Should I give a recorded statement after a maritime injury?

After an injury that occurs offshore on either a barge, rig, tugboat, tow or other vessel, your employer will be taking certain actions to minimize liability. They will be contacting their insurance company and depending on the severity of your maritime injury, they may also notify their attorneys. Even though you want to trust your employer, you need to be cautious when talking with the insurance company or your employer’s attorney after the accident. What you say or do can affect your ability to file a claim for your injury.

The insurance company most likely will contact you immediately following the accident that caused your injuries. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to make sure that you get as low of a settlement as possible, which is why they will use certain tactics to damage your case. The insurer will probably ask you for a recorded statement and will mention that it will help your claim if you give a prompt statement of your version of the accident. Insurance companies have been known to coerce injured maritime workers into giving recorded statements by telling them that it is a necessary step in the investigation process. They have even been known to say that a quick recorded statement will ensure that the injured workers are compensated quickly.

No matter what the insurance company tells you, it is not a good idea to give a recorded statement without first talking with an independent maritime attorney. Your statement can jeopardize your ability to pursue further compensation for your injuries. The insurance company is hoping that they will be able to catch you making a statement that may hurt your claim or allow them to avoid paying you a settlement. Insurers are highly skilled when it comes to finding ways to evade responsibility and they work for your employer, not you.

Also, do not sign any paperwork that the insurance company gives you, until it has been reviewed by an independent maritime lawyer. The paperwork provided by the insurance company can be confusing and if you sign something without fully understanding what it means, you can hurt your offshore injury case and may be forfeiting your ability to collect compensation.

If you have been injured while working offshore, contact our law firm. Learn your legal rights and what options are available to you and your family. The legal consultation is free and confidential.