Hi Brian Wiklendt, I’m lead trial counsel for Garfinkel Schwartz I’m coming to you today from the Maitland Florida office outside of Orlando Florida. We also have an office in Titusville, Florida on the Space Coast.
You may watch this video “What Employers Won’t Tell You About the Longshore Act” on the Garfinkel Schwartz YouTube channel.
Shout Out to Fort Pierce Florida Longshoremen
I’m talking to you today about the Longshore Act and I just wanted to explain that I was at a very nice function that I was invited to attend. It was the International Longshoremen’s Association in Fort Pierce Florida. People opened their hearts and extended their hands to me and I spent two hours discussing with them on a stormy rainy night their rights under the Longshore Act. and I had a great time and I think they did too.
What basically we talked about was a general overview of the Longshore Act and these Longshoremen know their stuff. They were provided a little booklet and I got the booklet as well about all their rights under the different federal laws and a little summary of the Longshore Act and some things under the Family Medical Leave Act, The Americans With Disabilities Act.
These unions really treat their people well. They have a wealth of information. The president of the union was fantastic. He’s very active with all the people that are in the union. If anyone ever gets hurt they decided after meeting with me that they’re going to call me immediately before they call the doctor. And the reason that they did that is because in that two hours of time they asked a lot of incredible great questions. And it all came down to the biggest questions of all. And basically when I answered these questions, before I answered them, I explained to them that their employer does not what you to know what I’m telling you and they’re not not in the pamphlet.
No. 1: No Cost to You for Longshore Act Attorney
They don’t want you to know that your lawyer is free. I spent an hour of time trying to explain that to these hardworking people that don’t seem to understand how I could have a black suit on in their union hall with a nice car outside and not get paid. So I explained to them that this is a weird area of Federal law, it’s a small niche and what that means in that Federal law in this area representing Longshoremen, I get paid if I get benefits for you—whether that’s medical benefits, or it’s indemnity benefits, or backpay.
If I get a benefit for you, the insurance company or your employer must pay me my attorneys fees completely and utterly separate from your benefits. That’s what the law says.
Our firm works this way. I take the chance with you. If I like your case, we work together. If I don’t get the benefits and I lose, I don’t ever charge you a dime. I took the risk, I suffered the cost and the consequences of that and I do that because we’re very confident we will get you some benefits that you deserve that you’re not going to get without an attorney.
The second biggest question that they had was about medical care. And they basically told me without naming names that when they get injured they get sent to a certain doctor in a Florida area. And that doctor, everyone of their friends that they know of that got hurt, at Port Canaveral seems to end up going to these doctors different specialists. Well these doctors are handpicked by the employer. Those doctors and I’m not going to say anything negative towards them but they’re out to find a way to get you back to work really quickly.
The company loses money replacing you every day you’re out of work. So what is their incentive? Their incentive is to get you back and cleared to work whether you’re able and ready to or not. And I see this time and time again where people go and exert themselves too early because they’re forced to go back to work by the recommendation of a doctor and is cleared to go to full duty.
No. 2: Right to Choose Your Own Doctor
Well, they don’t want to tell you this but under the Longshore Act, you have an absolute 100 percent right of a doctor of your own choosing in each specialty. That means that if you want to go to a doctor in Orlando, a specialist in Orlando—that specialist, I can fight to get you that. They’re going to fight it and they’re going to say no, no, no, no, no. But you do have an absolute right to go to a doctor that’s reasonable. I can’t send you to Africa, but I can get you the best care that there is at least around where you live.
And they don’t want you to know this, they don’t want you to know that you can get a lawyer for free, and I’m here just tell you that those are the most important two things and rights that you have under the Act and that they’re trying to hide from you.
Find an Experienced Longshore Act Lawyer
And my suggestion to you is that because the lawyer is free and because they’re going to send you to doctors that they don’t want you to go to for whatever reason. You should hire a lawyer, hopefully me, but if it’s not me, somebody else, somebody that knows what they’re doing so that they can direct you to the proper care that you deserve right off the bat. Before you start to get bad opinions in writing from the doctors that they chose for you.
Just a little something, hope to be providing information along the line as I get it I’ll provide it to you. I’d really like to help you if you have problems, please call us anytime 24 hours a day. And visit our website at www.DefenseBaseActLaw.com
Brian Wiklendt out here in the Maitland office signing off for now. Thanks very much, thanks a lot for your time and have a good night.