The Jones Act
Unlike Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims and state workers’ compensation claims, there is no administrative body that oversees a Jones Act claim. Claims covered by the Jones Act must be filed in state or federal court. Although some claims may be settled in pre-litigation negotiations, the only way to preserve your right to pursue a claim is to file a lawsuit. You should still consult with an experienced maritime injury attorney to discuss your rights and the merits of your maritime injury claim, even if you are not ready to pursue litigation.
Companies commonly ask an injured seaman to sign an agreement or release in exchange for payment of unearned wages, maintenance or medical benefits. It is crucial that any such documents are reviewed by a competent maritime attorney before they are signed so that you do not waive any of your rights of recovery.
How We Can Help
Maritime employers and their insurance companies have teams of lawyers representing them and consulting them throughout this process. As an injured employee, you are new to the process, while your employer, his insurer and their attorneys deal with these cases on a regular basis. The goal of their attorneys is to dispose of your claim as cheaply as possible. The only way to level the playing field with an employer or the insurance company is to have an experienced attorney representing your interests.
Jones Act claims are pursued through the litigation process. Because of this, it is essential to consult with and select an experienced maritime attorney with a proven and successful track record. When choosing a maritime injury law firm or a specific attorney, you should inquire about the number of cases they have tried. Do not allow an attorney to dance around your questions; you need to select an attorney who is prepared to give direct, honest answers to all of your questions.
Maritime law is particularly complicated. Hiring an experienced maritime lawyer is essential. If you have a maritime law or Jones Act claim, please contact the attorneys at the Cochran Firm today to arrange a consultation.