APRIL 8, 2011 by Bill Abbott

The investigative process of a maritime injury is detailed and complex. When a maritime worker is injured on the job, a number of actions immediately take place. Understanding the investigative process can help you during your offshore legal claim. The investigation process starts as soon as an incident occurs. It is essential that all injuries, small and large, be reported immediately. Once an injury is reported and the investigation is officially launched, there are key facts that must be recorded:

1.       Date and time of the incident

2.       All pertinent information about the vessel where the incident occurred (location, condition)

3.       The injured party or parties

4.       All other persons involved, either directly or indirectly, in the incident

5.      Facts about the incident (personal injury, property damage, environmental damage, illness)

6.       The exact area aboard the vessel where the incident occurred

7.       Sea and atmosphere conditions during the time of the incident

As the investigation proceeds, interviews are conducted to gather all the required information. The vessel will be examined for malfunctions or areas of disrepair that could have caused the incident. The incident may even be reconstructed for a better understanding of what happened. Finally, the investigators will make an informed decision pertaining to fault.

When dealing with any offshore legal claims, the investigative process is one of the most important parts of the claim. A shoddy investigation could lay blame on an innocent party. If you are involved in an offshore legal claim due to an injury, it is important that you cooperate with investigators. However, it is also important that you have legal representation during the investigation. Just as you would retain an attorney on land, you also need an attorney for maritime matters.

The investigation of a maritime injury is complicated. An attorney can advise you of your rights as the investigation proceeds. If you or someone you know has been injured on the waters, seek the advice of an experienced, offshore legal firm. They will assist you during the investigation and in filing your claim.


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