Over 80 Combined Years Of Maritime Law Experience

The Jones Act and the right to a jury trial

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Injuries to Crewmen, Jones Act

Many of our readers are likely to be familiar with some of the basics of the Jones Act, an important federal law that protects those who work at sea. Many people know that, in essence, this law allows seaman to pursue claims against their employers when they are injured on the job.

However, there is one important aspect of the Jones Act that might stand out: the right for injured workers to pursue a jury trial.

Why is the right to jury trial so important? Well, think in terms of any other personal injury case that might occur in Alaska on land – those tort claims could proceed to a jury trial, if all settlement talks fail. So, why not a case based on an injury at sea?

Jury trial factors

The uncertainty that comes with a jury trial outcome, for both sides, is oftentimes what drives plaintiffs and defendants to settle cases before they get to that point. But, if your negligence claim against your employer under the Jones Act is headed toward a jury trial, you need to be sure that your case is thoroughly prepared and that you have addressed as many “question marks” as possible before the first witness is called.

Jury trials aren’t always a part of maritime law, so the fact that the Jones Act provides this right for injured seaman is an advantage. Using your advantages is part of how you can win a legal claim and potentially recover damages for lost wages, lost earning capacity and medical expenses, among other potential damages.