Have you ever thought why the legal aid is necessary to the seafarer in the case of injury? From one side, everything is clear: a person has received an injury, therefore his treatment should be paid and he should be compensated. It’s easy.
But it’s not so easy as it seems.
The key question is a sum of possible compensation, and these are the marine lawyers, who can prove to the ship owner that his client must receive maximum compensation possible.
Have you ever thought what sum of money it is possible to obtain from the ship owner or the insurance company in the case of arm or fingers injury?
5000$ or 10000$. It’s just an arm injury or two fingers amputation, one can say.
In the case of such injuries the ship owner is trying to confine himself to minimum compensation or not to pay at all, having promised to employ the seafarer in future. And many seafarers accept these terms, having refused of all their rights, buying a medical commission and hasting to the new contract with damage to their own health.
In my blog I always describe real situations occurred to my clients. The real events, when the seafarers refused from the legal aid and when they made up their mind to act through the marine lawyers.
Referring to the situation with an arm or fingers’ injury, I’d like to point out that the injury of an arm or fingers itself is not likly to be serious in comparison with the head injury, hands or legs amputation, but still the consequences of such injuries can be very serious.
It’s very important to realize and emphasize on the issue, that any injury is a serious damage to the organism. Any. No matter either it’s an arm, leg or a head.
The first thing the marine lawyer pays attention to while providing the legal aid – it’s the injury consequence.
In other words, if you’re a rank and file (Ab, OS), in 90% of cases the arm or fingers injury – it’s practically loss of job. And a marine lawyer can easily prove to the ship owner how tiny is the compensation of 5000$ or 10000$ and will claim – 50000$ – 100000$ in the interests of his client.
But if you are an officer, in the same situations you can hardly count on such sums obtaining.
Having studying the case and settling the further claim to the ship owner it’s important to realize the consequences this injury can bring to the further work and whether it can be the ticket ashore.
To make it easy for understanding: if the arm grab function has been disrupted, in this case as for rank and file it’s a complete loss of a professional workability as a seafarer, in this case the person has right to claim maximum sum of payment under the contract or a collective agreement.
But I want to draw your attention, that for the senior officers (the exception is the machine space) this injury doesn’t cause any loss of job and practically excludes the opportunity to claim maximum sum of payment.
Besides, I had some cases in my practice, when the seafarers having trusted the ship owner’s promises to be employed, refuse from the compensation, buy a commission, conclude an employment agreement and leave to a voyage.
But in a month or so come to the marine lawyers for legal aid for their being signed off due to unfitness to work. In other words, owing to the old injury.
In this case the seafarers practically lose of opportunity to claim the injury compensation for the previous contract period as produce “bought” commission with their own hands, in which it is said “Fit for duty”.
I will not conceal, even in such cases with bought commission I managed to claim fair compensations for my clients, but to be honest, it’s very hard to be done.
For these very circumstances competent legal aid is needed to the seafarers.
In order not to be cheated by the ship owner and to stand your rights in the case of violation thereof.