Maritime Injury Settlements

If you have been injured working at sea, you are likely entitled to benefits under federal maritime law. Fishermen, tug boat workers, ferry boat workers, and offshore workers are in almost all cases Jones Act seamen entitled to coverage under Federal Maritime law. The Jones Act provides compensation to seamen injured while working aboard vessels through the negligence of their employer. Injured seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. Additionally, if the seaman is injured as a result of unseaworthiness or negligence, the injured seaman may recover damages for pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, lost past and future wages, retraining costs, and future medical expenses.

Seattle-based law firm Stacey and Jacobsen is one of the nation's leading maritime personal injury law firms. The firm has handled thousands of Jones Act claims and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for its clients. Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC has handled more than 50 maritime wrongful death claims. Few firms in the country have experience and background comparable to Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC. The firm represents clients living throughout the country on a contingency fee basis. If the firm does not recover damages for the injured seaman, the seaman owes no fees.

Answers About Maritime Settlements

Don't bid against yourself without knowing the true value of your case. If you have suffered a serious injury while working at sea, your employer and their insurance company will begin stacking the deck against you immediately. You have the right to select a doctor of your own choosing. Before you settle your case, learn about your rights to maintenance and cure, unearned wages, and compensation under the Jones Act. You do not have to sign a release of claims or settle your case before returning to work.

Don't be rushed into signing a settlement agreement before you fully understand the extent of your injuries and the impact it will have on your ability to work in the future. Ship owners and their insurance companies employ sophisticated claims handling techniques to get injured seamen to settle their cases for less than the full value. Having an experienced maritime personal injury lawyer on your side levels the playing field between the parties and allows you to get the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Fully understanding what constitutes Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness under the law is essential to handling any Jones Act claim. Because of the high danger of injury working aboard a ship, the seaman's employer owes the seaman a high duty of care to protect him from injury. Defective equipment, unsafe practices and procedures, failure to provide a safe place to work, and a fellow crewman's negligence are all the bases for Jones Act claims.

Who Is Really At Fault?

What is a simple and safe act on land may be a dangerous and negligent act aboard a ship working at sea. Employers and their insurance companies oftentimes attempt to shift all or a large portion of the fault for a seaman's injury to the seaman. Apportioning fault between an injured seaman and the employer requires a full understanding of maritime law. The employer owes the seaman a greater duty to protect him from harm. A seaman's duty is to follow orders and get the job done, not to find the safest tool or method for doing a particular task.

Ship owners and their insurance companies also try to blame a seaman's injury on a prior injury or prior medical condition. Where a seaman has a preexisting injury and he is injured aboard ship through negligence or unseaworthiness, the seaman is entitled to compensation for any aggravation or worsening of the preexisting condition. A new accident can cause an old injury to light up. In this situation, the seaman is entitled to full compensation to the extent his previous injury or illness is worsened.

Evaluation

Evaluating the value of a seaman's injury case involves weighing multiple elements. Some of the evidence weighed in evaluating a seaman's claim include:

  • How were you injured?
  • Was the ship or your employer at fault for your injuries?
  • How old are you?
  • How long have you worked as a seaman?
  • What has been your average annual earnings as a seaman?
  • Are your injuries permanent?
  • How will your injuries impact your future earnings over your life time?
  • Will you need future medical care?
  • Will you need vocational retraining?
  • Will you have future pain and suffering?
  • Does your injury impact your interaction and family relationships?

If you have questions about your right to a maritime injury settlement, contact Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC for a free initial consultation. In most cases, our experience allows us to quickly perform a preliminary evaluation of your injury claim and its potential settlement value.

Maritime Injury Lawsuit

Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC is one of the nation's leading maritime personal injury law firms. It has helped thousands of injured seamen recover compensation under the Jones Act and the general maritime law. If you have been injured at sea, learn about your rights to compensation by contacting Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC for a free initial consultation. Don't bid against yourself. Have an experienced maritime injury lawyer on your side before you settle your claim, get in touch today.