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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

An Overview of Your Injury Claim From a California Jones Act Attorney

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jones act claims california seamen

"When I seek out professional advice, I want Brutal honesty. So Should you." -Bill Turley

Always tell the truth. Always. Nothing is more important in your case then telling the truth. Your credibility with the judge all depends on your honesty. If a judge thinks your not telling the truth, then the Judge will not be on your side. Do not make this mistake.You have to be brutaly honest about everything. It is the best thing you can do in helping you in your Jones Act Case.

I have handled Jones Act Cases since 1987. I have gained a lot of knowledge on these types of cases. My goal is to help injured seamen earn the money they lawfully deserve. 

Order my book, Win Your Injury Case: The Ultimate No B.S Guide to Avoiding Insurance Company Tricks That Ruin Your Case [even before you hire a lawyer]

After a serious injury aboard ship, many victims are not thinking about getting proper payment for their claims. They can only think about the pain they are in, the time they will be spending off work, and how to get home so they can fully recover. In order to help victims understand their next steps, we have provided a short overview of the Jones Act claim process, including some tips on how to proceed in their case.

Nearly every Jones Act case will involve:

  • Emergency medical treatment. All serious injuries should be treated as soon as possible, no matter where or when the injury occurs. Your employer is required to do everything he can to get you medical care, including diverting the ship or working with the Coast Guard to arrange a med-evac helicopter. The captain is also obligated to consult with a doctor by phone or radio until medical help arrives.
  • Reporting the injury. Under federal maritime law, injured seamen must report a work-related injury within seven days of the occurrence, but it is best to report the injury as soon as you are able. Insurers may assume that an injury that was reported late was not all that serious, unless the victim had a good reason for delaying (such as being unconscious). You may be asked to complete a written accident report for the company. You should only fill this out once your life is no longer in danger and you are not under the effects of any mood-altering medication.
  • Follow-up care. Once you return home, make sure you work with your doctor regularly and keep all of your injury appointments. If you stop seeing your doctor, the insurance company may assume you have recovered and use this as evidence to stop your injury payments. At each appointment, make sure to detail all of your symptoms with your doctor and be honest about your pain and limitations.
  • Dealing with an insurer. In as little as a few days after your accident, your employer’s insurer may contact you to get you to provide a written or recorded statement. It is in your best interest not to give one. You are under no obligation to give a statement if you don’t want to, and if the insurer will not leave you alone or threatens to suspend your benefits, you should speak to an attorney.
  • Accepting a settlement. You should only accept a settlement for a Jones Act injury after you have completed your medical treatment and your doctor believes your condition will not improve any further. This way, you will have a complete picture of your work limitations and future ability to earn a living.

Should I File a Lawsuit to Win My Jones Act Injury Claim?

If your injury has improved to the point where you are able to return to maritime work, you will probably not need to file a Jones Act claim. However, if your injury has prevented you from doing the work you were trained to do, you should consider speaking with an attorney to hold your employer accountable for the full cost of your injuries. It often takes a year or more to go to trial for a Jones Act case, so please feel free to use our website as your resource for legal information along the way.

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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