Bellevue maritime workers who spend most of their time aboard a vessel may not fully understand their legal rights if they are injured on the job. While most employees in the United States collect workers’ compensation benefits, maritime workers do not obtain compensation in the same way.
The Jones Act protects seamen who are injured while working aboard a vessel. It ensures that workers are properly compensated, and it can provide more damages than the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Alaskan workers’ compensation system. If you are injured while working in or around Alaskan waters, contact our Bellevue Jones Act lawyers at (206) 588-4344. Herschensohn Law is ready to advocate for you.
A Jones Act settlement can account for your past, present, and future losses. How much you are able to recover will ultimately come down to the severity of your injuries and how they affect you in the long term.
There are two types of claims you can file under the Jones Act:
A maintenance and cure claim is very similar to a normal workers’ compensation claim. To recover compensation, you don’t have to prove negligence. However, your settlement will only account for basic economic damages, such as:
These claims help maritime workers recover when negligence is not part of the reason that an injury occurred.
A negligence claim functions in a similar fashion to a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In addition to recovering what you could through a maintenance and cure claim, you can also recover non-economic damages such as:
However, to get compensation through a negligence claim, you must prove that your employer’s negligence led to your injuries. This can get complicated, which is why you should entrust your case to a Bellevue Jones Act lawyer. The team at Herschensohn Law can investigate the cause of your accident and hold the negligent party financially accountable.
If you are injured in a maritime accident, you may think about handling a Jones Act claim on your own. However, maritime law is very complicated, and the attorneys on the other side will be very experienced. If you have never dealt with a maritime injury before, then you may be in over your head as you try to navigate the process.
Our Jones Act lawyers provide not only their extensive experience but also their support. At Herschensohn Law, our attorneys work with you through every step of the process and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. With our team advocating for you, we can:
After a maritime accident, you may feel overwhelmed by technical jargon, as well as the different acts that may or may not apply to you. Depending on the nature of your work, you could collect compensation through either the Jones Act, the LHWCA, or Alaska’s workers’ compensation system. In some cases, you may qualify under more than one compensation system.
The Jones Act is the only act of the three that allows you to collect non-economic damages for your injuries. These types of damages can greatly increase your settlement value, as they will cover damages that go beyond specific financial expenses you face.
While it seems obvious that the Jones Act would be your best means for recovery, it is important to understand that only certain individuals qualify. To be eligible, you must:
After you suffer a work-related injury, it is probable that you will hear from your employer’s insurance company. The insurance company will want to know what happened, and it will want to know what your injuries are likely going to cost.
We can speak to the insurance companies so that you do not say anything that could jeopardize your financial recovery. The answers that you provide insurance companies will have a definite impact on your settlement. You may not even realize that what you say affects your financial recovery.
Our lawyers are experienced in handling insurance representatives. We will ensure that they treat you fairly and operate in good faith.
Every maritime employer is responsible for the maintenance of equipment, hiring and training of qualified seamen, and proper upkeep of the vessel. They must also warn you of any known dangers. If your employer failed to offer a safe working environment, you could have the basis of a negligence claim.
To prove negligence, your attorneys will need to review the circumstances surrounding your accident and compile evidence. Using information like eyewitness testimony, available video footage, and the accident report, we can assert that:
According to 46 U.S.C. § 30106, you generally have three years to file a Jones Act claim. Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations may bar you from recovering compensation.
Your attorneys will work to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely fashion. However, we cannot begin working for you until you reach out to us. The sooner you consult us, the sooner we can get to work building your case.
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While seamen are generally the ones who benefit from the Jones Act, there are instances where other individuals could qualify for compensation.
Some examples include:
Sometimes, an individual can file a claim under both the LHWCA and the Jones Act. If you received voluntary payments under the LHWCA, or if the settlement you received did not formally adjudicate you of your seaman status, then you could collect compensation through the Jones Act.
If you are a longshoreman who works a maritime occupation, then you run the risk of being injured by vessel negligence. Vessel negligence occurs when an action or omission related to the boat’s operations injures someone.
If you were working at the time of your injuries, then you can file a 905(b) claim. This amendment to the LHWCA protects maritime workers and allows them to seek financial recovery through the Jones Act.
Twilight workers are those whose eligibility for the Jones Act is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you have previously received benefits, are currently receiving benefits, or have collected benefits from another compensation program, you can still file a claim through the Jones Act.
Some fishing companies elect to carry Alaska workers’ compensation. If you are injured while working on Alaskan waters, then you recover financial damages through this program. However, you may still qualify for the Jones Act.
If you meet all the requirements of the Jones Act and you are injured because of your employer’s negligence, then you may be able to file a negligence claim and collect non-economic damages in addition to Alaska workers’ compensation benefits.
Here are some short answers to some questions you may have about your next steps:
It costs you nothing upfront to partner with our team. We work on contingency. So, payment for our attorney’s fees comes from your awarded settlement. You learn about these details at the beginning of our working relationship.
The value of your losses depends on your situation, including the nature of your condition. We account for many losses when determining how much you can recover. We don’t want to overlook a single expense when advocating for what you deserve.
It takes time to recover fair compensation following a maritime injury. The team at Herschensohn Law wants to give your case the time and attention it deserves, so we can present a robust claim to the liable party. This could take weeks or months; it really depends on your case’s complexities.
If you were injured while working on Alaskan waters, it is important that you understand your financial recovery options. If you are a seaman who works aboard a vessel in navigable waters, then you could be entitled to compensation that goes beyond just maintenance and cure.
At Herschensohn Law, our lawyers are committed to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. We will review your case, compile evidence, and file your claim while you take the necessary time to recover from your injuries. To learn more, contact our Bellevue Jones Act lawyers at (206) 588-4344.
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When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.
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