March 2015

BEWARE OF SHIPOWNER'S INVESTIGATOR!

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Following a shipboard injury it is normally required that an accident report be prepared and a statement given by the injured party and any witnesses. When doing so, do not fault yourself for your injury or others! It is necessary to cooperate with the investigating ship's officer, but remember that brevity is always a virtue. However, when the ship owner sends its investigator aboard ship, or meets you ashore keep this in mind: You do not have to give a statement to that person! Those investigators are trained to obtain information from the crewmember to reduce the company's exposure in the event of a claim. Be polite but let them know that you chose not to give a statement.

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I was injured on a ship recently and when I came ashore the company investigator told me I had to give him a statement as to how my accident occurred. He took a tape recorded statement from me and now the company is denying any responsibility for my injury! What can I do?
Ralph, B., Baton Rouge, LA.

Answer:
It is very common for ship owners to have their investigator try to obtain a statement from you regarding the circumstances of your accident. You do not have to speak with them or give them any type of statement! Beware that those investigators are not there for your protection! Contact legal counsel well versed in maritime matters as they may be able to undo the harm your statement has caused.

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For more than four decades, merchant mariners, longshoremen, fishermen and harbor workers plying their trades at sea, on the docks, on our U.S. coastal waters and inland waterways have turned to the maritime law firm of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates in Oakland. Today, we are proud to be recognized as one of the preeminent maritime law firms serving injured marine workers nationwide, as well as one of the most successful personal injury litigation firms serving victims of negligence in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast.

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When you retain Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates for a Jones Act injury claim; or personal injury claim, you don't get just one attorney, you get our entire team of dedicated professionals. Our attorneys offer more than 150 combined years of courtroom and negotiated claims settlement experience. We will represent your interests with unwavering dedication, speed and expertise.