The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is primarily a statute of the US federal government to ensure that inland transport of cargo and people are carried out by American vessels manned by Americans. However, the Jones Act also provides for the protection of the civil rights of seamen from work-related injury and death, and is often cited in personal injury cases usually handled by a maritime lawyer conversant with the intricacies of maritime law.
Maritime work is inherently dangerous, which is why the Jones Act parallels the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) protecting railroad workers in many respects. However, the provisions of the Jones Act with respect to personal injury claims need to be navigated carefully for a successful claim, because interpretations of negligence and liability can be tricky depending on the circumstances of the case.
Take for example the claim in Perkins v. American Electric Power (Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001) where a second mate sustained serious injury because of a defective ratchet supplied by AEP. The contention was that AEP was negligent in that it failed to ensure the safety of its crew by providing adequate tools and training to carry out their tasks without fear of injury. The plaintiff, James W. Perkins, lost the case in district court, but was granted a partial reversal on appeal.
The case illustrates that while the ratchet was clearly defective, the plaintiff failed to provide evidence that AEP knew about the defect and allowed its use anyway. Moreover, the work history of the plaintiff negated the allegation that he needed additional training to do the task that resulted in his injury. The saving grace was that AEP was found negligent under the doctrine of seaworthiness inherent under the Jones Act for not providing safety ropes or handrails that may have prevented the accident.
It is not enough to think you have a clear case of negligence to prove a personal injury claim under the Jones Act because proving negligence requires a myriad of conditions to be met. Expert knowledge and experience of a maritime lawyer is needed in handling the case to have a reasonable hope of success.
The loss of a loved one can be difficult to deal with, especially when you know the cause of death is due to another person’s negligence or recklessness. Although nothing can ever fully compensate for the damages caused by this type of loss, filing a wrongful death claim can help those struggling to deal with this type of tragedy to relieve the financial burden they may have received.
When filing for wrongful death claims, personal injury lawyers advise clients to ask for compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages and medical bills. The bereaved family can also ask for punitive damages if they would like to penalize the responsible party for their wrongdoing. Compensatory damages can also be asked for the loss of companionship.
Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits share some similarities, mainly because both occur as the result of willful or negligent actions on the part of others. However, wrongful death claims differ from personal injury claims, such as medical malpractice claims, in terms of the types of compensation that may be awarded and who is legally entitled to file the claim.
Compensation for wrongful death covers only things such as lost wages, medical treatments, and funeral expenses, as well as the pain and suffering the family may have experienced. Certain states also have some limitations on the amount of compensation the responsible party can give to the victims’ family. Knowing more about state laws regarding these things by asking personal injury lawyers can help you to better understand your legal rights and options in this tragic circumstance.
Filing a wrongful death claim can help in holding the responsible party accountable for their negligence or recklessness. This is especially important in those cases in which those who caused the death to occur face no other potential penalties for their irresponsible conduct.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth defects that affect newborn children in the United States. It is a permanent health condition where the muscle and body coordination is affected, causing problems in physical movements. Although there are also mild cases, severe and lifelong cases can affect the victim and their families.
The lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia) or the body (asphyxia), premature childbirth, or birth traumas are the leading causes of cerebral palsy. When medical malpractice is the cause of your child’s condition, it would be best to consult medical malpractice lawyers in order to get assistance in arranging compensation and making sure the hospital and its staff are well reprimanded for their errors.
For medical malpractice to be the trigger of your child’s cerebral palsy, medical professionals may have:
- Failed to recognize the prolapsed umbilical cord
- Neglected and insensibly mistook the use of instruments during childbirth
- Overlooked the treatment for the mother’s infections such as meningitis
- Failed to properly check the child’s heart rate before and during labor
- Delayed or failed in performing caesarian section procedures
Although cerebral palsy does not get worse as the child grows up, it can still pose a huge challenge in their everyday life. The symptoms of cerebral palsy can only be determined after a proper diagnosis and these symptoms can appear after some years. This serious and incapacitating condition not only affects the child as they grow up, they also affect the parents. And because it is a lifelong condition, it treatment can lead to financial burdens. Compensation from the medical errors made by the doctors and other staff responsible for the condition can help in maintaining the medical care of the child, as well as punishing the people responsible for the condition.
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