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Your Personal Injury Toolkit

What Are My Rights?

You have the right to know what your rights are.

Injured persons usually don’t know what their rights are. Employers and insurers sometimes mislead injured mariners regarding their rights – either by accident or on purpose. For example, some maritime employers mistakenly treat maritime injuries as state workers compensation claims without ever advising the injured mariner of rights they have under federal law (including The Jones Act and general maritime law).

You have the right to have an attorney represent you.

Your attorney deals with your employer and insurance company adjuster on your behalf. Your attorney should be responsible for preparing your claim, negotiating to obtain the maximum benefits to which you are entitled, and assisting you in finding appropriate medical treatment. In many cases, you can have a role in selecting your health care providers.

You also have the right to have your case heard. In most circumstances, if you and your employer or insurance adjuster are unable to agree, you have the right to take your case to a judge or jury. Sometimes, matters of immediate importance (e.g., wrongful denial of maintenance, unpaid wages due, failure to provide medical treatment when warranted, etc.), may be taken up on shortened notice by motion filed in court. In almost all cases in which a claim is filed in court, a trial date will be set for resolution of the claim.

You have the right to not be made a victim a second time.

Injured persons are often victimized twice – first at the time of injury, and then once again as a result of what happens following the injury. This second “victimization” can come at the hands of overzealous adjusters, stingy employers, insurers solely interested in minimizing the loss from a claim, or even uninformed friends with good intentions. The best way to prevent becoming a victim a second time is to obtain immediate competent legal advice.

Retaining an attorney or legal representative is an important act that should not be based solely on advertising or solicitation – including by this web page or any other. A person’s rights may vary dramatically based on their specific situation, and the rights outlined on this page may not directly apply to your case.

For more information, please call us for a free initial evaluation of your specific case.

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