You have the right to immediate and proper medical treatment if you have received a maritime-related injury while working offshore or on the water. The law specifically requires that your maritime employer provide immediate and proper medical treatment. If your employer does not give you proper medical treatment following your maritime injury, your employer will be responsible for any worsening of your condition.
And How it Affects Your Maritime Injury Case
When employees delay treatment, the company will later claim that the employees must not have been injured since they either delayed treatment or were willing to keep working. Maritime companies will very often delay or deny medical treatment, hoping that the injury will simply go away. Many clients of our Louisiana maritime injury lawyers were discouraged from seeking medical treatment for offshore injuries because the company said it may cost them a safety bonus, or result in a lost time accident. Your health is too important to delay treatment for a single safety bonus.
Very often the doctor reports and the forms you complete when you see the doctor can serve as an accident report. You can use these medical records to prove how your injury occurred if you properly document the accident when you receive this treatment. Most doctors allow you to complete a form stating how your injury occurred. You can state in your own words what happened and why the company may have been at fault.
If you do one thing after being injured offshore, make sure you receive medical treatment. As a maritime worker, it is very important for you to receive immediate medical treatment for offshore injuries. You should insist that your employer bring you to a qualified physician of your choice.
Suffering an injury at sea is a devastating experience; receiving prompt, proper medical attention is imperative to begin the healing process. An expert in maritime law is a valuable resource to protect victims’ rights and provide sound advice on the proper course of action. The Young Firm has focused on maritime and admiralty cases for many years, and our attorneys have compiled some information regarding maritime accidents for your benefit – should you find yourself in these unfortunate circumstances. If you have suffered an injury at sea, please contact The Young Firm’s New Orleans office.
Under general maritime law, if your employer selects your physician, your employer is responsible for any improper medical treatment which you may have received following your maritime injury. Our attorneys (serving Baton Rouge and nearby areas) have handled several injury at sea cases for maritime workers who have been provided improper medical treatment following their injury. We have obtained significant settlements for these workers since their employers were responsible for the negligent and improper medical treatment they received from company selected doctors and clinics immediately following their injuries. This treatment resulted in a serious worsening of their conditions for which their Jones Act employers were responsible.
Medical Treatment While Working Offshore
Maritime workers are entitled to immediate, proper medical treatment if they become ill or injured while working offshore. If the company chooses a local doctor or hospital to provide treatment to the worker, and the worker receives improper treatment, then the company is responsible for such damages. Our office of maritime lawyers has successfully handled several major cases against offshore companies that failed to provide the right medical treatment to an injured employee. The cases can be difficult since they often involve complicated medical issues of proving that the employee should have received different treatment AND that the treatment would have made a difference in his outcome. If the employee suffered damages or a worsening of his injury due to the company’s failure to provide medical treatment, he has a claim against the company for such damages.
If you are injured while working offshore or on the water, you are entitled to your choice of doctor. This includes your own choice of treating physician. The Louisiana maritime accident attorneys at The Young Firm in New Orleans (serving Baton Rouge) will tell you there are several reasons for you to choose your own treating physician if you have been injured while working offshore.
First, under maritime law the opinion of a treating physician is given significantly more weight than the opinion of a non-treating or consulting physician. This is extremely important. If the company chooses your treating physician for your offshore maritime injury, the company doctor may control the outcome of your case. A good maritime injury lawyer will tell you that your treating physician’s testimony will be very important at the trial of your maritime case. For this reason, it is very important for you to choose your own treating physician. Maritime law allows you to choose your own physician and if your company tells you otherwise, you should immediately contact our maritime accident attorneys for assistance. Serving locations all over the Gulf Coast, The Young Firm has over 40 years vigorously protecting the rights of the injured.
Also, your choice of treating physician is very important since you must have all necessary testing performed in order to fully investigate your maritime injury. If you are sent to a company-chosen physician, it is very likely that the doctor will not immediately perform necessary testing to diagnose and treat your injury. Very often a company doctor will not want to charge the company for expensive testing which, in the end, may prove that you have been injured. Instead many company doctors will immediately return you to work rather than perform testing to rule out injuries. We believe it is just as important to ‘rule out’ injuries by performing testing as it is to confirm injuries through such testing.
It is extremely important if you are injured offshore or have suffered a maritime injury on the water that you have your choice of the treating physician. This doctor should be someone you trust. If your maritime company is refusing to allow you to choose your own doctor, please contact the maritime accident lawyers so that we can help you. We may be able to arrange for treatment and testing from a qualified, independent doctor.
Please call the maritime accident attorneys at our Louisiana office so that we can discuss any type of improper or negligent medical treatment which you believe you may have received following your injury at sea. Our attorneys serve New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and other Gulf Coast locations.