair and just compensation they deserve. Contact us here to schedule your free consultation.