When You are Injured Contact a Maritime Injury Lawyer As Soon as Possible
If you work in the maritime industry and have been hurt on the job it is important to speak with an experienced maritime injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. When you are injured, chances are that you are going to be confused about what you should do and uncertain about your legal rights or even which set of maritime laws apply to your unique accident. Your employer may be telling you they will take care of everything and insurance companies and investigators are likely to be hounding you for information. The best thing you can do is to speak with a knowledgeable maritime lawyer who will explain what is happening and take the appropriate steps to protect your legal rights. You do not need to handle your case on your own, your attorney will guide you through the process and provide you with the information you need to make the best choices for you and those you care most about. Remember, you have the right to consult with an attorney and your employer cannot fire you for doing so.
Your Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights
When a serious accident occurs, the maritime industry is notorious for trying to place the blame on you or someone else. These companies will hire a powerful team of attorneys and attempt to prove the accident was not their fault. When an investigator calls you to talk about your accident you need to be cautious – there is a high probability that your call is going to be recorded and that the company will try to use the conversation to hurt your case. You should never agree to give any recorded statements or sworn or written testimony until you have spoken with your attorney. While your employer and its insurance carrier may be pressuring you to talk, you are under no obligation to provide a statement about your accident.
Your employer may also try to trap you into settlement discussions. They will probably tell you they are concerned about your injuries and are doing everything they can to help take care of you. Oftentimes they will ask you how much money you want in order to settle the claim. You need to be careful here. You should never discuss any dollar figures until you have spoken with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs maritime law and the value of maritime injury cases. Far too often maritime employees will mistakenly name a figure that is only a fraction of what the case is worth. This kind of mistake can be costly for both you and your family members.
When you are injured in a maritime accident your employer may also try to restrict your access to medical care. Injured seaman and other maritime employees have the right to choose their own medical doctors – you do not have to be seen by the company physician. Doctors who are connected to your employer are likely to limit your medical care or convince you that these were from old or pre-existing injuries and try to get you back to work before you are physically ready to do so. Our firm can help you find a doctor who will provide you with the diagnostic tests and medical treatments you need to properly recover from your accident.
7 Things To Remember When You Are Injured:
- You are under no obligation to give a statement to your employer;
- You have the right to see a doctor of your own choice and the right to obtain a second medical opinion;
- Your employer does not have the right to have a rehab nurse sitting in with you during private patient visits or examinations;
- You do not have to sign a blank medical release to allow the adjuster to conduct open discussions with your doctor often without you being present;
- Your employer cannot fire you if you choose to consult with an attorney;
- Do not discuss any settlement amounts with the other side without speaking with your attorney; and
- If you are seriously injured, talk to a lawyer before you say or do anything that might damage your case.
Call the Willis Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation: 1-800-468-4878.