My husband works on a fishing boat. Ten days ago, his hand was caught on a pulley mechanism that mangled his left arm. He hasn’t been able to work since, but he won’t go to the doctor or file a complaint against his employer. What should I do?

Your first concern is to get him medical care. Do not worry about the expense right now; saving the arm has to take the higher priority. A doctor has to assess the injury and check for infection. If the wound is as serious as you suggest, there is a real danger that infection or another complication—something doctors call compartment syndrome, for instance—may require an emergency amputation. Do not let your husband refuse. Any further delay in his case may be putting his life at risk.

Next, call us at 877-724-7800. Talk to our receptionist, and ask for us to send you our Offshore Injury Toolkit—our comprehensive package filled with books and reports about defending your legal rights to a recovery after an offshore injury. It has tons of information, and we will send it to you free. Study it carefully—because you will need to be able to persuade your husband to take action.

The final step is talking to your husband about making a claim for his legal rights. This is going to be tricky because some men think they look weak when they ask for help after an injury. You will have to make him understand that this isn’t a case of somebody giving him charity; rather, he is just demanding his legal rights. If he doesn’t claim those rights, he’s letting someone take advantage of him.

An offshore work injury on a fishing boat is most likely covered under a federal law called the Jones Act, which can give your husband compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitation care. You didn’t say what kind of fishing boat your husband works on, but if the accident that hurt him was due to some third party—for instance, a passenger who chartered a boat for a fishing excursion—a lawsuit against that person may also be possible. Your maritime injury lawyer would have to evaluate your husband’s case carefully, based on its specific circumstances.

At VB Attorneys, our maritime injury attorneys provide free case evaluations for new clients every day. If you and your husband want to learn how much we think you can recover, call us today at 877-724-7800 to learn our strategy for getting you the compensation you deserve.

Vuk Stevan Vujasinovic
Experienced Injury Lawyer. First Generation American. Life-Long Texan. Husband. Father.