Should You Settle Your Jones Act Claim? Let Your Jones Act Lawyer Help You Decide

The Jones Act provides an opportunity for injured seamen, maritime workers and those who work in offshore drilling to collect compensation for injuries. Providing for damages not available under Workers Compensation or the Longshore Harbor Workers Act, the Jones Act affords injured workers the right to broad compensation. Workers, therefore, should be sure they fully understand the types of compensation they are entitled to and should make sure they are getting all that the law affords them before they settle a Jones Act claim. To make this determination, it is always a wise idea to consult with a Jones Act lawyer.

Why Speak with a Jones Act Lawyer Before You Settle Your Claim?

When you settle a Jones Act claim, you are given a certain sum of money that you negotiate and agree to accept. The sum of money you are given in the settlement will be the only compensation you will receive as a result of the accident and resulting injuries you suffered. This is true even if it later turns out that your injuries were more serious than you had expected or if it turns out that you didn’t fully understand what types of compensation you were entitled to at the time of settlement.

The reason you are no longer able to make a Jones Act claim after you settle is that you are required to sign a release of liability and/or a release of all claims when you accept the Jones Act settlement. Before signing such a release, you should always consult with a Jones Act lawyer. Your lawyer can read over the terms of the settlement to ensure that it is fair and that it provides you with the full amount of compensation you should be receiving based on the worker protections afforded to you in the Jones Act. Your lawyer will also read over the terms of the settlement and make sure that they are advantageous to you and that you are not agreeing to anything you shouldn’t.

How a Jones Act Lawyer Helps You Negotiate a Settlement

Waiting until you have a settlement offer for your Jones Act lawyer to review isn’t a good idea. It is best to get a lawyer involved as early in the process as possible. Your attorney can then help you to negotiate the best possible settlement, using his expert negotiation skills and his detailed knowledge of the Jones Act. A Jones Act attorney can also help you to understand the extent of damages you are entitled to under the Act, which includes pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages and lost fringe benefits.

With the help of your Jones Act lawyer, you can make a reasonable assessment of all losses associated with your injury. You can then get assistance in gathering the evidence necessary to prove those losses and to convince the defendant that settlement is the best idea due to the strength of your case. The more convinced the defendant is that you are serious about your rights and that you have the evidence to back up your claims, the better your Jones Act settlement will be. Hiring a Jones Act attorney goes a long way towards convincing the defense that you are serious about your rights and that you can build a solid case.

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