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Maritime Injury Lawyer | Jones Act Questions and Answers
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Jones Act and Maritime Law FAQ’s

1. How do I know if I am covered by the Jones Act?

The Jones Act covers seamen working in the service of a vessel which has not been removed from navigation. The Jones Act covers all injuries sustained by seamen whether on or off the vessel, if the injury occurred while the seaman was working within the service of the vessel. In order to prevail in a Jones Act claim, the injured worker must prove negligence of the vessel owner, vessel operator, crew, or that an unsafe condition existed which caused or contributed to his injury.

2. What is a Jones Act seaman?

In order to take advantage of Jones Act, an injured maritime worker must be classified as a “seaman.” Seaman status is determined by substantial connection to a single vessel or a fleet of vessels.

3. What is a Jones Act vessel?

A Jones Act vessel includes virtually every type of watercraft as long as it has not been removed from navigation. The term vessel is not restricted to traditional watercraft, but also includes jack up rigs, semi submersible rigs, as well as unpowered floating structures such as dredges and other floating structures.

4. What is an unseaworthiness claim?

A claim based upon unseaworthiness should be brought when a person is injured due to an unsafe condition on the vessel. An unsafe condition may include unsafe operation of the vessel, inappropriate type of vessel for the work involved, defective or unsafe equipment, worn out equipment, improperly supplied vessel, improperly trained or inadequate crew, insufficient number of crew and unsafe condition anywhere on the vessel which leads to injury.

5. What are “maintenance and cure” benefits?

Maintenance and Cure Benefits are provided to an injured or ill seaman under the general maritime law. If you are an injured seaman and your employer is not paying maintenance and cure, call us today! Maintenance and cure benefits are available regardless of fault. “Maintenance” refers to payment of money to the injured or ill seaman in order to make up for the wages that he is no longer able to earn. Maintenance payments should begin at the time of the injury and illness and should be paid until the seaman reaches maximum medical improvement. “Cure” refers to payment for medical expenses, hospital and ambulance bills resulting from an injury or illness which occurred while the seaman was in the service of the vessel.Many times attorneys do not know how to force employers to pay maintenance and cure benefits. In some situations this may lead to an injured worker having difficulties paying for medical bills and living expenses. We aggressively fight to force employers to pay maintenance and cure benefits as soon as possible.

6. I am not a Jones Act seaman, what law applies to my injury claim?

Maritime workers that are not “seamen” are covered by the general maritime law. The general maritime law may sometimes overlap with Jones Act claims, but it also covers virtually every type of offshore and Longshore worker who do not qualify as “seamen.” The general maritime law dates back to ancient times when protection of the maritime worker was a top priority. Under general maritime law, individuals are held to a standard of acting reasonably under the circumstances. As with the Jones Act, the general maritime law has unique rules and, if handled correctly, potential favorable awards to injured persons.

7. Why do I need a Jones Act and Maritime Injury Attorney?

It is critical that injured maritime workers or those hurt while working offshore hire an attorney that is very familiar with this unique set of laws. The Jones Act and General Maritime Law is different than other personal injury law. We have years of experience handling Jones Act and Maritime Law cases, and have been involved in a leading case which helped define a “vessel” under the law. Additionally, before we represented injured persons, we defended employers and insurance companies in these claims. We have a reputation as smart and aggressive lawyers. We were among the select few lawyers that the companies turned to when they were sued. As a result of our past experience, we understand exactly how employers and insurance companies evaluate and defend claims. This experience provides significant and unique insight into how best to achieve the maximum recovery for our clients in the shortest possible amount of time. Consultations are free of charge and you will never pay any attorneys fees unless and until we recover money for you.

8. How do I get paid benefits as quickly as possible?

Personal injures not only result in physical injuries, but many times result in serious financial injury as well. The quickest way to achieve money damages is to hire an attorney immediately. Sadly, in most cases employers and insurance companies do not offer an acceptable amount of money to an unrepresented injured worker and usually take a long time to do even that! Let us use our experience and know how to immediately start working on your case. We strive to bring every claim to conclusion as quickly and beneficially as possible. We will never recommend a quick settlement if it is not in the best interest of our clients.

9. How long do I have to file my Jones Act or Maritime Injury claim?

In most cases Jones Act and Maritime Injury cases must be brought within three years. However, it is possible that the claim must be brought in as little as one year. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Jones Act and Maritime Law attorney as soon as possible.

10. How much is my maritime personal injury case worth?

The answer to this question depends upon the specific facts or your case. Some of the more important factors are: past and future loss of earnings; past and future loss of fringe benefits; past and future pain and suffering; mental anguish; physical disfigurement; medical expenses; loss of household services; and many others. The best way to determine the potential value of your case is to consult with an experienced lawyer who will listen to the facts of your case and discuss with you the potential value of your case.

11. What is General Maritime Law?

General Maritime Law comes from ancient times and refers to the common law that has developed over many years. General Maritime law provides many unique benefits to injured offshore workers and passengers and to the family of deceased workers or passengers. General Maritime claims include claims by Jones Act seamen, as well as Longshoremen or any other offshore worker against third parties. These claims include claims by non-seamen and passengers for negligence of third parties resulting in injuries while involved in traditional maritime activities.

12. How to get medical treatment and testing as quickly as possible?

We can help injured workers get and pay for medical treatment from the best medical doctors. We understand that a personal injury matter requires a quick response and we will move quickly to secure the best medical treatment available to our clients. Call the Jones Act and Maritime lawyers at Brian White. Consultations are free of charge. Call us toll free (877) 551-3212, or send an email.

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