A Guide to the Jones Act  

Under the Jones Act, qualified seamen are allowed to seek legal compensation from their employer for consequences and financial losses of their physical injuries. There are provisions under the law, including liability regulations and guidelines. If you want to file a Jones Act claim it helps to have a Jones Act lawyer since it can be a complicated process.

Qualifications to File a Claim

In order to file a claim under the Jones Act, the plaintiff must be a seaman. This means he must spend a large amount of time working in or on a vessel. The vessel needs to have been in navigation when the injuries occurred. This means that it is capable of movement on the water, afloat, and in operation. Vehicles don’t need to move to file a claim, but they have to be capable of moving.

The Process for Claims under the Jones Act

There is a certain amount of time in which a claim needs to be filed in order to be covered. By federal law, the claims must be filed within seven days of the injury. It’s recommended to file immediately after the injury occurs. You should also report any injuries to your supervisor or captain. Your supervisor or captain should also file your accident report.

Compensation

The Jones Act does cover several different areas of compensation. For injuries, compensation can include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and physical disability.

Proving Negligence

In order to receive compensation, you will need to prove that negligence caused the injuries. In order to prove negligence, one of these factors will need to be met. This includes failure to take action when it should have been taken reasonably, failure to take precaution that would have prevented the injuries, or an action that was done that a reasonable person would not do. Failure to provide the proper medical assistance, constant overtime, and failure to supervise workers correctly are considered negligent acts.

What You Should Look for in a Jones Act Lawyer

When filing a claim it helps to have a Jones Act lawyer and there are some things you should look for. Since the law can vary, it helps if they have the right knowledge and expertise when it comes to maritime cases. The lawyer should also have experience in representing seamen who have filed similar lawsuits. A lawyer who is not aware of all the details of the Jones Act may not be able to help you get the most compensation. You should look for litigation experience and financial backing. Jones Act lawsuits can be expensive because there are medical proof and medical experts that are needed. There also needs to be safety and occupation experts to help prove your case. Many seamen won’t have the money until after they have already been compensated for the case.

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