The Jones Act protects injured seamen. To file a Jones Act lawsuit, you must work in the maritime sector. Also, you must spend a minimum of 30% of your working hours on a vessel.
At High Rise Financial, we offer pre-settlement legal funding to maritime employees involved in Jones Act lawsuits. Reach out to learn more about our legal funding options. Check out our answers below to common questions surrounding who qualifies for Jones Act lawsuits, too.
In This Article
- What Is the Jones Act?
- What Are the Requirements for Filing a Jones Act Lawsuit?
- When Should You File a Jones Act Lawsuit?
- What Happens After You File a Jones Act Lawsuit?
- How Much Money Can You Get in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
- Do You Qualify for a Pre-Settlement Loan if You Are Involved in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
- How Can You Get Started with Pre-Settlement Funding During a Jones Act Lawsuit?
What Is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act, also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act, was enacted in 1920. It regulates the shipping of goods between U.S. ports. Under the Jones Act, these goods can only be transported on ships made, owned, and operated in the United States by citizens or permanent residents.
According to the Jones Act, a ship must maintain a crew with a majority of U.S. citizens. In addition, the act stipulates that all ships must be crafted and registered in the United States. The act states that ships that move cargo between two U.S. ports must be owned by companies based out of the United States, and these businesses must have over 75% ownership stake held by U.S. citizens.
In a Jones Act lawsuit, an injured seaman seeks damages. The seaman files a personal injury lawsuit and claims that their employer’s negligence led to their injuries. If the seaman is successful, the employer may be required to pay thousands of dollars in damages.
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What Are the Requirements for Filing a Jones Act Lawsuit?
Along with meeting the Jones Act’s definition of a seaman, you must show a judge or jury that an at-fault party was negligent and caused your injury. You are responsible for providing a burden of proof. This means you must provide compelling evidence and witness testimony to highlight how the at-fault party was negligent and how their negligence led to your injury.
It is also important to note the Jones Act’s requirement relating to vessels “in navigation.” A vessel is considered to be in navigation if it is moving or floating on water, operational, and able to travel without assistance from other vessels. Even if you are injured while a vessel is docked in a terminal, you may still be able to file a Jones Act lawsuit.
If you are considering moving forward with a Jones Act lawsuit, it is beneficial to consult with an attorney. Look for a lawyer that has experience with Jones Act cases. This attorney can review your claim and help you determine if you have a strong argument to request damages.
When Should You File a Jones Act Lawsuit?
You should file a Jones Act lawsuit as soon as you suffer your injury. In this scenario, you should report your injury to your supervisor and do so within seven days of it happening. You will also need to file an accident report that details how you suffered your injury and who is at fault.
It can be beneficial to hire a Jones Act lawyer that can help you pursue your claim. Your attorney can help you seek the most damages possible. Plus, your attorney can guide you through the legal process and serve as your legal representation every step of the way.
During your case, you and your attorney will need to prove negligence. This will require you and your lawyer to work together to gather evidence and witness testimony and figure out the best way to present it. You and your attorney can communicate and collaborate with one another, so you can build a compelling argument.
What Happens After You File a Jones Act Lawsuit?
You can file your Jones Act lawsuit against a vessel’s operator or owner or another seaman. When you do, the defendant is notified about your lawsuit. The defendant has the option to prepare for trial or propose a settlement.
Many Jones Act cases are resolved outside the courtroom. If a defendant proposes a settlement that lines up with a plaintiff’s expectations, both parties can agree to it. At this point, the defendant and plaintiff settle their court without a trial.
If a defendant and plaintiff cannot reach a resolution on their own, a Jones Act lawsuit is reviewed by a judge or jury. The defendant and plaintiff present their respective arguments in a trial. The judge or jury then makes a decision about whether to award damages.
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How Much Money Can You Get in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
You can request economic and non-economic damages in a Jones Act lawsuit. You may request damages for several reasons, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Your attorney can help you determine how much to request in damages in a Jones Act lawsuit. To do so, your lawyer will look at any expenses relating to your injury to date, along with any future costs. Then, your lawyer can help you seek the maximum amount of damages in your Jones Act lawsuit.
Keep in mind that you will need to keep paying your bills on your own for the duration of your Jones Act litigation. If you need money before your case is resolved, you can pursue a personal loan from a bank or credit union. However, a pre-settlement loan may prove to be a better option.
Do You Qualify for a Pre-Settlement Loan if You Are Involved in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
The best lawsuit loan company offers pre-settlement legal funding for plaintiffs involved in Jones Act lawsuits. To get a lawsuit loan, you can fill out an application. From here, you can find out how much money you can receive through a pre-settlement loan.
A lawsuit loan company determines how much money you can receive based on the strength of your case, projected settlement amount, and other factors. It does not require a credit check or a review of your financial history.
Meanwhile, a pre-settlement funding company does not require you to repay your lawsuit loan if you lose your case. In this instance, the company takes full responsibility for your loan. This means you keep the money that was given to you and that you are not required to pay it back at any time.
How Can You Get Started with Pre-Settlement Funding During a Jones Act Lawsuit?
High Rise Financial offers pre-settlement funding loans for plaintiffs involved in a wide range of personal injury cases. To learn more about our pre-settlement loans, please contact us today.
Call or text (877) 735-0016 or fill out our form to apply today for free.