Whenever a worker is injured on a boat, barge or other vessel on an Illinois waterway, there is cause for concern. Maritime workers often bear the brunt of the negligent decisions made by employers or contractors who cut corners on safety practices for the purpose of making more money.
Below, we have compiled some published settlements and verdicts related to these types of injured seamen cases. If you or a family member suffered a maritime-related injury, we invite you to discuss your case with a lawyer without any cost or obligation.
As with all of our work-related and personal injury cases, our maritime lawyers handle Jones Act injury cases as well as Jones Act claim wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis where there is only a fee charged when there is a financial recovery for you.
The injury lawyers at our law firm can discuss maintenance and cure value, offshore injury benefits, million dollar Jones Act claims and Jones Act settlements, living expenses, general maritime law, and the insurance company process.
How Does the Jones Act Protect Injured Seamen after a Maritime Injury?
An injured seaman and maritime workers enjoy benefits and security under the Jones Act. The Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act) is a federal law passed almost 100 years ago that governs maritime commerce.
It provides compensation to qualifying sailors who have suffered an injury in an accident while on the job or those who developed an illness associated with their job-related tasks. The sailor’s employer pays monetary compensation to the injured worker.
The Act is based on general maritime rules and laws that secure the rights of qualifying seamen. It draws on similar protections given to railroad workers.
So if an injured seaman hurts his knee, suffers death, racks up medical bills, has lost wages, or experiences any other kind of loss or harm in a maritime or offshore accident, they can get compensation.
Our legal team of lawyers, attorneys, and experts has settled many Jones Act Settlements for a Jones Act Claim for maritime injury. We know the law and how to help injured workers on a tug boat or other boat against a company or insurance company in a confidential manner. Call us for a free consultation and our maritime lawyers can review your injury case.
How Do You Qualify for Benefits Under the Jones Act?
To qualify for protections and benefits under the Jones Act, plaintiffs must pass the three-point status factor test based on the vessel’s assignment, connection, and contribution. This test can identify their job status based on qualifications.
To pass this test, workers must illustrate that they worked as a seaman on a consistent basis for the vessel and company in question. This can normally be established by showing they worked there at least 30% of the time.
Next, they will need to show how their injuries qualify them as defined under the provisions of the Jones Act. Finally, they will need to prove that the careless or negligent actions of the vessel owner resulted in their damages.
Our law firm can help a client or clients bring a Jones Act Claim for a personal injury or maritime injury after an accident including offshore injury. Million dollar Jones Act Settlements are not improbable but depend on your lost wages, accident harms, lost compensation, legal damages, medical bills, vessel type damage, family harm, future loss that could accrue, and other things that the seaman lost-maybe even knee or bone injury.
If a young seaman suffered a death, this type and value of case would differ and the family could work with a lawyer or attorney to seek a high verdict for future harm and compensation.
Call our law firm toll free after a maritime accident to see if you may bring a Jones Act claim or other injury case. Jones Act settlements have obtained large value and compensation for an injured worker and they may help you as well.
Jones Act Claim Value for Maritime Personal Injury Case
Jones Act claims for maritime injuries may be worth tens of thousands of dollars or even more. The value of each claim is entirely independent of all others and based on the plaintiff’s pain, expenses, losses as well as any possible disability from the maritime accident.
Our maritime accident injury attorneys fight aggressively on behalf of our client or clients to ensure they receive adequate monetary recovery to pay for hospitalization expenses, medical costs, funds for rehabilitation and injury therapy, daily living expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and attorneys’ fees in a Jones Act Claim.
In some cases where the employer’s actions were egregious, the court system may allow the jury to award the plaintiff client punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages they award in the Jones Act Settlement claim for maritime or offshore injury.
A lawyer or attorney from our firm can discuss a Jones Act claim and settlement with you if you were injured on a vessel or offshore. We have obtained million dollar compensation in settlements for clients and will work in a confidential way for you if you are a client in the future. See what type of help you can get in a case today and what others have obtained with a lawyer against their employer.
What if I Think I Have a Jones Act Claim for Maritime Injuries?
If you suffered an injury or developed an illness from working on a vessel on navigable waters and think you may have a Jones Act claim, you should bring legal action against your employer for all the harm, suffering, costs, and damages that the event caused you .
The Jones Act gives you the right to file this claim. Your case is likely very complicated and will require the skills of an attorney or lawyer from a firm with experience in resolving maritime cases.
Our firm has helped clients bring a case of many types for past and future harm and get over a million in settlements for their injuries, even if it was just one injury to the knee. Call today to hear about how we help clients or a client get settlements against a company who harmed them at sea or offshore.
Jones Act Settlement Summaries
Amount: $600,000 INJURY SETTLEMENT
Late in the summer of 2007, a young 8-year-old boy and his father went out swimming in a lake. They were in Lake County, Illinois. At some point, a boat tried to pass them and accidentally clipped the young child on the foot. He was seriously wounded. His foot was severed in part and required many surgeries and skin graft procedures to cure the injury.
Also, his leg would never be the same because of the disability. He and his father sued the owner of the boat. They argued that his negligent operation of the Illinois boat caused the 8-year-old’s injury and consequential damages.
The defendant speedily replied that the two should not have been swimming at all because the beach season had ended. The two plaintiffs denied that this fact was relevant. In truth, it did not even matter because they settled for $600,000 just before the commencement of the legal trial.
Amount: $250,000 JURY AWARD
Injury: Herniated disc, broken pelvis
A man in his early sixties was unloading several boats when they collapsed on him. He suffered a herniated disc as well as a broken pelvis. He sued the owners of the boats for negligence and contended that they should have constructed a safer work site.
The defendants thought the cause was not the working environment but, rather, the plaintiff’s actions. They alleged that he was working carelessly and should have been safer. Thus, they went to trial over the issue of what caused the accident.
The jury heard the case, deliberated the matter, and returned a verdict of $250,000 for the plaintiff. Ultimately, they decided that the owners should have kept the area safer for all workers.
Amount: $600,000 JURY AWARD
A young woman sued a man after her femur was shattered when his motorboat ran right into her jet-ski. She sustained the aforementioned injury as well as significant medical bills and lost income because she could not attend work for some time.
For these losses, she sued him in a Lake County court for negligence. She alleged that he should have kept better control of his vehicle and that he was responsible for her harm. However, he turned right around and said the whole affair was her fault for similar reasons as she suggested.
They could not find an agreement so the dispute went to trial where a jury split the difference. They gave the young lady $600,000 but also 50% of the legal responsibility for the case.
- Wages: $30,000
- Pain and Suffering: $255,000
- Punitive: $177,000
- Total: $600,000 (Reduced to $300,000)
Amount: $200,000 JURY AWARD
Injury: Ruptured disc
This incident occurred on a casino boat in Will County, Illinois. The plaintiff was working on the boat and instructed to move many large boxes from one side of the boat to the other in a short amount of time.
During the process of completing this task, he ruptured one of his discs. The injured seamen sued his employer under federal law (the Jones Act) that allows workers at sea to recover for work-related injuries.
Due to that substantive law, the only real points that he had to prove were that he was working at sea and injured as a result. To this, the defendant company claimed that they instructed him not to complete the assignment if the boxes were too heavy for him.
Therefore, the real issue that the jury had to decide was did the company direct him to do this? They found that they did but also that the young man was partially to blame.
Thus, they awarded the injured man $200,000 but also 15% of the legal blame for his injuries so he only actually netted $167,280 in recovery.
Amount: $1,200,000 JURY AWARD
Injury: Herniated disc
The accident victim in this case was 34 years old. He was a chief engineer aboard a ship. One day, while inspecting the vessel’s system he slipped and fell on a puddle of hydraulic fuel.
He sustained a herniated disc and a complication to another injury he had previously had, a bulging disc in another part of his spine. The engineer sued his employer for these injuries.
He claimed that they should have maintained the ship in a better fashion and that, as a consequence, it was unfit to be at sea. The defendant countered that the carelessness of the plaintiff triggered the incident, the boat was in fine shape, and that the plaintiff was exaggerating the extent of his damages.
The plaintiff demanded almost $300,000; the defendant offered a little under $200,000; the jury returned a verdict of $1,200,000. However, they also gave him 33% of the fault for what happened so he actually only recovered $800,000.
Amount: $6,500 INJURY AWARD
A young man tried to board a boat from a marina when he slipped and fell into an open compartment of the vessel and sustained various personal injuries.
He sued the owner of the boat for not keeping it covered with a hatch or other device and sued the owner of the marina for not enforcing policies that required such devices.
The boat owner replied that he was not even operating the boat at the time of the incident and that the plaintiff should have obviously noticed the open area sufficient to avoid any injury.
The jury disagreed and collectively held the two defendants responsible for the plaintiff’s damages, though they only awarded him $6,500. Plus, they gave the victim 50% of the blame so he only took home $3,250.
Amount: $29,541 JURY AWARD
Injury: Concussion; bulging disc; neck strain; head laceration
This was a head-on collision of two boats. The victim was one of the passengers and she sustained injuries to her neck and neck. She sued both drivers of the boats for negligence.
Her complaint argued that they both were careless in driving and should have avoided the collision. The driver of the boat she was on said that the other driver caused the crash because that person was towing a jet-skier who came into his lane.
That driver, and co-defendant, also said that the opposing boat operator was responsible. Eventually, the jury decided that they were both at fault and collectively forced them to give the young woman $29,541 in the following legal and medical damages for her injury:
- Medical: $4,541
- Pain and Suffering: $20,000
- Punitive: $5,000
- Total: $29,541
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm About a Jones Act Claim
We invite you to contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today for a free review of your case.
While comparisons may be made to the cases described above, the only way to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case is to have an attorney review your individual circumstance. Contact our office for a free consultation of your case.
Free, confidential case and settlement review today.