June 13, 2024


Law for politics

Five Crucial Things You Must Know When Filing a Jones Act Claim

The law protects seamen from injuries through the Jones Act. If you are a maritime worker, you can file a lawsuit against your employer or seek compensation if injured at work. However, compensation does not come easy because most employers are unwilling to pay. This is why it is vital to understand filing a Jones Act claim and the hurdles you will experience. Below are vital things you should know when filing a claim against your maritime employer.

  1. Hiring a Lawyer is Vital

This is one major thing you must never compromise on. Dealing with a Jones Act claim is no small feat. Therefore, you ought to have the right help by your side. Most seamen do not even know some of their rights as maritime employees. Hence, it is always vital to hire maritime lawyers when dealing with such a case. They have all the experience and knowledge you need to win the settlement by proving your injuries.

  1. You Must Prove Your Claim

Speaking of proving injuries, you must have proof of your claim. You will need to provide enough proof that you were injured for the claim to be successful, and you will get the compensation you deserve. To be precise, you will need to prove your employer’s negligence even without proof that the negligence caused the injuries. These are hard things to prove in a maritime case. You may not need a lot of evidence to show that negligence played the whole part in the injuries. Unlike other personal injury cases, the Jones Act only requires you to prove your employer’s negligence.

  1. Proving Eligibility

Not every maritime worker is qualified for the Jones Act. You must be a seaman under the Jones Acct law to qualify to file the claim. A seaman is anyone who works in a water vessel. This means they spend more than 30% of their time in the vessel. Therefore, if you work any less than that, you don’t qualify as a seaman, which means you cannot file the Jones Act claim.

  1. Does the Vessel Qualify?

Apart from proving eligibility, you must also check if the vessel qualifies. Just because the ship is a water vessel does not mean it qualifies in the Jones Act. To qualify, you must confirm that your injuries did not happen when the vessel was drydocked or stopped. It must have been in navigation for it to qualify.

  1. First Offer is Not Always the Best

If you have proof of the things mentioned above and you are eligible for compensation, the insurance company will come with the first offer. You must always know that this offer is not always the best. The companies give this offer quickly, so you don’t have time to consider hiring a company. However, no matter how fair it may seem, never accept it. Instead, get a lawyer to evaluate its fairness and negotiate with the company for a better offer. You will not leave money on the table with a lawyer by your side.

Wrapping Up:

You have three years from the time of the injury to file the Jones Act claim. This might seem like a lot of time until you realize how much work you need to do to prove it. Hiring a maritime lawyer is the best way to make this process easier. So, go through the points discussed above to understand the importance of having a maritime attorney by your side.