Abbott Clay & Reed

My boss wants me to sign this form…

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on June 14, 2009 at 7:40 AM

One of the most common reasons that people lose their chance to make a valid claim under the Jones Act is because they sign something after their injury without fully understanding what they may be signing.

This isn’t meant to insult anyone’s intelligence, it is merely meant to put things all in their proper perspective. After you are injured on the job while at sea, your employers are immediately going to see the possibility of a Jones Act claim being laid against them. While you likely do not have the services of a full time Jones act lawyer on your staff, as a company which employs several people at sea, it is a safe bet to ensure that your employers do. In fact, many larger shipping companies have entire legal departments, staffed with several experts in this area.

Many times, immediately after you are injured your employer and their lawyers are going to overwhelm you asking you to sign various documents, which may either state that the events occurred in a certain way or that waive certain portions, if not all, of your rights. It is always good advice to never sign legally binding documents without first having a lawyer review them, but this is doubly important in this type of a situation.

When you’re injured on the job, your ability to earn income and sustain your standard of living can be seriously in jeopardy unless you have a means of being paid fairly for an on the job injury. That is why you need to seek the services of a lawyer who specializes in Jones Act cases as soon as you can following your injury; especially if your company is trying to make you sign documents of any kind after the accident. The most basic and safest rule to follow whenever you sustain an injury on the job, whether on dry land or sea, is to never sign anything until you consult with a lawyer who specializes in your type of on the job injury.

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