Getting Compensation: Court, Insurance or Work Comp
Getting Compensation After an Injury at Sea or in the Harbor
Jones Act insurance • maritime injury lawsuit • worker's comp
How you get compensated and the amount of money you can receive will depend on:
At the Anchorage law office of Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP, our maritime injury lawyers help people injured in Alaska get the money they need and deserve after maritime accidents. For 20 years our lawyers have been dealing with maritime insurance companies and Alaska’s judges and juries. If you suffered serious injuries while working in the harbor or on a fishing vessel, contact a maritime attorney at Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP, or call us at 1-866-974-9633.
Dealing with an insurance company
In most cases, the boat owner's insurance company is responsible for paying damages resulting from a seaman’s or fisherman’s injuries. The insurance company will appoint an insurance adjuster to perform an initial investigation, take statements from witnesses and handle the payment of your medical bills (cure) and daily living benefits (maintenance).
Insurance adjusters are not your friends. Their job is to protect the insurance company’s bottom line and to "adjust" your benefits down as much as possible. They are skilled at getting you to say things that may be detrimental to your case. It is extremely important that you make no recorded statements without consulting an attorney. You do not have to; protect your rights. Call us if an insurance adjuster is demanding that you provide a recorded statement.
Your maritime injury trial: judge or jury, state or federal court?
The law protects injured seaman and fisherman. For one thing, it allows the seaman the exclusive right to demand that a judge or jury decide a case. Some cases are better coming to a judge, rather than a jury. Our attorneys have extensive experience in court and can tell you whether we think your case should go before a judge or jury. Fisherman can also choose state or federal court; sometimes facts in a case make it better to file in one of Alaska’s state courts. In many cases you also have the option to file in the state of Washington.
Fishermen generally cannot receive worker's comp benefits, with one important exception: fish processors who work on factory ships or processing barges moored within three miles of the Alaskan coast. Fish processors are covered by both the Jones Act and Alaska workers' comp laws, so injured workers have dual coverage.
Don’t guess about what benefits you are entitled to
There are big differences between the remedies offered under the Jones Act remedies and those provided by Alaska’s workers' compensation benefits. If your employer has placed you on workers' comp but you believe you qualify for greater benefits under the Jones Act, contact an Alaska maritime injury lawyer at Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP for a free consultation to discuss your unique case.