The maritime industry is one of the most dangerous fields in the United States. Luckily, the government recognizes that and has valuable protections in place for the brave crew members who risk their lives for the industry every day.
Under the Jones Act, employers are legally required to compensate employees who are injured on the job. But where do you turn when your employer fails to report your injury, making it more difficult to collect the compensation you deserve?
Our experienced legal team at The Maritime Injury Law Firm is here to help. We are based in Louisiana, but have over 20 years of experience working with injured sea workers from all across the U.S. Let our team walk you through the steps to take if your employer fails to report your maritime injury.
What to do after a maritime injury?
The path to compensation can be long, but there is hope if you follow the right procedure following your injury. It all starts in those moments after your accident.
It’s important that you follow these steps when you are hurt on your maritime job.
- Seek medical attention: The first thing to do is seek the proper medical attention. First and foremost, your health takes priority, and you need to take the necessary steps to make sure you do not sustain serious, life-altering effects of your accident. It is also crucial that you receive documentation about the full scope of your injuries, and that you have an idea what your path to recovery looks like. These are two essential supports in your legal case for financial compensation.
- Report the incident to your employer: The next step is to report the incident to your employer. This is another important step that creates a paper trail, and you will be able to use your employer’s documentation in your legal case – if they do their due diligence and keep a record. However, we will explain what steps to take if they fail to do so.
- Gather relevant information: It is important to keep notes, if possible, on the details of your accident and medical care as you go. However, in the heat of the moment this can be easier said than done. If you need to go back to collect details like times, dates, witnesses, location notes and more, then you should do that as soon as possible. The more notes you have on hand for a potential legal case, the better.
- Seek legal advice: Finally, it is in your best interest to seek the aid of a maritime injury attorney. The counsel of an experienced professional is invaluable, as they will make sure you stay on the right track to recover the full extent of compensation that you are owed.
What if my employer doesn’t report my maritime injury?
The Jones Act is one of the most comprehensive workers’ compensation protections in the United States. Unfortunately, employers can impose on these benefits if they forget or fail to file the necessary reports after your accident.
If this happens, alternative documentation is your most valuable ally to combat your employers’ failure to follow procedure. You will be in a good place if you have medical documents and collected evidence at your workplace, like photos and notes. It will also help if you have witnesses who are willing to back up your claims.
Once you gather this information, you can use it to file a Jones Act claim with the assistance of your attorney.
In addition to compensating you after you win a case, employers may owe fines to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for their failure to report the accident.
Employers are required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to report injuries, and if they do not follow procedure, then they may be forced to pay additional fines. Employers who wilfully fail to comply with health and safety standards, including proper reporting, may be fined between $5,000 and $70,000.
What compensation can you receive for maritime injury?
After all the discussion about the compensation you deserve for your maritime injury, you might find yourself wondering exactly what compensation to which you are entitled under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act outlines two types of benefits: maintenance and cure:
- Maintenance: These are benefits related to your cost of living, such as rent or mortgage, utility bills, food, property taxes, insurance and more.
- Cure: These benefits cover the costs of your medical care and treatment, not only including bills themselves, but potentially even the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments.
Contact the Maritime Injury Law Firm in Louisiana today
When you are injured in a maritime accident, you may feel overwhelmed. The possibilities for your life and for your future may seem like they have changed dramatically, and you might not know where to turn first. But one thing is certain: you need an experienced maritime attorney with a passion for justice.
That’s where George Vourvoulias at the Maritime Injury Law Firm comes in. His Louisiana-based practice services workers all over the country, and with over two decades of experience he knows what it takes to win the fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact George today to schedule your free, private consultation.