MAY 5, 2011 by Bill Abbott

When you are employed in the maritime industry, you need to understand your rights as far as when you are injured.  The Jones Act provides a certain level of protection to maritime workers that are injured on the job.  When a maritime worker is injured, he can hire a Jones Act attorney to file a claim against his or her employer.  The claim normally involves medical expenses and lost wages.  In cases of injuries that result in permanent disability, the claims can involve future lost wages.  An experienced Jones Act attorney will help the injured party receive fair compensation.

One recent Jones Act claim resulted in a hefty judgment for the plaintiff.  Gilberto Villegas was employed as a ship repairman for APM Terminals in the Port of Houston.  He was involved in a collision that resulted in a serious neck injury.  The injury was so severe that Villegas eventually had to have surgery. The defendant, APM Terminals, tried to argue that the collision could not have caused such a serious injury because the speed was only 1 or 2 miles per hour.  They also stated that Villegas had complained about neck problems before the accident.

A meager settlement offer of $35,000 was put on the table and promptly denied by the plaintiff.  The Jones Act attorney retained by Villegas successfully argued his claim in front of a jury.  The jury awarded Villegas an award of $1.55 million.  Once again, the knowledge and expertise of a Jones Act attorney shines through.  Villegas has more than enough money to provide for his medical and personal needs for the rest of his life.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a maritime case, you could have a Jones Act claim against your employer.  Contact an experienced attorney for legal advice.


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