Personal Injuries. Correspondent’s Experience and Prevention of Claims in Russia
CIS PandI Services Ltd deals with numerous personal injury claims in Novorossiysk and adjacent Russian Black Sea ports. Based on the experience acquired from handling these claims, in this circular we wish to emphasize some problems which are usually faced by Members when repatriating seamen after recovery or during dealing with claims pledged at court.
Fit to Travel Certificate
Most of the seafarers treated at Russian hospitals face some problems on completion of their treatment.
According to Russian Medical system, all official documents issued by doctors are strictly regulated by Law, which do not stipulate the issuance of ‘Fit to Travel Certificate’. This applies to both private and state clinics. Therefore, on completion of treatment, each non-Russian citizen will only be able to produce the ‘Epicrisis”, e.g. a document issued by the doctor stating patient’s general condition and treatment. There are no other documents given to patients that may indicate their condition and suitability to travel home.
Some doctors / hospitals may / will issue other documents describing patient’s condition; however, these documents are only for hospital internal use and are normally not available on request.
Legal aspect of loss prevention issue for personal injury in Russia
In the last two years of our correspondent’s work we had been dealing with an increased number of attendances related to court cases where claims were lodged by the seafarers suffering from personal injuries caused on board vessels by their own or other crew member’s fault.
Under general terms of CBAs, all unintentionally caused injuries are covered by the typical insurance policy. There is an increased tendency amongst claiming seafarers in associating cancers and other similar or related health conditions with the consequences of working on board of oil tankers. We would suggest excluding these conditions from CBAs and employment contracts or at least including a remark or clause that would exclude a link between the fact of working on board and the disease in question.