“Garfinkel Schwartz, P.A. lead counsel Brian Wiklendt will be on DBA, Longshore panel Wednesday, August 24 during the Worker’s Compensation Institute’s National Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott.”
Brian Wiklendt on DBA, Longshore Panel
I’ll be one of several lawyers debating and discussing topics in a conference session called “Understanding the Orthopedic Evaluation – a Medical and Legal Perspective,” in regards to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, Jones Act, and Defense Base Act.
We will address the legal impact of the medical exam on medical claims and talk about:
- The importance of clear medical recommendations
- Patient compliance with medical care
- Insurance carrier authorizations
- Identifying work restrictions
- The role of a nurse case manager
- Communication among the stakeholders in the insurance claims process
Orthopedic Injuries are Common
Orthopedic injuries are common among our Garfinkel Schwartz clients who have back, shoulder, arm, leg, neck and spine injuries in Longshore and Defense Base Act cases where an orthopedic specialist is required.
Defense Base Act Orthopedic Injuries
Civilian contractors are injured overseas working for the Department of Defense in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Africa and other hot zones. Not only are they taking sniper fire, getting blown up in IEDs, they’re involved in Humvee, truck or helicopter crashes. Falls are common during construction, travel, injuries from lifting or working…number of orthopedic injuries is incredible.
I’m always amazed at what our clients have endured to make a living and to take care of their families. But what we do is we take their cases and work to get them the very best doctors which is covered under the Defense Base Act and Longshore Act laws.
Longshore Orthopedic Injuries
Our Longshore clients are frequently injured lifting and moving large heavy items that involve the arms, legs, and especially the back. There are also broken and crushed limbs from working on ships or ports around the world.
Garfinkel Schwartz has 40 years of medical resources for clients who have to see several orthopedic specialist exams—their doctor of choice and the insurance company doctors. Our clients are usually injured somewhere outside the U.S. so we find them the best doctors of their choosing where they want to be cared for which is covered under the Defense Base Act and Longshore Act.
We like to emphasize that a Defense Base client overseas or Longshoreman on U.S. waters needs to get in touch with a Defense Base lawyer or Longshore lawyer as soon as they’re injured.
But frequently we hear from clients that were so badly injured that they’re subject to the first doctor that sees them which is the orthopedist the insurance company presents at the hospital in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan or Germany. That’s not ideal because the patient, the client has the right under the Defense Base Act law to choose their own doctor.
But they may not be in a position to call anyone so the choices are made for them. If they would talk with us, sort of as a check list item before they head out overseas, or onto a job in a port and Garfinkel Schwartz was their attorney, then they would be able to under the Defense Base Act have their first doctor of choice under the law. The LS-1 Form can be completed before you leave and you’ll keep a copy with you and with your employer and your family with a list of your preferred doctors.
But that’s not always possible or practical. But it is available to anyone who’s going overseas. We monitor client cases at no cost ever. In fact if a client has questions they can reach me any time just to talk. I’m always going to call you back.
The same is true for Longshore clients. It doesn’t matter where they are when they’re injured they have a right to first choice of doctor if they’ve filled out the form and can turn it into the employer whether they’re injured in a Florida port or a Texas or New York, or California port or out on a Maersk ship when they’re airlifted to a hospital.
Thorough Orthopedic Evaluations
We Advance Medical Evaluation Costs
So what I’ll be talking about in this panel is the importance of a thorough orthopedic evaluation for lumbar, back, limbs, arms, legs, necks, hands, hips and other injuries.
And this is something I’ve talked about in a video called “Before You Leave Find First Choice Doctor,” AND “Injured Civilian Contractors Get to Choose Doctors.”
The key is what their doctor says in all of their medical evaluations. Garfinkel Schwartz advances costs for client medical evaluations because many times clients have had medical care cut off and claims have been denied by insurance companies.
Part of what the panel will cover is the importance of the explanation of the doctor’s impressions and findings according to the narrative report. The doctor’s reports are used throughout the client claim. Doctors from the insurance company and doctors from the plaintiff are used for the outcome of each case.
I’m honored to be a part of the panel and look forward to the discussions. I’ll try to share pictures and maybe some video from the event.