pain and suffering

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Maritime Injury Claim?

As an injured maritime worker, you know how dangerous working on the open sea can be. Even the most careful worker can suffer unexpected injuries when something goes wrong or a crew member, captain, or vessel owner acts negligently. What happens then? Are you left to pick up the pieces on your own?

You have legal options. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-473-4443 to set up a consultation with our team of experienced maritime law attorneys.

When You Can Receive Compensation for Pain and Suffering

It’s important to understand the difference between different types of maritime injury claims. Assume you are injured as a result of a complete accident. It was largely unavoidable because human error is always a factor in any situation. However, no one was negligent or failed to take reasonable steps to keep you and others safe.

In this case, you would likely only be entitled to maintenance and cure. This covers your medical expenses and basic expenses while you recover. However, it does not allow you to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

To receive compensation for pain and suffering, you must be able to file a Jones Act claim. The Jones Act does a lot, but a big part of what it does is allow certain maritime workers to sue their employer or vessel owner if they are injured while working. To file a lawsuit, an injured maritime worker must be able to prove that the vessel owner or employer was negligent. They can then request pain and suffering as part of their compensation.

What is negligence in this context? Negligence is a broad term that can refer to many types of action—or inaction. For example, if a vessel owner knew that a component being used on the boat was not approved for the boat’s specific model but chose to use it anyway, they would likely be considered negligent if the component broke and caused injuries later on.

Inaction can also be negligence. If a vessel owner fails to perform basic recommended maintenance and repairs, that is negligent behavior. An employer may be negligent if they do not uphold safety protocols, fail to follow approved training programs or standards, or do not correct unsafe employee behavior.

How Much This Part of Your Claim is Worth

This is perhaps one of the hardest questions to answer when it comes to a Jones Act claim or any claim involving pain and suffering compensation. How do you compensate for time lost to pain and suffering? No amount of money can undo the trauma caused by needless suffering. However, it’s the only way to be compensated legally.

There are no specific parameters set forth under the Jones Act regarding pain and suffering compensation. This means that it’s largely up to the type of injury you have, how much evidence you have proved the appropriate party’s negligence, how egregious their negligence was, and how well your attorney proves your case.

Calculating Pain and Suffering—and Why You Need an Attorney

Since there is so much wiggle room in compensation for pain and suffering, what factors affect how much you actually receive? Your attorney will ask you a wide range of questions to get an understanding of your injury and determine how much you can realistically receive.

Relevant factors include:

  • How often the pain occurs and how long it lasts each time
  • The intensity of your pain
  • Your ability (or inability) to engage in preferred and necessary activities
  • If your pain has damaged or limited your ability to spend time with friends and family
  • Any mental health issues resulting from the pain
  • If anything treats or manages your pain, and how sustainable that solution is long-term
  • How long the pain is likely to last

Choose the Team at Fuquay Law Firm for the Aggressive Representation You Deserve

Don’t wait any longer to fight for the compensation you are owed for a maritime injury. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-473-4443 or send us a message online to learn more about your options right away.

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