JUNE 20, 2011 by Ogletree Abbott
Jones Act accidents are accidents that fall under the rules of the Jones Act. These kinds of accidents occur in the maritime industry. Many Jones Act accidents result in claims being filed against a worker’s employer. These claims should always be handled by an experienced Jones Act attorney. If you are a maritime worker with a work-related injury, you need legal expertise in handling your potential claim. There are many Jones Act attorneys in the phone book. However, some are more experienced than others are and have the reputation and settlement histories to prove it. Choose your Jones Act accident attorney with care because it could make or break your case.
A tugboat captain has plenty of experience with choosing the right Jones Act attorney. The captain was injured when he was told to take the tugboat and pick up a crane. Although the trip to get the crane and bring it back went fine, the trouble started when he attempted to help the crane operator get the equipment off of the tug. The operator was not familiar with this particular crane and hit the wrong pedal at the wrong time. The gravel bucket on the crane swung free, knocking the captain and another worker down. The bucket landed directly on the captain’s arm, causing a partial amputation.
The captain immediately sought the expert advice of an experienced Jones Act accident attorney. A Jones Act claim was filed against the captain’s employer. The employer tried to argue that this incident did not qualify as a Jones Act accident. They claimed that at the time of the accident, the captain was a technical employee of the cement plant (the destination of the crane). However, they quickly changed their tune when they realized that this was, indeed, a Jones Act claim. They came to that understanding because of the powerful case the captain’s attorney presented. The claim settled for $1.5 million.
This case clearly shows how important it is to have legal expertise for any Jones Act claim. Without his attorney, the captain would have had to settle for workers’ compensation, an amount that would have been dramatically small. Instead, he chose an experienced Jones Act accident attorney to handle his case. If you have a maritime claim, do not handle it alone. Let an experienced attorney do your legal work and help you get your money.