5 reasons you should consult an attorney after being hit by a logging truck

The logging industry has been called one of the most dangerous industries in the world. That’s because, generally speaking, logging is an inherently dangerous activity and there are an almost unlimited number of ways that serious or fatal accidents can occur. The workers involved in the industry are working with dangerous, often outdated equipment, with little or no safety oversight.

And it’s not only the actual logging activities that can be dangerous. Anyone who lives near a logging community knows that logging trucks traveling on our highways can cause serious accidents if the drivers and logging companies don’t ensure that the logs are carefully loaded, balanced, and secured. Further, logging trucks are often old and poorly maintained, and the drivers of logging trucks are often under-trained or poorly paid. Thus, they don’t have an incentive to make sure their logging trucks are properly maintained, which can then lead to all kinds of serious truck crashes.

My law firm is located less than an hour from the East Texas Piney Woods Region, one of the most active logging regions in the country. We have handled a number of different cases involving logging activities, including accidents involving logging work and accidents involving truck crashes.

For example, we obtained a $4,000,000.00 settlement for a logging worker who was hit in the head by a tree that had been cut down and was being transported to a truck for loading.

5 reasons to consult an attorney if you’ve been hurt in a wrecked caused by a logging truck

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of logging activities, here are 5 things you should consider when deciding if you should pursue legal action:

  1. You should strongly consider hiring a Board Certified Injury Attorney. Board Certification means that the lawyer has been vetted by independent agencies to be skilled and experienced in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. It is a mark of achievement and  excellence. It means you are getting a lawyer who knows what he or she is doing, instead of a lawyer who may not have experience working on catastrophic injury cases.
  2. You should consider hiring an attorney with experience in logging-related injury or wrongful death cases. Experience matters. The logging industry will hire experienced defense lawyers in these cases, and you need to ensure that you have a lawyer on your side who is known by and feared by the logging industry—a lawyer with a proven track record of success.
  3. You need to act fast. Often the amount of insurance available is limited. That means the insurance policy will often not be enough to cover all of the injuries or deaths involved in a serious accident. If you wait too long, there may not be any insurance money left for your claim. By filing your lawsuit as soon as possible, you stand a much better chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
  4. Evidence must be preserved quickly. I have personally worked on cases where the evidence disappeared or was destroyed before it could be preserved for the case. While there are ways to prove your case even if the evidence has been destroyed, it is much better to preserve the evidence than to work on a case where the evidence is missing. And one of the only ways to preserve evidence is to have an experienced lawyer on your side who knows how to use the legal system to protect the evidence in your case.
  5. Don’t worry about whether or not your lawyer is local. Geographic location is not important when you’re hiring a lawyer for a catastrophic injury case. In fact, if the accident occurred in a small community or in a remote area, you may not even be able to find an experienced, qualified lawyer locally. You should consider hiring a lawyer with a national reputation. After all, the insurance companies who defend these cases are often not local. They will be based in New York or some other large city and will be nationally known as good defense lawyers. You want a lawyer who has a national reputation and clout in the legal community on your side.

About VB Attorneys: 

VB Attorneys has handled some of the highest-profile accident cases in the United States, including the Captain Phillips pirate hijacking case, the massive I-80 Greyhound Bus accident in Philadelphia, a $17.72 million verdict for the family of an ironworker killed on the job, a $44.37 million verdict for the family of a rigger killed on the job, as well catastrophic injury cases such as trucking and logging accidents.

To speak with one of our experienced lawyers, call us — toll free — at 877-724-7800 or use the contact form on this website to send a confidential message to the firm’s lawyers.

Four people rescued after crewboat catches fire off Louisiana

The Grand Sun caught fire in the Chandeleur Sound off the coast of Louisiana around 2:30 a.m. on October 8, 2018. Four people were rescued from the offshore crewboat by the Coast Guard. The aircrew from the Coast Guard transported the four people aboard the boat to emergency medical services at Air Station New Orleans.

A response vessel has been launched to monitor the vessel’s location and check for possible pollution. No further details were immediately available.

Next steps for crewmembers injured aboard the Grand Sun

The four crewmembers aboard the Grand Sun may be able to file Jones Act injury claims, the maritime equivalent of worker’s compensation claims, for their injuries. Maritime companies have a legal duty to their employees to provide them with seaworthy and safe work environments. Having your offshore crewboat catch on fire appears to indicate the company may not have followed the law.

The crewmembers should file incident reports as soon as possible and then pursue their Jones Act claims if they were injured in this fire. If they were employed by a different company than the one that owns and operates the Grand Sun, they may be able to pursue a third party claim.

If you were injured in this incident or in a similar incident on the water, consult our experienced maritime work injury attorneys today. We will answer your questions, help you learn more about your legal rights, and help you make an informed decision about your next steps. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form.

Know your rights if you’ve been injured in an apartment or house fire

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Fires claimed nine lives per day in 2016 in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. One and two family homes, apartments, town houses, row houses, and manufactured homes,  Apartment or house fires together caused 81% of the civilian fire deaths and 73% of the civilian fire injuries in 2016.  These fires can caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Cooking
  • Heating
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment
  • Candle fires
  • Smoking materials

Fires can happen anywhere, to anyone. However that doesn’t mean they are all your fault. Any of these fires could be caused by a defective product, a negligent builder or landlord, or by another person entirely. When you’ve been hurt in a fire or if you’ve lost a loved one to a house or apartment fire, you deserve to know why. You deserve to be made whole again.

Apartment fires can be especially deadly, since multiple people are sharing the building. In 2016, 325 people were killed in 95,000 apartment fires and 3,375 people were injured. The number of people injured in house fires in 2016 decreased from 11,075 to 10,750 compared to 2015 while the number of fatalities increased from 2,650 to 2,735. There were a total of 352,000 house fires in 2016 in the United States.

These statistics show that we all need to take fire prevention very seriously. And when someone else causes a fire, or if the fire was caused by a landlord’s negligence, you deserve to know why they failed to keep you safe.

You may have legal rights if you’ve been injured in a house fire or apartment fire

If the fire was caused by a defective product, wiring that’s not up to code, or a landlord’s negligence. Also, if your landlord or property manager failed to keep the fire alarms working, the building up to code, or to follow fire prevention laws, you may be able to file a lawsuit to be compensated for your losses. The first step is to investigate the cause of the fire. While the fire department will have their own team of experts on the case, you have the legal right to hire your own experts and conduct an independent investigation.

These investigations usually require the help of a lawyer to cover the costs of hiring the experts and going to court. At our firm, we typically get a hearing with a judge to file a Temporary Restraining Order as soon as possible. This order forces the company, insurance company, and government investigators to do two things:

  1. Give you access to the scene of the fire and all of the evidence.
  2. Prevent any evidence from being tampered with, destroyed, damaged, or thrown away. Evidence tends to disappear quickly after a fire.

We also help our clients find the best experts to examine the scene of the fire and all the evidence to determine why the fire started and who is responsible for what happened to you.

What can you claim in a fire lawsuit?

When you file a lawsuit against a company, a landlord, or a property manager for the injuries you suffered in the fire they caused, you may be able to be compensated for your injuries, any pain and suffering, any lost wages, any medical bills, and for your lost or damaged property. If you lost a loved one in a fire, you may be able to be compensated for their pain and suffering, their future lost wages, and more. If they were treated at an Emergency Room before they died from their injuries, you may be able to be compensated for those bills.

You have a limited amount of time to file your case, depending where you live. Each state has a different deadline. In Texas, you usually have two years to file your case. However, in our experience, the sooner you consult a lawyer about your case, the better your chances of winning your case will be. Evidence disappears and witnesses forget details as time passes. When you consult a lawyer as soon as possible about your case, you will be able to make an informed decision about your case. 

We have helped people who have lost loved ones in fires, been burned in fires, and suffered smoke inhalation from fires caused by defective products, faulty wiring, or unsafe building practices. If you have been injured in a fire and want to find out more about your legal rights, talk to our attorneys today. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on the website.

Texan hit by J.A.M. Distribution 18-wheeler hires VB Attorneys

18-wheeler wreck, truck wreck, truck accident, serious injuries, wreck caused by an 18-wheeler

We have been hired by a Cleveland, Texas, resident who suffered serious injuries in a wreck caused by an 18-wheeler. On August 28, 2018, our client had the right of way at an intersection when an 18-wheeler ran over his car. The truck is owned by J.A.M. Distribution. J.A.M. Distribution is based in Houston, Texas.

Our client suffered serious injuries because of this truck wreck. The jaws of life had to be used to get him out of the car, which caught fire shortly after he was rescued. He was transported to Kingwood Hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple injuries. His injuries have prevented him from returning to work.

He and his wife turned to our firm for help when they found out the insurance claim was denied. The trucking company’s insurer claims that the truck was stolen at the time of the wreck. We have launched an investigation to get to the bottom of this situation. Trucking companies are required to follow federal safety rules to prevent incidents such as these from happening.

Our investigation is ongoing. We will provide updates as the case progresses. To find out how we can help you if you’ve been injured in a similar type of truck wreck, call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form.

Five common causes of maritime crane accidents

crane accidents in the maritime industry

The maritime industry, uses cranes both large and small to efficiently move cargo and supplies. Maritime work is inherently dangerous, but when you add cranes and heavy machinery your changes of injury greatly increase. Many factors cause crane accidents but there are some that are more common than others. Operator error, worker error, mechanical failure, lack of safety equipment and training, and fatigue are just a few of the most common causes of maritime crane accidents.

1. Operator error and maritime crane accidents

 

One of the the most common causes of maritime crane accidents is operator error. Crane operators take on a huge responsibility and should have a great deal of knowledge about the machinery they operate. It is important that they how cranes operate and how to maintain their machine. Unfortunately, not all do.

In a report issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health  one crane accident occurs every 10,000 hours of crane use in the U.S.. Operator error causes nearly 80% of these accidents. Dropped loads, failure to communicate appropriately with workers on the ground, and failure to drive the crane at a safe speed are all common operator errors that have led to disaster and sometimes death.  Operators have a duty to ensure their crane is properly maintained, not overloaded, and that cargo is properly balanced. Catastrophic injuries can and have occurred from failure to do so.

VB Attorneys recently handled a crane accident case against B&G Crane in which a 1,000+ pound water pipe fell on a rigger, crushing him to death. Operator error and improper safety and training by the company resulted in a jury verdict of $44 million for the victims family. Read more about this case.

2. Worker error 

 

The maritime industry is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. One wrong move could end in disaster.  During loading and unloading, crane operators rely on on ground workers to secure items to the load being lifted. Human error or improper training often leads to improperly secured loads. Injuries, and drownings have happened after maritime workers were hit with falling loads during crane accidents causing them to fall into the water.

Seamen are also at risk for trips and falls due to crowded maritime vessel environments made even more dangerous while heavy machinery is operating. Keeping vessels clean and clutter free helps to reduce the chance of injuries. Effective communication between the crane operator and the ground workers is extremely important. This helps to make sure everyone is aware of where they should be and what they should be doing.

VB Attorneys, along with other plaintiff’s attorneys, brought a lawsuit against a Houston refinery by eight workers injured in a  crane collapse in which four workers lost their lives. Learn more about how we settled this case.

3. Mechanical failure and crane accidents

 

Disastrous crane accidents have occurred as a result of improper equipment maintenance or incomplete repairs. A machine is dangerous to everyone around it if any of its parts are not functioning correctly. Especially when used daily, crane equipment that moves heavy and bulky objects is prone to mechanical problems. After time, the stress of bearing huge loads wear down a crane’s components and lead to reduction in structural integrity. Without maintaining this equipment its not a matter of if crane accidents occur, its when.

Promptly repairing machinery when mechanical issues happen is an important practice. Crane components should be properly oiled and inspected on a regular basis to ensure they are safe. Failure to do so can results in serious accidents that can injure operators , damage equipment and other structures or even kill workers surrounding the equipment. It is an employer’s duty to complete appropriate repairs and maintenance.

Our client, Frank received a life-changing injury while in a basket suspended by unknowingly defective crane cables. Even with severe back injuries, his employer, Hercules Offshore fired him. Hear Frank describe how Brian Beckcom helped restart his life.

4. Lack of safety equipment and training

 

 Improperly trained workers and insufficient safety equipment often cause crane accidents. Seaworthiness under the Jones Act, means that a vessel must be able to carry out its intended mission. This means having appropriate personnel directing it that are capable and knowledgeable. On the job error training, instructions on emergency procedures, and proper use of safety protection equipment are all important in minimizing injuries at sea.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure the workers understand the proper way to secure loads or the proper equipment to use for each job. Failure to do so can and has lead to crane accidents involving dropped loads, serious injuries and death. Proper training on the correct way to set up and operate a crane as well as the appropriate equipment to use can seriously reduce the above issues and provide a safer environment for maritime workers.

If you have been hurt in a crane accident due to lack of safety equipment we can help you better understand your options. Get your FREE guide to winning your case and learn more about maritime and offshore injuries.

5. Fatigue, sleep safety and crane accidents

 

Another cause of crane accidents is worker fatigue.  Sleep on a maritime vessel is never guaranteed. Often workers result to caffeine, supplements and other methods to stay awake during their shift.  This is a dangerous combination for those operating cranes and other heavy machinery. Fatigued workers are at a much higher risk of making a decision that could injure or kill themselves or others.

An employer has a duty to provide a safe working environment for all seamen. This includes making sure your crew is well rested and is able to fully and safely complete their assigned tasks. Ensuring that scheduled shifts allow enough time to get restful and restorative sleep is important.  Additionally, screening employees for sleep disorders and providing adequate sleeping quarters and mattresses greatly decreases the risk of crane accidents.

Read more about sleep debt and why fatigue is fatal in the maritime industry. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a crane accident, time is not on your side.

 

We understand that crane accidents can be life altering experiences that can have lasting effects. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a crane accident it is important that you contact a qualified offshore injury lawyer quickly as you may be eligible for damages including compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, emotional trauma, and more. 

By filling our our free and confidential contact form we can speak with you about your case and help you determine the correct course of action to help you get through this trying time. 

Get your FREE guide to winning your case.

Hurt working in the maritime or offshore industry? Time is not on your side. Hire the best maritime injury lawyers in the country to make sure you get the compensation you are owed. 

VB Attorneys appointed as leaders for Zostavax lawsuits

zostavax, zostavax vaccine, shingles vaccine, zostavax lawsuit

We have been appointed part of the leadership committee for the Zostavax multi-district litigation (MDL). This leadership position gives us the ability to use our skills to help out an enormous group of people. This group of people has been hurt by a vaccine that was supposed to prevent shingles but actually caused shingles in some people and hurt some people in even more serious ways.

The Zostavax vaccine has been linked to these health conditions:

  • Autoimmune disorders including:
    • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
    • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
      • Meniere’s Disease
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hearing loss
  • Herpetic Neuralgia
  • Myelitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Postherpetic nueralgia or PHN
  • Serious neurological diseases or disorders including brain inflammation (encephalitis)
  • Vasculitis
  • Vision problems including:
    • Blindness
    • Eye infections
    • Retinal damage
    • Acute retinal necrosis
  • Death

The companies that put their profits over your life need to be held accountable. As the attorneys leading the way in this fight against Big Pharma, we are determined to see justice done. For you, for your loved ones, and for your friends and neighbors.  That means if you know someone who received the Zostavax vaccine and then suffered any of the medical conditions listed above, we can help them.

Big Pharma deliberately chose to put a bad product on the market that hurts people. They are investing millions and millions of dollars to try and protect the money they have made off your suffering. That’s why we are standing up. We are coming together as a community to demand that Big Pharma own up to the harms and losses that they have caused to so many people.

If you know someone who has suffered from their corporate greed, please join our team. Join us in standing up and fighting back. Prevent anyone else from being hurt by Big Pharma. To put an end to unethical companies profiting off people’s suffering, call us now at 877-724-7800 or fill out this contact form. We look forward to helping you.

Zostavax lawsuit facts

zostavax, shingles vaccine, zostavax lawsuit, shingles vaccine lawsuit

Zostavax lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts around the country against Merck & Co., Inc., the manufacturer of the vaccine. These lawsuits claim the vaccine causes serious and sometimes fatal side effects. They also claim that Merck failed to properly inform patients and medical providers of the risk of developing shingles and other serious side effects from this vaccine.

These Zostavax lawsuit facts reveal how widespread the problems caused by this vaccine have become.

  • Zostavax is a live virus shingles vaccine manufactured by Merck & Co Inc. It is designed to prevent shingles in people over the age of 50.
  • 36 million doses of the vaccine were delivered between 2006 and 2017 in the United States.
  • Merck reports that Zostavax’s effectiveness is 51%.
  • More than 1,100 serious adverse events have been reported between 1990 and 2015. 90 of those reported events were deaths associated with the shingles vaccine.
  • Mainly affecting people over the age of 60, shingles is a severe skin rash that tingles or burns. It usually develops in a single site on one side of your body.
  • One out of every five people who get shingles develops long-lasting and potentially permanent nerve pain.
  • In fact, the vaccine may cause you to develop the disease it is intended to prevent – shingles. It may also cause you to develop chickenpox.
  • As of 2017, the CDC is recommending that people get the Shingrix vaccine rather than get the Zostavax vaccine.
  • According to lawsuits, the type of shingles people develop after receiving the Zostavax vaccine is more severe and difficult to treat than if they had not gotten the vaccine.
  • People claiming to have developed shingles from Zostavax must have received their vaccine after 2006.
  • The lawsuits accuse Merck of failing to warn patients about potential Zostavax side effects.
  • The lawsuits accuse Merck of continuing to sell Zostavax even after it knew the vaccine could injure people.
  • The lawsuits also accuse Merck of lying about the safety and effectiveness of Zostavax.
  • Our firm is part of the leadership committee for these shingles vaccine lawsuits against Merck, which means we are best positioned to help people who have been injured by the Zostavax vaccine.

As lead attorneys for the Zostavax cases, our attorneys are fighting to hold Merck accountable for putting their profits over your health. This vaccine is faulty, and Merck sold it to us anyway. Big Pharma has taken your quality of life, and they must be held accountable. If you received the vaccine after 2006 and have suffered any of these conditions, consult our attorneys immediately to find out how we can help you. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential consultation about your potential Zostavax lawsuit.

Technology in England

First and foremost I must congratulate my friends David and Lydia on getting married. They have an incredible story (if you don’t know them ask me about it) and are an incredible couple.I was fortunate enough to be able to attend their wedding in Lancaster which is a beautiful small town in northern England last week. I flew into Manchester on Wednesday morning slept, found a local coffee shop to get some work done in, and got to see a little bit of the town (Manchester Town Hall pictured). I got to Lancaster on a train the afternoon after David’s “stag do” (English bachelor party) and checked into our AirBNB. As soon as I did, I pulled out my iPad and started working on a deposition that was coming up in one of the cases that I have been very involved in and has some very interesting legal issues. I absolutely needed to be able to attend this deposition, but I wasn’t going to miss this wedding. Fortunately, we live in an era where I was able to use my cell phone to call in and my handy-dandy iPad to be able to research, communicate with the other attorneys, take notes, and formulate the questions that needed to be asked. The internet and long distance phone calls are not groundbreaking ideas today, but the fact that this law firm is forward thinking enough to allow me the freedom to be able to use this technology enabled me to fulfill my duties at work and to attend a beautiful wedding. Even more fortunately the deposition ended about two minutes before we needed to leave for the rehearsal dinner where I discovered a delicious new whiskey (Jura) and had a “hot pot” which is a favorite local dish . . . Oh, and to be there to support my friends, ya know . . .

Houston leads nation in fatal crashes

The Houston Chronicle is publishing a series of articles about why Houston’s roads are so dangerous and how we can fix this problem. The first article examines our most critical issues surrounding road safety in the Houston metro region. Sixteen years of federal highway data reveals that Houston is the most deadly major metro area in the nation for drivers, passengers, and people in their path.

Houston is the most deadly major metro area in the country

The nine-county metro region that makes up Houston leads the nation for fatal crashes involving drugs and alcohol, according to the Chronicle’s analysis. Each of the largest twelve metro areas in the country have their own weak spots when it comes to accident data, however only Houston ranks in the top half in every accident category.Houston has the second highest number of fatal crashes per capita on federal highways in the United States. Houston also ranks second for fatal wrecks that involve speeding. We also trail only Dallas when it comes to crashes blamed on someone slamming into stopped congestion on the freeway.When nine out of ten wrecks are caused by poor decisions, you have to examine which poor decisions are being made. In Houston, one of the top poor decisions made by drivers is the failure to control speed. Of our most recent crashes, the Chronicle determined that drivers’ failure to control speed was a leading factor in a majority of those wrecks. Doctors interviewed by the newspaper describe how injuries are much more severe in crashes that occur at higher speeds.Crashes have increased by 50% in the Houston metro area since 2010. In 2010, there were 111,699 crashes and 12,065 serious injuries. In 2017, there were 167,578 crashes and 15,428 serious injuries. The death toll is higher in high speed crashes as well. The death toll of wrecks in the Houston metro area is the equivalent of “three fully-loaded 737s crashing each year at Houston’s airports, killing all aboard,” according to the Chronicle.

Several factors combine to make speeding in Houston unusually dangerous:

  1. Long commutes in the metro region have four out of five people driving alone for an average of 29.5 minutes each way. Data shows drives are getting longer, up more than a minute since 2013.
  2. Roads are designed for maximum speed to move as many people as possible.
  3. Underenforcement of traffic laws. Speeding tickets have dropped across the region in the past three years. The number of officers patrolling for speeders and traffic violators has remained the same despite an increase in population and miles driven in the region.
  4. Politicians oppose automated enforcement such as cameras to catch speeders. On top of that, state lawmakers restrict the use of speed cameras as well as video enforcement of red-light runners. Lawmakers also continue to enforce a ban on sobriety checkpoints.
  5. Roads that give cyclists or pedestrians no place to go other than right into traffic. Houston has fewer than 300 miles of on-street bike lanes in a city of over 6,200 miles of roads.

Why Houston’s roads are so dangerous

Traffic in the Houston metro region has grown from 143 million to roughly 183 million miles of vehicle travel since 2006. However, the number of traffic crashes has far outpaced the increase in driving. An increase in 50% in crashes since 2010 is an indication of a much bigger problem in the Houston area. Speed.Speed is a major factor in crashes where a vehicle runs off the road, where distracted driving caused a fatal crash, and where vehicles collide in intersections. Many drivers don’t fear a penalty for speeding. We Houstonians joke about it to tourists and newcomers. We don’t see it as a safety issue. Instead, we see speed as a personal freedom. Combine this belief with a reduction in ticketing drivers for speeding across the region and you get a deadly combination.According to the Chronicle’s research, Houston police officers ticketed 41% fewer drivers in 2017 than they did in 2012, even though the number of miles traveled in Houston grew 23%. Harris County sheriff’s deputies issued 28% fewer speeding tickets in 2017 than they did in 2015, even though the county gained 100,000 people during that period.Experts say that speeding tickets are an important tool for making our roads safer and preventing car wrecks. In a 2015 study, experts found that for every 1% increase in tickets issued, crashes fell by a corresponding 0.28%. Injuries fell by 0.17%. One of the experts behind the study, Dara Lee Luca, stated, “As unpopular as tickets are, they’re effective.” Houston’s police department is focusing on quality, not quantity when it comes to traffic enforcement. A 2017 initiative to target the underlying problems that cause wrecks has reduced car wrecks by 15% this year to date.

How to settle a car accident claim caused by a speeding driver

While officials are working on reducing the number of serious or fatal crashes involving speeding, survivors of these wrecks may need help getting back to normal. Proving the other car, 18-wheeler, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, or vehicle was speeding can be difficult in some situations. That’s where we come in.Our firm has helped hundreds of Houstonians injured in serious and complex wrecks prove their case. From hiring accident reconstruction experts to prove the other vehicle was speeding to hiring experts in biomechanics that explain how your injuries happened, we know how to prove your case. We also know that insurance companies have trained their adjusters to make it seem as if they are helping you when really they are gathering evidence to poke holes in your claim.That’s why we recommend you get a copy of our insider’s guide to winning your car wreck claim now – before a wreck. Read it and then keep it in the glove box with your insurance paperwork. This guide explains what types of tricks and traps to expect from the insurance company and how to prepare for them. You’ll also find out if you should take the insurance company’s settlement offer or if you should consult an attorney about your claim. Everything in this guide is information the insurance companies don’t want you to know, which is why we’re offering it to you for free. Download your copy of How to Win Your Injury Case.

Five things injured seamen may not know about Jones Act maintenance and cure

After an offshore vessel or drilling rig injury, workers often aren’t sure where to turn or how to proceed. Injured workers are already dealing with medical appointments, lost wages, and anxiety, among other things. More than likely, neither the insurance company nor your employer will be helpful in explaining your options to you.  Fortunately, VB Attorneys is experienced in Jones Act maritime law and Jones Act maintenance and cure laws.  We are here to help you understand what “maintenance and cure” means for your case.

Understanding maintenance and cure in Jones Act maritime law

One phrase you may keep hearing, but may not fully understand is “maintenace and cure”. Jones Act maintenance and cure refers to benefits most maritime workers receive if they get sick or injured. Maintenance refers to income supplement.  Meaning, payments that help you pay your normal living expenses. Cure describes the legitimate medical expenses related to your accident or illness such. This can include emergency care after the accident, follow up surgery, or therapy.

1. Pre-existing conditions do not bar you from maintenance and cure benefits

Having a pre-existing condition in itself does not bar maritime workers from receiving maintenance and cure benefits. Even if the work conducted on the ship aggravated a pre-existing condition, seaman may still be eligible for maintenance and cure benefits. However, this may not apply if at the time of hiring, a seaman misrepresented their preexisting conditions impacting the employers decision to hire them. Unreported injuries on the job also fall under this category. Learn VB Attorneys helped how a twice-injured deckhand settle his Jones Act case with Kirby Marine.

2. Maintenance and cure benefits are separate from Jones Act maritime law benefits

Most injured maritime workers don’t realize that maintenance and cure benefits are separate from their Jones Act claims. Maintenance and cure benefits apply to both land-based and at-sea injuries or illnesses as long as the worker was in the service of the vessel at the time. This applies whether the company is at fault for the injury or illness. Pursuing Jones Act negligence claims are separate under federal statutes for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other medical expenses. Read more about paying your medical bills and expenses after a maritime injury.

3. Maintenance and cure ends when you reach maximum medical improvement

When an injured seamen reaches maximum medical improvement, maintenance and cure benefits will end.  This doesn’t indicate full recovery from your injuries or illness. Reaching maximum medical improvement simply means that a treating physician is determining they do not believe your condition will get any better. Injured workers may still be disabled or could be unable to return to full work duty. A release by the doctor simply means that Jones Act maintenance and cure benefits are ending. Find out how maximum medical improvement is the key to winning your Jones Act case.

4. Injured seamen have a right to unearned wages

Injured maritime workers may not realize they could also have a claim for “unearned wages.” This refers to the the wages he/she would have received if they were able to continue working throughout the remainder of the voyage. However, the amount varies based on the length of the seaman’s voyage and the employment contract.  Determining the length of voyage using other factors is often necessary when no employment contract exists. Learn the formula for Jones Act settlements.

5. Jones Act maintenance and cure law provide for punitive damages if an employer refuses medical treatment

Awarding punitive damages is an attempt to deter defendants (and others) from choosing to engage in similar conduct to which a lawsuit is based upon. An employer who willfully fails to provide proper maintenance and cure may be subject to paying punitive damages.  If an employer refuses to authorize necessary medical treatment or to pay proper maintenance for monthly living expenses a punitive damage claim may succeed. In order to pursue a claim for punitive damages, we recommend collecting all written communications regarding their refusal for use in court. Find out how maritime attorneys win your Jones Act lawsuit.

Consult a Maritime attorney with experience handling Jones Act maintenance and cure cases

VB Attorneys is considered one of the best Jones Act maritime law firms in the country. We understand that you may have additional questions regarding your Jones Act case. Let us walk you through the entire legal process, answer every question, and help you make the best decision for your future. Give us a call toll free at (800) 724-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Greyhound bus hit by semi truck in New Mexico

“It was kind of like being in an apocalyptic movie. It was like the world was ending,” says Joseph Chandler, a passenger on board a Greyhound bus that was hit by a semi truck. The crash occurred on I 40 in New Mexico on August 30, 2018. The truck, owned and operated by Jag Transportation, lost its front driver’s side tire. Losing the tire caused it to cross the dirt median, jackknife, and collide head-on with the bus. Eight of the 49 people on board died from blunt force trauma, including the bus driver.The New Mexico State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the fatal wreck. Authorities have recovered the truck’s electronic logging device and the engine control module and have recovered a similar electronic logging device from the bus. They are also investigating both front tires, obtaining blood from both drivers for toxicological purposes, and obtaining both drivers’ medical records. These are normal investigative procedures for the NTSB, according to their spokesperson.

Jag Transportation sued by family members of two deceased bus passengers

Two lawsuits have already been filed against the trucking company by family members of two deceased passengers. The lawsuits claim the truck driver and the trucking company were negligent. They also list concerns about proper maintenance and inspection of a tire. These concerns are followed up with a recent safety report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that shows the company has reported three crashes in the United States in the last two years.

Injured bus passengers and the families of crash victims need answers. Here’s how to get them.

Getting answers after a bus crash like this one can take months, even years. The National Transportation Safety Board said it themselves that it could take anywhere from 12-24 months for the report to be released on this crash. That’s too long for you to wait. In states such as California, where the trucking company is located, you only have 24 months to file a lawsuit. If you wait on the government to release their report, it may be too late for you to file your case.

Whether you are a survivor of the wreck or a loved one of one of the people who were killed, you deserve answers. Getting them can be another matter. That’s why you deserve to work with a law firm with an extensive track record in holding trucking companies and bus companies accountable in both injury and wrongful death lawsuits can help you get the answers, justice, and compensation you deserve in as short an amount of time as possible.

To start getting answers, your attorney will launch an independent investigation. Because the government’s investigation may take two years or more to result in answers, our firm hires independent experts in accident reconstruction, biomechanics, and more to determine why the crash happened and who is responsible. We work with a judge to get a Temporary Restraining Order filed so none of the evidence goes missing or is tampered with in any way. After inspecting all the evidence and the crash scene, we put the results of our investigation to work for you. This work allows us to make sure we are starting off on the right foot.

Start winning your case now.

Time is not on your side after a crash. Evidence and people disappear. The company has time to find ways to prove they aren’t at fault. You can get pressured into accepting a settlement amount for a fraction of your medical bills. None of this is helping you get answers or get justice.

Consulting an attorney as soon as possible after a crash allows you to focus on what you need to do – recover. If you decide you need to hire an experienced attorney to help you, your attorney will take over all the stress of getting you the result you deserve. That way, you can focus on getting your life back. To start winning your case now, call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on our website.