Every job has its share of occupational hazards. And maritime jobs are no exception. If you are hurt while working at sea or on sea-going vessels, you may be entitled to financial restitution for the resulting injuries and other damages per the Jones Act.
However, it’s important to understand that most legal claims are governed by a statute of limitations. Basically, this is the timeframe within which the injury victim must bring their lawsuit against the defendant. According to the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of your injury or the discovery of a work-related illness to file your claim.
But when exactly is your claim covered by the Jones Act?
Generally, any injury or illness that is developed while working in a service vessel falls under the Jones Act and is, thus, covered by the maritime statute of limitations. In other words, if you can trace your injury or illness back to a hazardous condition that you encountered while working on a service vessel, then you must bring your claim within the three-year statute of limitations timeframe.
So why does the statute of limitations exist?
If you do not file your claim within three years, you will, at best have a hard time getting a positive outcome. In fact, your claim may be refused, and this means that you will never receive the compensation you deserve to take care of your medical bills and other losses.
Protecting your rights
If you are injured or if you develop an illness while working on a sea-going vessel, you may be eligible for compensation for the resulting economic and non-economic damages. To receive the compensation you deserve, however, you must act on time.