April 2018

ALWAYS DOCUMENT YOUR SHIPBOARD INJURY

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Whether working as a crewmember or a longshoreman, if you sustain any type of injury it is imperative that it be documented with the proper personnel. Often injured workers are in a mindset of denial that their injury is not serious wanting to remain aboard the vessel so as to not interrupt their earnings. When the symptoms do not abate these injuries are belatedly reported, or not reported at all until they leave the vessel. This creates huge problems for the worker and often leads to their later filed claims being denied. Be safe and responsible and always report an injury even when it does not initially appear to be very serious!

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I sustained a lifting injury while lifting very heavy objects in the galley. I did not report it at the time believing my back would improve with time and rest. A few weeks later I left the vessel at the end of my service time and without making a formal report. Once back home I sought medical attention but the company has denied paying for my medical care and offered no maintenance payments.
What can be done?
Welton, B, Las Vegas.

Answer:
Welton,
your fact scenario is unfortunately much too common. All shipping companies demand prompt reporting of injuries. This protects you as well as their own interests. The failure to report prevents them from doing an investigation to determine the cause of the injury as well as fault. It also raises questions as to whether the injury actually occurred while you were aboard the vessel. Provide detailed information regarding the occurrence and, if possible, obtain corroborating statements from fellow crewmembers to whom you might have reported the problem.

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Oakland, CA 94607

About Our Law Firm

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.