How are Jones Act Case Results Determined?

Jones Act Lawyers Review Maritime Accident Cases Legal Process

In this video, Boston maritime attorney David Anderson discusses how evidence is presented, how injury evidence is reviewed in maritime accident cases and how Jones Act case results are determined. If you are a merchant seaman, commercial fisherman, lobsterman or another type of maritime worker hurt on the water, contact our maritime law firm in Massachusetts with more than 50 years of experience representing nationwide maritime accident cases to schedule a free consultation to discuss your best legal options.

Video Transcription

Seaman injury cases are decided by a court. Now, that court can be either a state Superior Court or a federal court and typically, the choice whether to have the case heard either in a state court or a federal court is in the hands of the seaman. In addition to choosing between state and federal court, a seaman also has a choice of trying his or her case in front of a jury or waiving a jury and having a judge try his or her case.

Now, in this office, typically we choose to try the case within the federal court system and, typically, we choose a jury, but that decision varies from case to case. What occurs in these trials is typically the seaman, while with his attorney, will put on evidence as how the accident occurred, the extent of the injury and the way in which the injury affected that individual’s ability to earn income or do the things that he or she enjoys doing.

The insurance company or the owner of the boat will then put on evidence, typically trying to minimize the extent of the injury or to blame the cause of the injury upon the person who was hurt. The jury or the judge as the case may be will hear this evidence, they’ll decide who they think is a more credible witness, what they believe occurred and what the extent of the injuries are and they’ll come out with a decision at the end of the case.

A typical Jones Act seaman’s case typically takes three, four, sometimes five days. In a more complicated case, either because of the nature of the injury or because of how the accident occurred, the cases can actually last somewhat longer. If you have any questions about how these cases end up getting decided, you should call and speak with an attorney at Latti & Anderson.