The Jones Act, more formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, exists to protect sailors and other shipboard employees who are injured on the job. Under the Jones Act, if you are hurt during the course of your duties either as a result of negligence by your employer or coworker, or because the vessel on which you work is deemed unsafe or unseaworthy, you are entitled to collect compensation for the damages you suffer by suing your employer.
Before the Act was passed, United States sailors and other ship workers did not have the right to sue, even when their injuries resulted from negligence. So the Jones Act is an important and historical piece of legislation with particular significance here in League City, Texas, and in other areas with a vibrant maritime industry.
If you are filing a claim under the Jones Act, it’s important to retain representation from a qualified League City maritime attorney who can help you avoid the pitfalls that could damage your case.
Avoiding common mistakes
Consider the following three mistakes that plaintiffs tend to make in Jones Act cases and how to avoid them:
- Failing to report your injury soon enough – If you are hurt in the course of your work on a ship or other vessel, it’s important to report the injury right away or as soon as you’re aware of it. If you fail to report the accident or injury in a reasonable time frame, it could raise questions about how the accident occurred, and your memory might not be as clear.
- Signing papers immediately after your injury – When an accident occurs on a ship and you are injured, you should absolutely file a report; but be wary of signing any statements, particularly those that ask you to define your injuries conclusively or speak to the cause of the accident. Instead, make sure to consult with the proper professionals (your doctors, a maritime lawyer, and any other relevant experts, etc.) before signing any documents.
- Hiring an unqualified attorney – Jones Act cases may seem on the surface like most other personal injury cases, but maritime law is complex, and advice from a lawyer without the proper experience could lead you to make other mistakes that could affect your case and your compensation.
Choose a Texas maritime law firm you can trust
For almost 50 years, Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers has been helping clients file Jones Act claims and handling a wide range of other maritime law matters. We know the major pitfalls and how to avoid them. To learn more about how we can support you, call (281) 645-5000 or contact us online today.