Legally, an employer is obligated to provide maintenance and cure to an employee who is injured on the job when that job pertains to maritime law. An employer is legally barred from denying maintenance and cure when that denial is “arbitrary and capricious.” Often, these cases are litigated before a Federal Court to determine whether the defendant employer’s denial of maintenance and cure is arbitrary and capricious. If you have been injured in a maritime accident, do not just accept what your employer is offering you. Speak with an experienced maritime injury lawyer who can be a strong advocate on your behalf.
Reporting an Injury
It is best to report your maritime injury immediately. You should try to obtain documented proof of what happened. Coworkers who witness maritime injuries are excellent resources for you to document your claim. They can provide a picture of what happened and describe the series of events that led to the injury.
In addition to coworkers, you should see a doctor immediately to determine the method and the scope of the injury. That is to say, a doctor can provide a diagnosis that outlines the extent of the injury and can also explain, from a professional medical point of view, how the injury occurred. For instance, if the injury caused lacerations to your body, a doctor can describe how those lacerations likely occurred and what is a normal reaction of the human body with respect to those lacerations.
Note that you should see a doctor immediately. If you wait, the doctor will have less of an ability to describe the scope and method of the injury because the healing process will be farther along.
Waiting to Report an Injury
As emphasized above, you should proceed to a doctor immediately to discuss your injuries. However, even if you do not see a doctor immediately, all is not lost. You may still be able to recoup compensation with the help of a maritime personal injury attorney.
At this point, the employer defendant will likely challenge whether the injuries occurred at all as a result of a maritime accident and not at a later point after the proposed accident. The defendant will also attack the doctor about making a claim of maritime injury when there may be doubt about the cause of the injury.
In the current, ongoing case of Verret v. Daigle Towing, Verret did not claim an injury right away and did not see his doctor immediately. Daigle Towing motioned to dismiss the case, claiming that Verret’s inaction demonstrates that there was no injury and that he was therefore not entitled to maintenance and cure. The court dismissed the motion because it held that there was material facts to discuss. While Verret still has a chance of gaining an award, his inaction hurt his case.
Injured in a maritime accident? Speak with the Kolodny law firm, experienced maritime injury attorneys.