TriMark Legal Funding has been a premier provider of Jones Act lawsuit funding since 2003. Lawsuit loans are available to injured seamen to help them stay afloat through a storm of financially distressing litigation. We understand how an injury can threaten your health, livelihood, and even your recovery, and we are here to help.
Suing your employer under the Jones Act for the injuries you sustained while working on a vessel usually comes with a boatload of challenges. Some defendants do everything in their power to prolong the battle. Others might try to sweet-talk plaintiffs into accepting lowball settlement offers. To mitigate these risks, many plaintiffs rely on Jones Act lawsuit funding.
Meanwhile, you’re barely scraping by because of the loss of employment and increased out-of-pocket medical costs. Add the everyday expenses and the ballooning debt you’ve had since you sustained an injury can be overwhelming.
If you’re running out of cash, consider applying for maritime pre settlement or post settlement funding. This financing approach lets you cover urgent needs by maximizing the dormant value of your settlement or compensation.
You can channel the funds into your bills, expenses, and liabilities. And afford to wait some more while your attorney negotiates a better deal.
Keep scrolling below to find out more about this solution.
Jones Act Lawsuit Loans
Maritime workers do not qualify for workers’ compensation under maritime law. Instead, their rights to protection, particularly when they sustain a personal injury or sickness at sea, are covered by the Jones Act.
Through this statute, you can claim damages if you can prove your employer’s negligence or the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
But having a pending Jones Act case does not often go swimmingly. While it is worth fighting for your compensation, receiving your settlement is a slow, time-consuming process.
While many plaintiffs await their payout, they need money to tide them over now. This is where Jones Act lawsuit funding comes in.
Despite being called loans, this Jones Act lawsuit funding provides you with an accessible and affordable cash advance. You’re borrowing against a portion of your future recovery without any recourse. That means you walk away free if you lose or do not reach a fair settlement agreement.
Here at TriMark, we use a non-compounding interest system to safeguard your anticipated money. We offer low rates, capped at 2x (you’ll only pay double the advanced amount come payout time) on all Jones Act lawsuit funding.
Best of all, you can get your money as early as tomorrow if you apply today.
How Do Jones Act Pre Settlement Loans Work?
Would you risk sinking a meritorious case because you can no longer afford the delay in settlement or trial?
It only takes several steps to advance the value of your settlement so you can use it on important matters:
- Apply: Fill out an application form online or speak with one of our friendly Jones Act lawsuit funding experts, who will process the application for you.
- Review: Give us 24 to 72 hours to gather more information about your case, closely working with your lawyer on this matter.
- Fund: Receive an update about the approval of your case. If you made it, your funding request will be in your account in one to 24 hours of approval.
How Do You Qualify for Jones Act Lawsuit Funding?
To receive Jones Act lawsuit funding, you must satisfy the following:
- You must be represented by a contingent-fee attorney.
- Your case must be pending or already settled/won a jury verdict. Call us at (877) 932-2628 for clarification on whether or not your case qualifies
- Your settlement payout must pass through your attorney’s trust account. The case is ineligible if proceeds will be sent directly to the plaintiff.
Maritime Accidents and Jones Act Litigation
What we commonly refer to as the Jones Act is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It serves to protect U.S. merchant commerce by requiring domestic vessels to be built, owned, and crewed by American citizens or permanent residents.
Through one of its provisions, it extends the protection to seamen in case they sustain an injury – or pass away – at work. Maritime workers do not qualify for protections under terrestrial law, such as workers’ compensation. So the Jones Act provides eligible employees at sea the way to sue their employers for injuries and recover compensation for their medical care and support.
You can claim for compensation based on the negligence of the ship’s owner or the unseaworthiness of the vessel.
Terms to Remember
Understanding some terms under the Jones Act should help you navigate the legal aspects of suffering harm in the workplace:
- Seaman: Prior to the act, the definition for this term was broad. Now, it refers to a maritime worker who spends at least 30% of their working hours on a vessel in navigation. Crew members, including deckhands, captains, fishermen, engineers, electricians, cabin boys, river and bar pilots, seal hunters and stewards who satisfy this requirement can file a claim against their employer in case of injury.
Non-seaman maritime workers may qualify for the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA).
- Vessel: Any watercraft or other means of water transportation falls under this category. Important, however, it is to note what is considered vessel “in navigation”.
For this, a ship, boat, or any other vessel does not need to be moving for the seamen to be recognized as working on one. It just has to be afloat, capable of moving, in operation, and in navigable waters. Some examples are cruise and cargo ships, fishing boats, and tugboats.
Meanwhile, a drilling platform found at the bottom of the ocean is technically not in navigation because it isn’t afloat.
Navigable waters are any body of water plied by maritime merchants involved in interstate or foreign commerce.
- Negligence: This recognizes that the party at fault, such as an employer, is guilty if it had knowledge of danger on the vessel and did not correct and warn the crew (and passengers) about it. The cause only has to have at least a minor connection to the injury for there to be negligence.
● Unseaworthy: This is used to describe a vessel that is not in a reasonably fit condition to sail at sea based on its intended purpose, which includes carrying people
Liability claims can be based on the employer’s failure to fix an unsafe condition. It is not necessary for you to prove that the liable party foresaw the harmful outcome. However, the act of neglect should correspond with noticing and having the opportunity to correct the hazard.
Examples include the inability to warn seamen of a known danger, insufficient safety instruction, and even assault made by another crew member.
Under the Jones Act, a vessel is unseaworthy if it fails to ensure the safety of the injured employee. It also involves the lack of proper equipment for which the crew member has to do their job.
The list is long, but some examples are missing or broken components, such as ladders and handrails; incomplete and outdated equipment; failure to update said equipment; lack of crew members or training; and unsafe work practices and policies.
The owner’s prior knowledge of the hazard is not necessary for as long as you can prove proximate cause between it and your injury.
Maritime Employers’ Responsibilities and Liabilities
Before the Jones Act was enacted, seamen could claim damages based on two causes: unseaworthiness and maintenance and care. When the federal statute expanded on the general maritime law by adding negligence.
Under this law, the court will also consider which of these three theories of recovery you may pursue:
Maintenance and Cure
The courts have long recognized the duty of “maintenance and cure” of the vessel owner or employer to injured or sick employees. Should seamen fall into an accident or illness during a voyage, whomever they’re working for must pay for their maintenance and cure. Punitive damages may await willful and wanton refusal on the liable party’s side.
Unseaworthiness of the Vessel
Another remedy for those who are exposed to the “perils of the sea” is the right to claim damages for an injury due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel. Employers do not necessarily have to know about the unsafe condition beforehand to be culpable. While the vessel does not have to be maintained in perfect condition, it has to be reasonably fit for its intended purpose.
Essentially, negligence relies on the fact that the owner or employer noticed an unsafe condition and failed to do something about it. In other cases, the plaintiff must prove that the risk of injury was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant. But this is not necessary under the Jones Act.
Compensation & Comparative Fault
After establishing the cause of action, the court will determine the type of compensation you may recover. You may receive an award for the following: medical expenses; past and future loss wages, loss of or reduction in earning capacity; pain and suffering.
The doctrine of comparative negligence is at work in the hearing of a Jones Act case. This means that compensation, except for maintenance and cure, may be reduced if the plaintiff is found to be partially responsible for their injury. The reduction is in proportion to the percentage of fault.
For example, if you’re 25% liable, then you will be receiving less 25% of your initial compensation. That leaves you with 75% to recover.
If you’re unfairly denied maintenance and cure, you may recover the costs you accumulated while pursuing these benefits, such as attorneys fees. If the denial is based on willful and wanton refusal, you may be awarded punitive damages.
In case of death, the spouse, children, or any close relative in the absence of the first two may recover damages from the vessel owner or employer. Benefits include compensation for loss of support and services.
How Seamen Can Protect their Rights After an Injury
No matter how slight your employer’s contribution of negligence to your injury, you only need to prove just as much to file a claim.
Remember that you have to initiate the process within one week of your injury to protect your rights. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Report the Injury: Report the injury to your senior officer, captain, or employer within seven days.
- File the Official Accident Report: Make sure the incident enters the captain’s log. Also, you have to make an official statement about your injury through the Report of Marine Accident, Injury, or Death (CG-2692) form. Your supervisor or captain should be filing the report for you.
- Seek Medical Treatment Immediately: Seek medical assistance from the medical officer onboard or your health care provider. Do not sign any form if you’re under medication. Should you need to do so, hire legal counsel to ensure your employer doesn’t go overboard and put all the blame on you.
- Find an Attorney If You Must: See above.
- Settle the Claim or Go to Trial: Your lawyer can help you steer the case toward a favorable claim or verdict.
Most of the time, it may also feel like you’re stranded at sea because of a protracted legal tussle, you can also rely on a legal funding company to survive the long game.
- Understand your seaman status through the lens of this case.
- Read more about the Merchant Seamen Protection and Relief of the Jones Act.
- See a sample of the CG-2692 form here.
Apply For Maritime Pre Settlement Funding Now
Does waiting for your Jones Act settlement feel like sailing through rough seas?
Don’t fret. If you need to overcome some serious waves of financial distress, TriMark can help.
Our pre-settlement and post-settlement Jones Act lawsuit funding solutions may just be what you need to stabilize your finances and maximize the value of your future recovery today.
Without much ado, let’s get you the means to restart with the money you’re promised – ASAP.
Apply for Jones Act lawsuit funding online. Or call us at (877) 932-2628, and one of our litigation funding specialists will take your information right over the phone.
Don’t wait for tomorrow if you can move things along today.
So why wait?