Being injured at sea can blanket your life in pain and uncertainty. Your injuries can limit your mobility, rendering it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks, and the financial costs associated with your recovery can be oppressive. As if that’s not enough, you’re bound to face a significant emotional toll, too, perhaps even leaving you with a long-term condition like post-traumatic stress disorder.
What can you do in these circumstances to ease the damage that’s been caused to you? One option is to file a maritime law claim under the Jones Act. If you’re successful here, you might recover compensation to help pay your bills, offset your lost wages, and provide financial stability while you focus on getting better.
Yet, there are several complications that you can face as you pursue one of these claims. That’s why you’ll want to be cognizant of the mistakes that are often made in these cases so that you can avoid them and protect your interests.
Mistakes to avoid in a Jones Act case
If you’re not careful, you can be your own worst enemy as you pursue your maritime law claim. So, as you proceed with legal action, be aware of these mistakes so that you can avoid them:
- Waiting too long to report your injuries: A lot of people who are injured at sea downplay their harm and continue to work. This is a big mistake. By continuing to work, you diminish the power of your claim, making it easier for the other side to argue that your injuries aren’t severe and don’t impact your ability to work. This could significantly decrease or even eliminate the money you recover. So, don’t downplay your injuries. Even if you think they’re minor, you should report them so that you’re making a record of the workplace injury in the event that your symptoms worsen and you need to take time off work.
- Signing paperwork without understanding it: After suffering an injury, there’ll be plenty of paperwork to fill out. Carefully read these documents before agreeing to sign off on them. After all, your employer or their insurance company might try to slip something past you that essentially signs away your right to take legal action. If you have any questions about the paperwork presented to you, be sure to discuss it with your attorney.
- Failing to temper expectations: There’s a good chance that your maritime law claim will be resolved through negotiations. Before sitting down at the table to talk settlement, you need to have a realistic expectation of what you can recover. If you push too hard for too much, you could end up getting less. On the other hand, if you cut yourself and your injuries short, then the insurance company will pay you less than you deserve.
- Letting your claim control your life: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the complexities and logistics of your case, but remember that your claim is meant to support you, your recovery, and your daily living. It’s not meant to consume you. So, try to keep everything in perspective as you move forward with your claim. That’s the healthiest approach.
Aggressively pursue your maritime law claim
To obtain the outcome you want in your maritime law claim, you need to be aggressive. This will require knowing the law and how it applies to the facts of your case, as well as how to implement persuasive negotiation and litigation tactics. If you’d like to learn more about what all that entails, then please continue to browse our website and turn to other resources that you find beneficial.