It goes without saying that if you sustain an injury aboard ship, or even ashore, while in the service of the vessel, you must report it to protect your interests. Indeed, most companies require that injuries be reported promptly so they can investigate and protect their own company interests. What must also be kept in mind is to fully report any injury or illness that is suspected to have occurred. Do not overlook any problem you believe is related, directly or indirectly, to your shipboard service. A delayed report of injury provides ammunition for the shipowner to later contest such a claim. Better to be “safe than sorry”!
QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE
I injured my back pulling on a mooring line and believe I also injured my knee but did not report the knee problem while I was still on the ship. Now, because I had a prior knee injury to the same knee several years ago, the shipowner is denying responsibility for my knee which now requires surgery. What can be done?
Darren, B, Norfolk, VA. .
The amount of time between date of the injury and the time that the knee is first mentioned in the medical records will probably determine the outcome. If there is a lengthy period in between the incident and the first mention of knee problems it could be more difficult. However, if the mechanics of the injury are such that one might expect a knee injury, it will be easier to prevail. Overall, maritime law favors “providing a remedy rather than withholding it to the seaman.” In the future, if you suspect an injury, report it while still on the vessel and be sure to tell your treating doctor immediately.
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.
Team Approach to Every Personal Injury and Jones Act Claim
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.