About Your Jones Act Maritime Injury
So you or someone close to you has been injured while working offshore or on America's inland waterways. You need information. You don't want to make mistakes. Your search for
Jones Act Injury Information
has brought you here. By now you have read everything every ;maritime injury lawyer with a website puts out concerning just how bad they want to help you recover what's rightfully yours. Still you're confused-you want straight talk-you want to make the right decision.
Well let me tell you a little of what I know. I am an oilfield worker,not a offshore accident lawyer and I have seen more than my share of accidents. I have seen the Safety/HSE guys act all concerned for an injured employee in his presence,only to turn around and bad mouth him behind his back.
I have seen employers and insurance companies try to put the screws to each other trying to determine who was going to pay, their final objective has always been to get out from under further responsibility for the injured as quickly and as cheaply as possible. What's in the "best interest" of the injured has never been an insurance companies or employers concern.
"Your the bad guy in all of this". "You cost us next months safety award". "You cost people their bonuses"... and they are not happy. Still they smile, express their concerns and how they are going to have you up and around in no time,while they wait to get you to sign off on any future claims....then your gone.
You don't want to anger your employer. You feel bad about the accident and what it's cost everyone involved, including yourself and your family. But, in the back of your head there's that little voice and it's whispering that "they are out to put the screws to you!" That "little voice" should be screaming instead of whispering & you need to listen,as that is usually what's about; to happen.
Beginning Your Jones Act Injury Case
The first thing you will need to do is retain an experienced maritime injury attorney to look after your interests.This is a painless process that usually just requires a brief phone call and costs you nothing. During a phone consultation the Jones Act lawyer will discuss the circumstances of your injury and advises you as to weather you have a pursuable claim . If you have a valid claim I am sure he will ask you to sign your claim over to him.
Sounds easy enough right? Well, consider this. Many of maritime injury attorneys that you see on television, in print and on the internet are not even practicing Jones Act Injury Law. I am not kidding you! Although these guys are in fact attorneys, they have never tried a Jones Act case! What they do is search for an injured worker like yourself, using expensive advertising campaigns,then get you to sign a contract with them and they,in turn sell your contract to practicing maritime injury lawyers for 15% of YOUR settlement . So if you have a $100,000 settlement coming,which is small in Jones Act cases, then this lawyer that did nothing but find you, just took $15,000 dollars out of your pocket!
You have to understand that if you retain the Jones Act Lawyer that is actually going to pursue your claim instead of some PR guy, then you have room to negotiate the fee and save yourself that $15,000 or more.Sometimes much more!
Needless to say this one very important question you need to ask any Maritime Injury lawyer before considering signing your case over to them.In the end what you need is a lawyer that is experienced in trials, competent, hungry and hopped up on the legal equivalent of Red Bull & Testosterone!
There are many more questions to ask before making your decision.I will post those questions here with links to more detailed explanations.
Without a doubt, the most important element of any Jones Act case is the measure of future wage loss. Obviously, seamen who have been on the job for a long period of time can earn a very good living. If an injury physically prohibits the worker from returning to work on a vessel, the difference between the earnings of the worker before the injury and after the injury are determined and then multiplied by the worker's expected work life.
For example, if a seaman that was making $80,000 a year is injured and can only return to work to a job making $10,000 a year, the worker has a $70,000 a year wage loss. If the worker is twenty-five years old, his work life may be 35 years, and the future wage loss is a very significant amount.
Federal law provides that any award for future wages must be reduced to present value and reduced further for the taxes the seaman would have to pay on his wages. That means an economist must calculate what sum of money paid today would deliver a stream of payments into the future equal to the amount the worker could have earned if he stayed on the job.
Tricks Jones Act Employers and Insurance Companies Try
- Try to get you to give a "recorded statement" either immediately after you are hurt, or while you are still in pain
- Tell you that if you don't give a recorded statement, you won't get any medical treatment
- Require you to go to company doctors for your medical care
- Require you to come back to work before you are ready, and if you don't, claim that they have to "let you go" or "find someone else" for the job
- Try to blackball you with other employers in your industry
- Sue you for not coming back to work!
- Tell you not to get your own lawyer, then offer you some totally unreasonable settlement
- These tricks are common. Don't be duped by them!
Talk to a Maritime Injury Lawyer!