When you are injured aboard a vessel, you may be eligible to file a Jones Act claim. Any individual who is working aboard a vessel or an offshore rig should have his or her case reviewed by a Jones Act lawyer in order to determine eligibility to make a Jones Act claim. While there are other sources of compensation, such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Jones Act may provide you with more comprehensive coverage for damages. A Jones Act lawyer can help you to determine if you are eligible to make a claim, but there are a few key pieces of evidence you will need to have.
Evidence Your Jones Act Lawyer Needs For A Claim
When you schedule a consultation with your Jones Act lawyer, he or she is going to ask you some questions to make sure you meet the requirements to make a Jones Act claim. Your lawyer will then help you gather the evidence you need.
Some examples of evidence that will be required include:
Proof That You Are Eligible To Make A Claim Under The Jones Act
A wide variety of people employed in different maritime locations are eligible. Whether you are a crewman, a fish processor, a worker on a cargo ship or an offshore driller, or if you fit into a variety of other occupations, you may be covered under the Jones Act. You should have detailed proof of your employment status and be prepared to explain what the relationship was with your employer so your Jones Act lawyer can determine your eligibility.
Details About The Cause Of Your Injury And The Events That Led To Your Accident
You and your Jones Act lawyer will need to prove that your employer was negligent in order to successfully make a Jones Act claim. This is different than the requirements for state workers' compensation, where you do not need to prove negligence. Because you need to be able to prove negligence, you will need to be able to have detailed proof that your employer was lax in some way. Photographs from the scene of the accident, witness statements from other seamen, details that you recount and any other proof of negligence can all be used as evidence in a Jones Act case. You and your lawyer will need to determine if you can assemble enough evidence to prove the negligence, since you will have the burden of proof as the person making the claim.
Proof Of The Nature And The Extent Of Your Injury
You should be prepared to provide your medical records, a statement from your physician, a copy of medical bills, a copy of medical tests you have undergone and as much other proof as possible that you have actually suffered an injury. The more proof you have, the stronger your Jones Act claim and the better the chance you and your lawyer have of making a successful claim.
An experienced Jones Act lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your injury as well as any evidence you have available. Your lawyer will then help you determine if you have a case and will help you get the evidence to prove it.