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How do I choose my doctor if I have a Longshore Act case?

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“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” - Spencer Johnson

Longshore Lawyer LHWCA Attorney

My Best Advice

When it comes to Longshore Act Cases, nothing is more important than telling the truth. Nothing is more important than your credibility. You need to be up front and honest about every detail about your case.

Do not exaggerate the fine print. If a judge suspects your not being truthful, then they will dismiss your case. Always be honest. Always tell the truth.

My Second Best Advice

Do your research on Longshore Act Cases and order my free book, Win Your Injury Case: The Ultimate No B.S. Guide To Avoiding Insurance Company Tricks That Ruin Your Case [even before you hire a lawyer].

It is full of helpful and useful information when it comes to your Longshore Act Case.

Need help right now?

Give our office a call at (619) 234-2833. Our team of knowledgeable staff are here to help and listen.

Choosing The Right Doctor

One of the questions I am asked a lot is how should I choose my doctor under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act?  This is a great question and a very important question.  Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (Longshore Act or LHWCA); you are allowed free choice of physician.  Who you choose as your doctor is extremely important to whether or not you will win your case.

Boiled down to it’s most basic parts, your case under the LHWCA is a two-issue case: medical treatment and compensation. Both are driven by medical evidence. Stated differently, you need medical evidence to win your case in regards to getting medical treatment and money compensation.  

Your Doctor has Two Main Jobs

Your doctor has two main jobs. First, to give you the best medical treatment possible. Because, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than your health.  Nothing else is even close.

Second, your doctor has to be able to write well written and well reasoned reports that address your medical condition, medical causation and disability.  

Medical causation basically means your doctor needs to link your medical condition to your employment as a longshoreman, shipyard worker and/or harbor worker. Medical causation under the LHWCA means your medical condition has to be caused, aggravated and/or accelerated by your employment. Your doctor will need to be able to link something in your employment to your injuries.

This is the tough part for you - getting a doctor that is a good treater that can also write a good medical report. Oftentimes a good medical report will win your case. However, your doctor may need to testify at your trial. And if so, they have to be able to testify well.

The Insurance Company Doctor

Know this, the insurance company (longshore, shipyard, harbor company) is going to have a doctor that testifies well. Only this doctor doesn’t have to be a good treater at all, They just have to be polished and charming. Which they are going to be in front of the judge (you don’t get a jury in these cases).  The insurance company doctor will have testified many times and come across very well to the judge. At the end of the day, it is who does the Judge believes - your doctor or the insurance company doctor.

You don’t need a doctor that is well known for always favoring workers. You need a doctor that will call it the way they see it. You need a doctor that is a patient advocate, but is straight-up.

It's Easy to Mess This Up

It is very difficult for injured workers to choose a doctor that will be able to carry the day for them in a Longshore trial. Fact is, many lawyers seem to mess this up.. To often, lawyers and  workers want to treat with a doctor that is well known for always favoring workers. A doctor with this reputation will be difficult to win with at trial, because the judge may see the doctor as biased.

Longshore Super Lawyer

Bill Turley is a Longshore lawyer with offices in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. He is a Super Lawyer and has the highest Avvo.com rating.

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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