The normal process of a Jones Act claim involves conducting a fair amount of research, investigation, and correspondence. Then, the victim will file a lawsuit and bring their case to trial or settlement. It can take anywhere from six to eighteen months on average.
Normally, the biggest concern that our clients have is how much and how fast they can recover. However, before jumping to the end of the line, we normally prefer to walk them through the entire process of a Jones Act claim. Jones Act claims typically involve a lawsuit on general law or statutory grounds and all of the legal traps and hurdles that come with that. There are some particular issues this raises though including the following:
Is There A Time Limit On When I Can File A Jones Act Claim?
Yes. Jones Act plaintiffs generally have three years to sue. This is different from the general rule of two years to sue for personal injury claims, at least in Illinois.
Though it might sound counterintuitive, we usually like to remind the people we work with that you don't have forever to file a case. We mention this to encourage people to investigate and come forward sooner so that the legal process can go along as quickly as possible. With maritime injuries covered by the Jones Act, most plaintiffs will have three years to bring their lawsuit. Yet, some might not even have this much time-some may have to file in only one year. Thus, it is imperative that you meet and discuss the circumstances of your incident with a qualified lawyer.
What Is The Actual Process Of Jones Act Claim?
The process you will go through with a Jones Act claim will be that of an ordinary lawsuit.
After a certain amount of research and investigation, you will file a complaint and initiate the lawsuit. Then, the defendant will respond via an answer. Before trial, both sides will engage in discovery and courtroom preparations. At trial, each party will present their case to the jury through direct and cross examinations, opening and closing statements. Then, either side might appeal. Alternatively, this entire process could be short-circuited if the plaintiff and defendant believe that settlement is a better avenue to end dispute. In that case, they would enter a period of settlement negotiations and any agreement would have to be approved by a judge.
How Do I Speed Up The Claims Process?
You can ensure that your Jones Act claim is handled as quickly as possible by swiftly contacting professionals such as lawyers to work on the matter .
Injuries at sea can inflict numerous and significant harms: bodily injury, financial losses, long-term pain even disability, a change in the quality of life, a decline in self-esteem, even a difference in personal relationships. Thus, it is no surprise that seamen want to collect compensation from the wrongful party and move on from the whole affair. Unfortunately, cases can take a long time, even if settlement is the preferred option. Alternatively, if you are working with an insurance company, they often drag their feet and balk at negotiating with unrepresented mariners. Therefore, if you have been injured while working aboard a vessel at sea, it is important that you quickly seek out legal counsel that can move your case along as fast and as effectively as possible. Though a firm should not seek out a fast outcome just to end the matter, it should be able to bring it along with all due to haste to ensure that you recover what you should!
How Should A Jones Act Attorney Help You Through The Claims Process?
A Jones Act attorney should help you by keeping you aware of the status of litigation at all times, answering all of your questions, fronting all resources necessary, and zealously advocating for you at every step along the way.
As much as you should immerse yourself in the entire process of Jones Act claims, hopefully, you will have expert counsel leading the way. During this time, when he or she should be acting as your case quarterback, there are certain things you must expect. First, that you are kept informed and in the loop throughout the entire lawsuit. Second, that the lawyer fronts enough resources to give you a shot at success. Third, and finally, that your attorneys are not conflicted in representing you. These are the promises that we make to every sailor and this is what you deserve.
Call Today, Start Tomorrow!
From the paragraphs above, we hope you gather a sense of urgency. Also, it is not hard to see how complicated Jones Act claims can get. That is why we prefer to act quickly so that your claim is not jeopardized and to allow time to perfect the best possible suit. Call us today so that we can schedule an initial consultation. In that consult, we will work with you to assemble a case strategy that seeks the compensation that you deserve. We will begin immediately the task of fighting for your rights. You can contact us at (888) 424-5757 or through our site.
For additional information see the following pages:
- What Are Jones Act Injury Cases Worth?
- What Laws Govern Jones Act Cases?
- What Laws Govern Maritime Worker Injury Cases?
- What Benefits Are Available to an Injured Seaman Under The Jones Act
- What Should I Do If I'm Injured While Working On A Ship?
- How Long Do You Have To File a Lawsuit For Jones Act Injuries?
- What Type of Damages Are Recoverable Under Jones Act?
- Do I Need A Jones Act Attorney to Represent Me?