New Orleans, LA Maritime Injury Lawyer
What you do (or don’t do) after you are injured in an offshore accident will ultimately determine whether or not you are treated fairly in your claim for compensation. All too often, those injured in maritime accidents make the same mistake that hurts their claim for compensation more than anything else.
This article describes the biggest mistake you can make when injured in an maritime accident: Putting too much trust in the insurance company. Read further for explanation.
Don’t Place Your Trust in the Insurance Company
After a maritime accident, your employer will notify their insurance provider. The insurance provider will then open a file and assign a claims adjuster to your case. A claims adjuster is a professional employed by the insurance company to handle your claim on their behalf.
Claims adjusters often do the following:
- Review medical records,
- Collect medical bills,
- Evaluate who is at-fault and at what percentage,
- Evaluate injuries,
- Decide if claimants should undergo independent medical examinations,
- Communicate with attorneys, and
- Decide how much, if any, to offer you in order to settle your claim.
Most importantly, the claims adjuster’s job is to use his or her skills and experience to identify ways to reduce the amount of money paid to you by the insurance company. The adjuster will immediately begin to take steps to minimize your claim against the insurance company.
One of the first things the adjuster may do is approach you in a very friendly and seemingly caring manner, hoping that he can get you to say something to him, or in a recorded statement, that he can use to weaken your case and save the company money.
It is important to remember that no matter how much your company seems to care about you and your injuries, or how nicely the insurance company treats you, they have their own best interests – to pay out as little as possible for your claim – in mind.
What to Do After a Maritime Accident
To protect your right to be fully compensated for injuries sustained in an offshore accident, you should refrain from the following, before consulting with an attorney experienced in handling maritime accident claims:
- Giving any recorded statements or
- Signing any documents.
Be skeptical of anything your employer asks you to do. Make sure that you use good judgment and place your trust in yourself and your attorney, not in the insurance company.
If you have contact with a claims adjuster before you’ve hired an attorney, you should tell the adjuster that you wish to contact an attorney for advice before giving an interview or answering questions beyond your name and contact information. If the adjuster has a problem with this, then it is evident that he does not have your best interest in mind. In this case, you will have all the more reason to get a qualified attorney involved right away.
Contact The Maritime Lawyers at Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an offshore maritime accident, it is extremely important that you consult a skilled maritime injury lawyer before you discuss the accident with company representatives. Learn about your legal rights from our experienced maritime injury lawyers by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no obligation case review form.