Q: Am I still able to recover damages if I didn’t report my maritime injury?
You can recover damages for your maritime injury even if you didn’t report it, since there are multiple ways to prove that you were hurt in a workplace accident. However, failing to file a timely injury report is likely to make receiving compensation more difficult.
Injured maritime workers may be eligible to receive compensation under both the Jones Act and general maritime law. Employees have just seven days to report a work-related injury per federal regulations, and any delay in this process can jeopardize a claim.
Reporting delays may cause the employer’s insurance company to assume that the injuries in question aren’t serious. If an employee continues to work after failing to report his injuries, his employer’s insurance company is likely to argue that he wasn’t actually hurt on the job.
Supporting Your Claim
Your attorney can strengthen your claim when there isn't an accident report by obtaining:
- Medical proof. If you visited the emergency room or your doctor after the work accident, your medical provider will have a comprehensive record of your injuries. Your attorney may also obtain testimony from your physician.
- Coworker testimony. Your coworkers may have witnessed your accident, or they may be aware of the unsafe conditions that caused it. Your attorney can identify, contact, and take depositions from these coworkers.
- Surveillance video. If surveillance video of your accident was captured by your employer’s security cameras, your attorney may be able to obtain this footage with a court order.
- Your testimony. Even if the evidence above isn't available, your own testimony may be sufficient to prove the claim. Your attorney can have you go to court, take the stand, and explain how you were injured.
You Need an Attorney
When you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, you need an experienced attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.