Some of the most hotly contested issues in personal injury cases involve pre-existing medical conditions. Many times defense lawyers will argue that the plaintiff’s current injuries were simply not caused by the plaintiff’s accident but instead had existed before the occurred.
In a lot of ways, offshore personal injury cases are similar to traditional personal injury cases. But, in some ways, particularly in terms of the law that applies, they are different.
One of the unique legal issues in offshore and maritime personal injury lawsuits is the effect of pre-existing conditions on the case. Here are two arguments that employers make about pre-existing medical conditions in offshore injury cases:
2 Ways Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Affect Offshore Personal Injury Cases:
1. Entitlement to Maintenance and Cure
If you’re an injured seaman, you’re likely entitled to receive maintenance (living expenses) and cure (medical bills). However, employers will often assert the so-called “McCorpen” defense to paying maintenance and cure. In short, the argument is that you should not receive maintenance and cure because you failed to disclose a pre-existing condition that would’ve kept you from getting hired.
Keep in mind that the application of this defense is complicated, so if you’ve been injured but had a pre-existing condition, you should contact a New Orleans maritime attorney to fully understand your rights.
2. Fault Attributed to the Plaintiff
In addition to the McCorpen defense, employers may argue that failure to disclose pre-existing medical conditions should reduce the recovery to the plaintiff. The argument is that the employee exposed himself or herself to the possibility of injury or aggravation of an injury by failing to disclose the pre-existing medical condition.
Like with the entitlement to maintenance and cure, you should consult with a lawyer about your specific pre-existing medical condition rather than trying to figure out the law on your own.
Discuss Your Case with a Louisiana Maritime Attorney
Working offshore can be dangerous, and when accidents happen, the resulting injuries are often severe. If you’ve been hurt while working offshore, The Mahone Firm is here to help. Call a New Orleans personal injury attorney at (504) 564-7342 today.
There is no charge to speak with an attorney, and you will not pay anything unless your case is successful.