If you’ve been injured on an offshore rig, you might be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. Passed in 1920 and revised in 2006, this federal law protects seamen injured in maritime accidents. While the Jones Act allows injured seamen to collect damages not afforded to them under state workers’ compensation laws, the burden of proof rests on the injured party’s shoulders.
Far too many injured seamen try to prove their cases and collect damages on their own. They quickly realize that it’s hard to represent yourself in these cases. If you want to prove your cases and collect damages, a Jones Act attorney is necessary.
Proving negligence or unseaworthiness is at the heart of a claim under the Jones Act. From minor mishaps to serious life-threatening injuries, injured seamen must prove three elements to win the case. Failure to prove all three makes it impossible to reach the desired outcome.
First, it must be established that the employer owed a duty of care to the seaman. This essentially means that the employer was tasked with keeping the employee safe. Second, the defendant must have breached the duty of care, and third, the breach must have played at least a part in causing the injuries suffered by the seaman. An experienced lawyer can gather evidence to prove the claim. Unlike other personal injuries claims, the attorney only needs to prove that the defendant was at least somewhat responsible for the injury.
Insurance companies often try to claim that accidents caused by negligence didn’t lead to injuries. An experienced attorney can use expert medical witnesses to prove causation. This is the most important aspect of a Jones Act case.
Your attorney can even help prove causation if you had a pre-existing condition that became worse due to the accident. Under the Jones Act, you are still eligible for compensation, even though the insurance company will try to fight it. With the help of an expert witness, you can prove that the accident made your situation much worse and win your claim.
Offshore rigs are dangerous, and if you are injured, you deserve compensation under the Jones Act. You might be eligible for lost wages, lost earning capacity, and medical expenses. Also, mental anguish and pain and suffering are on the table for those who experienced serious life-threatening injuries.
Attorneys understand how much you should recover in damages based on your injuries and will not accept low-ball settlements. On the other hand, if you go without an attorney, you might not understand how much your injury will cost you down the road. Without consulting with experts, it is difficult to know how much you’ll spend in medical bills in the coming years or how much you’ll lose in lost wages. With your attorney’s help, you can maximize what you recover, whether you reach a settlement agreement or go to court. Then, you will have the money you need today and in the future.
You need an experienced lawyer on your side. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call (510) 319-1904 now or tell your story below. Get the compensation you deserve.