It’s a relatively complicated scheme, there are different steps that have to be followed in order for you to be able to collect your benefits and it helps to have an attorney who’s been specially trained and educated to guide them through the process. I do a lot of longshore work, in the past I’ve actually done insurance defense representing employers on the longshore aspects of claims, so I’m very familiar with how they’re handled on that aspect. A longshore claim is really just a federal workers compensation scheme, those laws are designed to protect workers who are on the docks, loading and unloading cargo, and workers who go to work offshore on the outer continental shelf. Longshore law is applied to them as well. Everything that’s told to us is confidential, there’s an attorney-client privilege if they don’t retain us; we don’t contact the employer so the employer really has no way of knowing that they’re speaking to an attorney, so that they shouldn’t worry about losing their job or just coming and getting advice on what their what their rights are. Typically the adjusters, the claims adjusters, will ask early on if they want to settle their claim for a full and final settlement, which means that they’ll pay them a lump sum amount of money and be done with the claimant. That’s a good tip-off that maybe there’s something more to the claim and really you just want to make sure that you’re getting every benefit that’s made available to you especially if it’s an injury that either is slow developing or something that could give you problems that last a lifetime.
For a free consultation on any personal injury matters feel free to contact me, Shelly Maturin, at Galloway and Jefcoat. You can either contact me via telephone (337) 984-8020 or www.GallowayJefcoat.com.