There are several steps that you can take to ensure that you are treated fairly immediately after an offshore accident or if you are injured while working overseas.
Firstly, you must report your injury to your immediate supervisor or the captain, after which you would need to fill in an accident report. It is important that you report the injury as soon as feasible.
Report the incident
The accident report must be filled in as accurately as possible without being pressured to mention and/or sign any statement saying that the accident was your fault. You must keep in mind that an accident can occur due to several factors and therefore you must be wary of agreeing to first hand reports that may lay the blame on you. The consequences of not informing your superiors of your injury can lead to you not being covered for your medical bills. And nobody wants that.
It is also strongly recommended that one avoid giving a recorded statement to the insurer or any such representative immediately after the incident as there is a strong possibility of you being disoriented and in pain and thus not able to provide an accurate account of events.
Keep in mind to not sign any documents – whether you agree with them or not– without a lawyer present.
Take pictures of the area of the accident and take notice of anything that was dangerous and improper at that time. If you are not in the position to do so, you can always request a trusted worker to get it done on your behalf.
Get medical attention
Getting medical attention is paramount in this situation as it isn’t always certain what the nature of the injury is or how extensive it is until a doctor assesses it. The further you delay on seeing a doctor, there is always the possibility of the injury aggravating. Follow up with the doctors a week or two after the accident has occurred as there could be some injuries that don’t show up on MRI’s or X-rays immediately. In addition to receiving care from the company doctor, it is always advised to get a second opinion from a doctor you trust.
Gather witness accounts
If possible try to gather contact information from witnesses. You may not require this information but this comes in handy if the company refuses to pay your medical bills or in turn tries to blame you for the incident. Witness accounts can turn this around and save your career with the help of an offshore injury lawyer.
Keeping records of everything is essential– this includes a copy of every document you have submitted or previously signed. Preferably a log of events needs to be maintained describing what occurred immediately after the injury and the months following. Writing down what you feel is important for the company, doctor, insurance agent, etc. These records may also come in handy and potentially save you a lot of trouble later.