Being injured at sea can derail your life more than you ever expected. Your injuries might leave you with unbearable physical pain and suffering, and the mental anguish that results may be overwhelming. As if that’s not enough, there’s also the financial harm that may be caused to you. Your medical costs might far exceed what your insurance company is willing to pay, and your loss of income could make it hard to cover your other bills, including your rent or mortgage and your utilities.
You might be able to recover compensation by pursuing a Jones Act claim. If you do succeed on your claim, how much will you recover? That really depends on the circumstances. Here are some things to consider when you’re thinking about your damages and how you can prove them:
- Medical expenses: If you win your case, then you should be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, both incurred and anticipated. So, make sure that you’re keeping track of how much you spend on your medical care. You might also want to talk to your doctor or a medical expert about your prognosis and what your need for future care and treatment will look like. This will give you a better sense of what your future medical expenses will look like.
- Lost wages: A similar analysis can be conducted for your lost wages. Figuring out what you’ve already lost due to missed work can be pretty easy, but it’s more difficult to determine how long you’ll be out of work, how much of your pay you’ll miss out on, and how your injuries will affect your ability to obtain and maintain certain kinds of employment. Again, an expert may be able to help you here.
- Non-economic damages: These include your pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages can be a little trickier to prove, but you can increase your chances of recovering them by appealing to one’s emotions. So, think carefully about how your injuries have impacted your ability to raise and play with your children, how they’ve impacted your relationship with your spouse, or how your injuries make you feel about yourself and your future. Keeping a journal of these things can go a long way and ensure that the harm that has been caused to you in clearly conveyed.
Proving your damages
A lot of people think that they just have to prove liability in one of these cases and then they’ll be awarded compensation. That’s not necessarily true. You also have to prove your damages. That means that you need to be diligent in gathering the evidence necessary to show the harm that has been caused to you, which may include your hospital bills, your medical records, your pay stubs, and your journal. Be as thorough as you can here, as it’s better to have too much information than not enough.
Do you need a legal ally on your side?
We know that navigating a Jones Act claim can be confusing and frustrating. But that’s one reason why you might find it beneficial to leave your legal claim in the hands of a competent legal professional. That way you can rest assured that the proper legal arguments to support your claim are crafted while you focus on your recovery. If you’d like to learn more about what that kind of representation looks like, then please consider reaching out to a law firm that you think would be right for you.