If you have been injured in the course of work on a vessel, you may be wondering whether you need to consult a Jones Act lawyer. The answer, in most cases, is yes.
The Jones Act is a federal law that provides a different system for workers compensation for those designated as “seamen.” The complexities of this maritime law are such that, even if you are certain of your seaman status and your rights under the law, a qualified maritime lawyer is the best person to advise you and help secure ALL compensation you are entitled to.
Why Should I Call A Jones Act Lawyer?
Any person who is injured while working on a boat or vessel and who is covered under the Jones Act should contact an attorney who is experienced in this maritime law area, which is part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.
The law is designed to address the rights of persons injured on the job at sea. It covers those determined to be “seamen”; however, the term seamen has been broadly defined. The qualifications state the worker must be assigned to and have a substantial connection with a vessel in navigation.
Although you may think this does not apply to you, a Jones Act lawyer should be consulted to determine whether you qualify.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
If you are certain of your status as a seaman, you might feel that settling the case on your own is best. There are several reasons why this is not always the preferred option.
In order to recover compensation for injuries under the Jones Act law, the injured individual must demonstrate that negligence on the part of his or her employer contributed to the injury. The negligence does not have to be major; even minor negligence that resulted in a seaman’s injuries can render the worker eligible for a claim under this law. However, proving negligence can be complicated, and the process of collecting and presenting evidence must adhere to court procedures and meet the plaintiff’s burden of proof. To increase the chances of a positive outcome for your case, a lawyer who is experienced in these cases is best equipped to handle these tasks.
Before your case makes it to court, you may be offered a settlement by your employer. It could be easy to accept a quick settlement with no maritime attorney to speak on your behalf, but any settlement your employer offers may be far less than what you are entitled to.
A qualified Jones Act lawyer will be on YOUR side, advising your of the best options and your rights under the law, and fighting for the full amount of compensation you are entitled to under maritime laws.
Additionally, there is a time factor when filing claims under this maritime law. Your lawyer can make sure that all requirements are complied with, including filing within the statute of limitations, which is three years.
The Jones Act lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers have decades of experience representing seamen who have been injured on a vessel and are eligible for benefits undermaritime law.