Jones Act cases are typically worth how much the incident cost you initially and affected you long-term. Add up all of your out-of-pocket costs and then add twice that amount to account for your intangible injuries to figure out what your Jones Act claim can be worth.
How much can I get? When speaking with injured sailors, this is usually the first thing off their tongues. You can hardly blame them. Most people only contemplate bringing a claim to trial after suffering substantial losses because they take time and energy. Seamen have some of the most extensive injuries and damages so they want to know if they can get them reimbursed through a lawsuit. Answering exactly how much any particular case is worth, however, involves analyzing a number of factors such as costs, long-term suffering, case strategy, and case preferences. A good place to start is to calculate costs because they are undeniable but, remember, you can also recover for intangible losses that you will suffer in the future due to the accident.
What Expenses Did The Jones Act Injury Cause You?
Generally, Jones Act incidents come with certain expenses including medical, transportation, and property damage. To figure out what a Jones Act claim will be worth, tally these expenses and others related to the event.
Where are your receipts? Sea injuries inflict medical bills, prescription costs, transportation charges, and a whole basket of other expenses. Sailors should not have to shoulder these if the incident was caused due to the negligence of the ship owner, captain, or another crewmember. Also, these costs are incredibly important to itemize and highlight at trial because they indisputably show a jury that you were harmed and affected in a material way. They set a baseline of what your case could be worth, assuming you had nothing to do with the accident.
How Did the Jones Act Injury Affect You?
Typically, Jones Act accidents affect sailors long after the actual event. They suffer enduring pain, disability, disfigurement, and other intangible harms that are all recoverable in court.
You can add on to the baseline of case value that injury expenses set by mentioning long-term suffering, disability, or disfigurement. All of these intangible kinds of harm pop up in ship accidents and they do so frequently. If you suffer any of these, you might find yourself unable to do things you used to be able to do. Additionally, you can experience a lack of self-esteem, changed quality of life, and pain on a regular basis. It might be harder to prove to a jury that these changes exist but the law definitely recognizes them as a source of damages in your Jones Act claim.
How do You Calculate Jones Act Claim Worth?
You calculate Jones Act claim worth by looking at a couple of key categories. First, add up all of your out-of-pocket expenses. Then, note any intangible, non-economic injuries. We typically see compensation for the latter as much as two times what the expenses were. Therefore, if you had one hundred dollars in out-of-pocket expenses, you could see as much as two hundred dollars in compensation for non-economic losses making a total of three hundred dollars in recovery. This is just a crude example and not predictive of any specific case because they are all different. However, it is a good rule of thumb that can help begin the estimation of possible compensation.
What Can You Prove in Your Jones Act Claim?
In a Jones Act case you have to prove that a ship owner, captain, or crewmember negligently injured you or that the ship was unseaworthy while you worked on the vessel in passage.
You might have all the damages and injuries in the world but if you cannot prove them then you cannot recover for them. This is where good representation makes all the difference in the world. A qualified attorney can come in and itemize all of your expenses, chart all of the medical visits you made, and analyze how past plaintiffs have demonstrated their non-economic losses. There are particular ways in which the court recognizes these claims and unless you have an attorney that understands this you can lose out. Our group of sea injury lawyers has worked with sailors in the past and can show you exactly what you need to do to obtain recovery. We invest all the staff, resources, and attention that every case deserves so that seamen get compensated and can move on with their lives following an incident.
What is The Timeline of a Jones Act Claim?
The timeline for Jones Act claims is usually one year to one year and a half. Also, the path is normally investigation, discovery, and then trial or settlement. There is some variation but this is the general template for litigation.
Your Jones Act case value can be affected by the timeline you chose. However, you might find that you would a quicker settlement versus going through the whole procedure of trial. If you do, then your compensation could be shaped by that decision. Average settlement values of Jones Act cases differ from average jury awards and it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to understand the difference.
Get in Touch With us Today!
Thus far, we have touched on several factors that can shape the amount and nature of your recovery in a Jones Act case. However, simply looking at these things will not definitively answer what you can get in terms of compensation from a lawsuit. The facts and circumstances of your particular incident and injury will fall uniquely onto the jury. This is why you need to get in touch with us today. We can give you a better prediction after meeting with you and understanding what happened. Also, we can start all the preparations that Jones Act cases require. So give us a call at (888) 424-5757 or reach us through our site and learn what recovery could be waiting for you!