AUGUST 23, 2011 by Ogletree Abbott
When dealing with a Jones Act accident claim, not only do you need a qualified attorney, you need one with experience. The Jones Act is a complex part of maritime law and Jones Act claims need to be handled by a lawyer that is an expert in his or her field. The best Jones Act attorneys can garner their clients’ settlements or awards in the thousands – even the millions. If you chose an inexperienced Jones Act attorney, you may not get the strongest legal representation you deserve. If you ever find yourself injured in a Jones Act accident, make the smart choice and choose an experienced attorney to handle your claim.
In a recent Jones Act claim, an injured seaman made the smart choice and retained a qualified attorney to help him. The seaman was employed as a deckhand aboard a barge. The Jones Act accident occurred as the deckhand attempted to perform some standard duties on the deck of the barge. While stacking some equipment, the seaman had to climb a ladder and tie the equipment down. The instability of the deck on the moving water and a ladder that was later found to be defective led to a fall. The fall caused a severe injury to the seaman, tearing the rotator cuff in his shoulder. Ultimately, the man had to have two corrective surgeries.
The injured deckhand went to a Jones Act accident attorney and a claim was filed. The injured man’s attorney stated that the employer had failed to provide a safe working environment. The reason behind this claim was that the Jones Act accident investigation proved that the ladder was old and defective. With a new ladder the injury could have been avoided. The seaman’s employer decided to settle the claim out of court for $415,000.
This seaman’s settlement, while not huge, was sufficient for the injury and the accident. Without the help of his experienced Jones Act lawyer, the seaman probably would have walked away empty-handed. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a Jones Act accident, make your first call be to your attorney. You deserve compensation and a qualified Jones Act attorney will help you get exactly what you deserve.