Working on a boat can be quite lucrative, but it is often dangerous. If you do become severely injured, your initial instinct may be to visit your company doctor. After all, the doctor is there to keep you healthy and productive—right?
It is naïve to think that the physician who is paid by the company is going to be more concerned about the patient than the interests of their employer. That is why you should strongly consider seeing an independent physician after any serious injury.
If you have suffered an injury while working offshore, you need the Maritime Injury Law Firm to protect your financial future. Let New Orleans maritime lawyer George Vourvoulias fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Why You Should Get a Second Opinion after Your Injury
Many offshore companies will require you to see their physician after any kind of serious injury, but once you have done so, get checked out by a doctor that you trust.
There are many reasons why you should be evaluated by an independent physician, including:
- Maintaining privacy—the last thing you should expect is that the company doctor is keeping your medical condition confidential. In most cases where it is advantageous for the employer to know, the company physician will divulge your patient information. If you present a potential legal liability to the company because you were injured on the job, assume that the company doctor has already explained the situation to your employer.
- Full treatment—your employer is only required to pay for treatments that the physician recommends, so there is inevitably pressure from the company to keep health care costs low. If your company doctor has a choice, they will almost always choose a cheaper option even if it means a poorer outcome for you. That is why you should go to an independent physician that isn’t concerned about the bill, just your health.
- Long-term care—the law requires that your employer provide maintenance and cure until you are at “maximum cure.” The company doctor is the ultimate arbiter of what maximum cure is, and often that will be influenced by the company’s accountants. If you see an independent physician, you are more likely to get an unbiased opinion and receive all of the long term care you need to return to full health.
What You Should Do If You Are in an Offshore Accident
If you are injured in an offshore accident, here are some of the important steps you need to take:
- Report it to your senior official immediately. After getting any available treatment, fill out and submit the proper accident forms to your employer. Do not return to work even if you want to because that might indicate that your injuries are not serious.
- Once you are on shore again, you should initially get checked out by the company doctor. Once again, if you fail to do so, it can be interpreted that you were not severely injured.
- After seeing the company doctor, you should visit a physician that is not affiliated with your employer to get an objective evaluation.
- Most importantly, you should discuss your injuries with an experienced maritime attorney. A qualified lawyer can help you determine if your employer acted negligently which would serve as a legal basis to file an injury claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm Today
The Maritime Injury Law Firm has helped offshore workers in New Orleans, Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast get the compensation they deserve following an accident. Contact attorney George Vourvoulias today for a free and confidential consultation.