“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S. I want it straight up, with no double talk. I figure do also. I always use plain English, with no sugarcoating no B.S lawyer talk, and no double talk- just old fashioned, unsweetened, unvarnished truth-just the way that I would want it.” -Bill Turley
My Best Advice
When handling your Jones Act Case, you must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important then your credibility. If a judge assumes you are being unhonest, your case will be thrown out and you will be left with nothing. I have seen it happen to many people.
Take the proper steps now, and do your research. Order my free 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]
This book is loaded with TONS of information on winning your Jones Act Case. I will send it out for free and cover shipping.
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Jones Act Checklist
Most crew members that are injured on ships or vessels don't know their legal rights. Too often, injured seaman do or say things to lose their case. If you are an injured Jones Act Seaman, you need to take immediate steps in order to protect you and your family's future. You need to take steps to prevent losing your Jones Act lawsuit. Here is a checklist for injured Jones Act Seaman and others injured aboard ships, boats and vessels:
Your Health And Safety Must Be Your First Concern
After you are injured aboard a vessel or in the service of the vessel your first concern must be your health, safety and medical treatment. Nothing is more important than your health and safety. Often times this means emergency medical treatment. The very first concern following any accident must be your health and safety and the health and safety of others.
Immediately Report Your Jones Act Injury
Always report your injury. Do not wait. If you are injured at 4:40 a.m., report your injury at 4:40 a.m. Don't wait until the next day to report your injury.
A Photo of the Accident Can Be Priceless
A few photos taken of the incident site as soon after the incident as possible can be priceless. If you can't take them, ask a fellow crew member to take a few photos for you. Try and get a few different angles and points of view. A photo after the incident will head off a lot of "defenses" later. "Defenses" is a code word for the lies that the insurance company lawyer will tell the jury about what "really" caused your injury.
A Witness Really Can Help Your Jones Act Case
Frequently you will be transported off the vessel after an injury. If at all possible
try to get the names and contact information of all of the witnesses to the accident and witnesses to how the scene looked right after it happened before being transported off the vessel.
Say No to Accident Reports or Witness Statements
Do not fill out any accident reports or give any witness statements. You have no legal obligation to do so. Simply report your injury. Remember this: anything you say or write will be used against you in a court of law. You can and should avoid this trap by refusing to give any type of written or recorded statement.
Do Not Admit Guilt
Many insurance adjusters will try and speak to you right after an accident in an attempt to get you to admit that the accident was your fault. Don't fall for this trick. You just got injured - - there is no requirement to speak to the insurance adjuster.
Don't Sign Anything
Never, ever, ever sign any documents until you speak to a lawyer. This includes medical authorizations, accident reports, etc. You never have to sign documents in order to receive maintenance and cure.
There is no requirement that you fill out any accident reports or sign any documents in order to obtain maintenance and cure or other damages. No matter what anyone tells you or threatens you with - don't sign anything.
Choose Your Own Doctor for a Jones Act Injury
Under the law you get to choose your own doctor. Do not treat with the company doctor. When you are injured in the service of the vessel, or during a voyage, your Jones Act employer has an obligation to provide you with medical treatment until you reach maximum medical improvement. This is called "cure." It is very important that you chose a treating physician that is not a "company doctor."
Any lawyer that says they are going to send you to "their doctor" is trouble. Juries smell these shenanigans a mile away. A quick way to ruin your case is to get mixed up with a doctor that "works with" your lawyer. You need a doctor that is going to put your medical interests first and "call it the way they see it." Don't let a bad apple lawyer sink your case before you even start.
The choice of physician is yours. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than you making the best medical recovery possible.
Do the Right Thing
Always do the right thing. Never lie or fudge about anything. You must be honest. If you are caught in a lie, you will usually lose your case.
Disclaimer: Please understand these are discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley