maritime injury lawyer in Mobile, Alabama

Protecting Your Credibility During a Maritime Injury Claim

If you’ve suffered an injury during the course of your maritime work, you likely know about some of your rights. Whether you are entitled only to maintenance and cure or you plan on seeking compensation via a Jones Act claim, it’s important to protect your credibility throughout the course of your injury claim.

If your employer or their insurance provider has any reason to believe that your claim is fraudulent, you could experience significant difficulty when it comes to getting your claim paid out. You can use these tips to safeguard both your credibility and your injury claim.

Make sure you have an experienced maritime injury lawyer on your side throughout this process. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation right away.

Keep Your Statements Consistent

When you talk about the accident to your employer, their insurance company, or anyone else involved, stay consistent. If there are parts of your story that change over time, that will indicate to the insurance company that they need to look more closely at your story.

On a similar note, don’t go around talking about your injury to everyone you know. If everyone else aboard your vessel hears about your injury, the story will grow and change on its own as it’s passed around. This may inherently make you look less trustworthy and cause your employer to look for holes in your story.

Never Exaggerate

When you’re answering questions regarding pain levels, limitations, and your ability to work, ignore the urge to exaggerate or use hyperbole. Insurance companies and workplace injury doctors are very good at detecting exaggeration, and it will reflect very poorly on you when it comes time to pay or not pay benefits.

It doesn’t matter if you think the truth doesn’t sound good enough—it’s always the best option after a maritime injury. Be clear and concise when talking about your injury. Don’t gloss over important details, but at the same time, don’t go into so much detail that you look suspicious. Stick to the relevant facts.

Know Your Risk Factors

Unfortunately, your credibility isn’t always within your control. There are some traits that will automatically make you look less credible in the eyes of an employer or insurance company. While you may not be able to change those traits, you can at least be aware of them and know how they may affect your claim.

If you have significant financial problems or lots of debt, that may hinder your credibility—it can make the insurance company think that you’re falsifying a claim in order to get a big settlement. You may also raise red flags if you have multiple similar injury reports throughout the course of your career.

Even if every injury was completely legitimate, you should expect an investigation. Your credibility may also come under fire if you were performing poorly at work or were at risk of being fired prior to your injury. Employers know the legal risks that come with firing an employee who’s reported an injury, so it’s not uncommon for at-risk employees to falsify an injury in order to protect their job a little bit longer.

Again, you may not be able to control these aspects of your injury claim. Knowing about them at least gives you the power to seek legal advice.

Don’t Hide Relevant Information

Some injured maritime workers unintentionally overcomplicate their claims. They get so worried about looking suspicious that they cover up important information, and in doing so, they actually do catch the insurance company’s attention. Even if information may harm your injury claim, trying to hide it could limit your ability to receive compensation. For example, don’t lie about or hide preexisting injuries or your role in the accident that caused your injury.

Talk to the Team at Fuquay Law Firm

Of course, one of the best things you can do for your maritime injury claim is to talk to an attorney. A lot is riding on your claim, including your ability to meet your obligations and get the medical care you need. We’ll help you throughout the claim process. Just call us at 251-473-4443 or fill out our online contact form to get started.

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