Steps to Take After a Maritime Accident in Alaska


There can be no doubt that Alaska is built upon the maritime industry. Statistics highlight the prominent role shipping plays. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the state ranks third in the US for maritime jobs, with companies employing around 70,000 workers. Many handle seafood harvesting and processing, as the Last Frontier State supplies more than 60% of the nation’s seafood. Plus, 90% of consumer goods and industrial supplies arrive in Alaska via shipping routes.

Still, while plenty of job opportunities exist, it is important to realize that the maritime industry is a dangerous employment environment. Accidents are common, and injuries cause financial and emotional losses in addition to the physical pain. You do have remedies, but success with pursuing them means there is some effort required on your part. Though your Anchorage maritime accidents attorney will handle legal tasks, you should be prepared to take the following steps to protect your rights:


Get Proper Medical Care

Your health is your first priority, so seek medical treatment that is appropriate for your injuries. You might opt to visit the emergency room, head to an urgent care center, or make an appointment with your primary care physician. Even if you do not believe the injuries are severe, you should still get proper care right away. Delays send the message that you were not hurt badly.


Notify Your Employer

The nature of the maritime industry is such that your employer may not be present and therefore not aware of the accident. If so, make sure to inform the company as soon as possible. Though you can initially communicate the basics orally, you should follow up with a notification in writing. Notice to your employer is important for both remedies available in a maritime accident claim:

  • The Jones Act; and,
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).


Collect Important Evidence

You will need to provide information to your employer and/or insurance company, so you should gather evidence regarding:

  • Your medical records;
  • Photos of the scene and equipment involved in the maritime accident;
  • Contact details for any witnesses who observed the incident;
  • Pictures of your injuries; and,
  • Receipts for any out-of-pocket costs you incurred for medical care.


Use Caution in Dealing With an Insurer

An insurance company may contact you after a maritime accident, requesting a statement, asking questions, and pressuring you to sign documents. You should avoid discussions, other than to confirm your contact information. You could reveal too much, or you might give up important rights by signing a release.


Consult with an Alaska Maritime Accidents Lawyer About Your Rights

You protect your health and your rights by handling these steps, but you can trust our team at Power & Power Law to manage other aspects of the process. To learn how we can help, please contact our offices in Anchorage, Alaska. You can call 907-222-9990 or visit our website to set up a complimentary case review with a knowledgeable maritime accidents attorney.