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How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

The statute of limitations is a legal enactment that sets a time limit for civil lawsuits. Each maritime claim has special circumstances and may be subject to requirements of which you are not aware. You may qualify to pursue compensation under multiple statutes and each of these may have different requirements – only an experienced offshore injury attorney will know the time limitations applying to your case.

Generally, the statute of limitations in a Jones Act or general maritime claim is three years from the date of injury. The time limit may be shorter or longer in certain circumstances and specific notice requirements may apply to your case. Also, the types of claims that are covered by the Jones Act are limited. The accident must be the result of negligence on the part of an employer or co-worker or must be due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act an injured employee must notify their employer of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence, and a formal claim for benefits must be filed within one year following the date of the injury. If the worker is covered under state workers' comp law, they will not be able to file under the LHWCA. There are additional requirements pertaining to agreement with the employer in filing a claim, and a lawyer will be able to support you in this process. The best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve is to contact a lawyer immediately upon becoming injured or ill in a maritime position.

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