HomeMaritime Law BlogMaritime Injury ClaimsFive Tips for Proving Negligence in a Jones Act Claim

Five Tips for Proving Negligence in a Jones Act Claim

The Jones Act Statute of Limitations and Your Negligence Claim

When a serious offshore injury is caused by the negligence of another party such as your employer they may be held liable under maritime laws. Liability in negligence cases must be claimed and proven within the timeframe of the Jones Act statute of limitations.

To begin a negligence claim against your employer for a serious offshore injury you must do so within 3 years of the date of injury or death of the seaman. If the Jones Act statute of limitations expires before you file a claim you may not be able to take legal action to recover damages from your injuries.

Large maritime employers like an offshore drilling co. will often have entire legal departments dedicated to handling negligence complaints. They will have experienced maritime defense attorneys on their side to try and deny or damage your claim. It’s important to have your own legal team with knowledge of Jones law and employer negligence to help you with your injury claim.

5 Tips to Prove Negligence in a Jones Act Claim

Maritime law and the Jones Act are complex areas of the law, generally requiring the experience and counsel of an attorney that specifically handles these types of liability cases.

Check out these five tips that could help you satisfy the burden of proof for your Jones Act claim:

Don’t delay in notifying your employer of your injuries or in getting medical care. You can nullify your claim if you wait too long or fail to seek medical treatment.

Start collecting evidence early. As soon as you’re able, start rounding up all the documentation and evidence you can find. The more you have to work with, the better your lawyer can prove your claim.

Brainstorm all the ways your employer could have contributed to your accident. Did the employer properly train you in safety protocols? Did the employer make you aware of the risks you were facing?

Keep an injury journal. In addition to proving that your employer was negligent, you’ll also have to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and how they affected your daily life. Keeping an injury journal is a good way to record this info.

Consult a legal professional. These are not the sorts of claims you want to try to handle on your own. In order to successfully prove a Jones Act claim and to obtain all the financial recompense that you’re entitled, you’ll want to begin looking for a maritime attorney as soon as possible.

Defining Jones Act Negligence under Jones Law

The foundation of your Jones Act negligence claim is the evidence proving that another party was responsible for causing your accident and injuries. Typically in these cases it is your employer who is held liable for your injuries due to negligence for employee and worksite safety.

There are many types of negligence that can be present on maritime jobsites with an offshore drilling co. or oil rig, including:  

  • failure to provide safety equipment;
  • improper maintenance of facilities or equipment;
  • disregard for safety violation reports;
  • ignoring reports of hazards; and
  • forcing employees to work in hazardous or inadequate conditions.

With as many types of negligence as there are, it can often be difficult to determine how your injuries were caused by the fault of another. When you’re not sure how to prove the cause of your injuries, it’s best to contact an attorney who handles Jones law cases to assess your claim.

Jones Law Claims Require Evidence

When you are claiming Jones Act negligence against your employer at an offshore drilling co. you need to show evidence of the negligent actions. Evidence can come in many forms, but can often be difficult to obtain, as it can come in the form of employer records. Some of the common types of useful evidence in your claim can include: 

  • photographs of the accident site and your injuries;
  • medical records of your injury care;
  • doctor evaluations determining your prognosis;
  • maintenance and ship/platform records;
  • duty records; and
  • witness statements.

While some of this evidence such as witness statements and photographs may be easy to gather on your own, most employers are hesitant in turning over potentially incriminating records such as maintenance logs that show failure to maintain equipment. A major benefit of working with a Jones law attorney is that they may have a better chance at requesting and obtaining these records than you would alone.

When an injured seaman files a Jones Act claim, he has a legal burden to prove that the employer was negligent, and that the employer’s actions caused the accident and injury.

Consulting a Jones Act Attorney for Legal Advice after an Injury

You have certain protections your employer may not want you to know about under the Jones Act. The statute of limitations is just one aspect you need to work around when filing a claim of Jones Act negligence. An attorney from The Young Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana, can help you if you have suffered injury due to the negligence of your offshore drilling co. or other maritime employer.

Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to what to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.

When you are ready to get started with your Jones Act injury case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – call us at 504-680-4100.

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