The Jones Act Statute of Limitations

It is important for legal claims to be brought and resolved within a certain amount of time. That specified period of time is generally known as a “statute of limitation.” As defined, a statute of limitation is a state or federal law that “restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought.”

Statutes of limitations apply to criminal and civil actions, and they are intended to hinder individuals from bringing old and/or fraudulent claims. Lawmakers typically enact statutes of limitations, and they are allowed, in certain circumstances, to either lessen or increase the set time limit. Generally speaking, courts are not permitted to increase the timeframe, unless the statute expressly grants such power.

With respect to criminal cases, many states have statutes of limitations for practically all kinds of crimes, except murder. But when it comes to civil actions, the cause of action under which the claim will be brought will be crucial when making a determination as to which statute of limitations will be controlling. For instance, a seaman who gets hurt or sick might wish to seek compensation for his or her illness or injuries. How long does he or she have to file a case under the Jones Act? When is the best time to file the lawsuit? An experienced Jones Act attorney from Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. can help you answer these questions.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Jones Act Cases?

The statute of limitations that pertains to Jones Act cases places limitations on the length of time that a sick or hurt seaman has to sue in order to recover for his injuries. A Jones Act attorney understands the time allowed will depend on certain factors. In general, seamen (or family members) who are suing under the Jones Act have three years from the time of the actual injury (or death) to bring a lawsuit.

However, injured individuals who perform their job duties on U.S. chartered or government vessels may be subject to a different statute of limitation. For example, the statute of limitations in such cases is typically two years; however, the harmed individual might need to actually file the claim long before that. These exceptions and loopholes in the law are why it is imperative for individuals who are interested in filing lawsuits under the Jones Act to seek legal guidance from a Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. Jones Act attorney as soon as possible to help ensure that the statute of limitations does not expire.

Ensure Your Filing is Timely, Contact a Jones Act Attorney Today

Any eligible maritime worker who has been injured is encouraged to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the occurrence of an injury. While it may seem that two or three years is a long period of time, that time can pass quickly, and if that happens before you have made your claim, you will be barred from doing so in the future.

Bringing a Jones Act case right away is also important because as time passes, hurt individuals and their witnesses may forget certain details and key pieces of evidence may be destroyed or lost.

If you would like to learn more about the statute of limitations and your legal rights under the Jones Act, contact a Jones Act attorney at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. as soon as possible.