What to Look for When Hiring a Jones Act Attorney

The world’s merchants have used vessels to transport their goods across waterways for centuries. In the past, ship workers had little protection when they became injured on the job. However, when congress passed the Jones Act in 1920, the law created a uniform protection standard for ship workers. In 1970, legislators updated the law to place the burden of safeguarding sea faring vessel workers on the ship’s owners. The Three Main Qualities of a Top Jones Act Attorney Keep in mind that the Jones Act is a precise area of the law. Therefore, when you need legal assistance for a case involving work done on a ship or in an ocean environment, it is imperative that you hire a Jones Act maritime attorney. Be sure to assess your lawyer’s experience in resolving Jones Act cases. Due to the complexity of the law, it takes most attorneys many years to become proficient in trying cases under the Jones Act. If your car were experiencing engine trouble, then you would take it to a skilled mechanic instead of to a shop that specializes in oil changes. You should use the same considerations for attorneys as you will need one who concentrates on the Jones Act. A successful litigation record is another qualification that you should look for in a Jones Act lawyer. In most situations, a company that is accused of committing a wrongdoing under the Jones Act law will defend itself aggressively. In fact, many companies fight against every case under the act. You may even have to appear in court and argue in front a judge to gain access to the company’s basic paperwork. Furthermore, a large percentage of Jones Act cases extend to a judge or jury to determine the verdict. If the company that you work for will not offer you a fair settlement for your situation, then you will need to escalate your case to a trial. Consequently, your attorney must have plenty of trial experience. The last quality that an attorney who specializes in Jones Act cases should have is plenty of financial backing. Often, a Jones Act case will require your attorney to hire experts to prove the legal action. For instance, you may need a medical or equipment expert to prove the company’s negligence. Also, when your employer has refused to cover your living expenses, some attorneys will pay for them until your case is resolved. However, review your state’s policies because some states do not permit lawyers to pay for your living costs. Events that May Require the Assistance of a Jones Act Maritime Lawyer Particularly dangerous maritime work takes place in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. While fishing Alaska’s waterways, many workers receive injuries or die. The oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico also account for injury at sea. Therefore, contact an oil rig accident attorney to help you receive compensation when you have been the victim of Gulf of Mexico injury at sea. Injuries That Qualify for Reparation under the Jones Act If you are a maritime worker who is experiencing back pain, hearing loss or strain injuries, then you may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. Other occurrences that are covered under the law include eye injuries, damage from a slip and fall as well as death at sea. Exposure to dangerous substances like toxic chemicals and asbestos may also qualify workers for compensation under the law. Conclusion When you receive an extensive injury that falls under the Jones Act, it is likely the end of your career. Be sure to review the maritime law firms in your area to locate the most qualified attorney to handle your case.