JULY 13, 2011 by Ogletree Abbott

When you are injured in a Jones Act accident, the best thing for you to do is contact an attorney. Even if you feel like your injury is too minor to qualify for a Jones Act claim, you should still speak with a professional. Jones Act attorneys are trained in maritime law. They will be able to help you understand your rights for financial compensation. You should never assume that an injury is too small – if you are hurt on the job, you could have a valid claim. Do not take your employer’s word for it. Only an experienced Jones Act attorney can give you unbiased advice pertaining to your particular injury.

No matter what your position is on a vessel, you can still be injured in a Jones Act accident. From the “greenest” deckhand to the seasoned captain, accidents can and will happen. A captain of a vessel recently settled a Jones Act claim with the help of an experienced attorney. The captain was navigating the vessel when the cargo came loose. The cargo consisted of large, steel buoys. The buoys rolled around, putting the vessel at risk of sinking and while trying to help regain control, the captain hurt his back. The back injury put the captain out of commission for an extended period of time.

The captain, being the seasoned seaman that he is, knew that he had the right to a Jones Act attorney. He contacted an experienced law firm and a claim was filed against his employer. The safety protocol for lashing the large buoys in place had not been followed. This ended up putting the entire crew at risk and led to the back injury. The captain’s attorney presented a solid case demonstrating the unseaworthiness of the vessel. The experience of the Jones Act attorney led to a settlement of $2.1 million.

If you, or someone you know, have been involved in a Jones Act accident, do what this seaman did and contact an attorney for advice. You have the right to your own legal representation and the right to compensation for any injuries leading to lost wages and future lost wages. Let the law decide if you should be compensated, not your employer.

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