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Were you recently critically injured in a work-related accident at sea? If so, international and federal admiralty and maritime laws likely apply. If you hope to access the compensation you are entitled to, you may need to work with a maritime lawyer to protect your rights.
However, you may be intimidated or overwhelmed by the thought of pursuing your case. Thankfully, when you understand what to expect when working with a maritime injury lawyer, you may feel more confident in pursuing your case.
Here is how the maritime injury claims process works and how your maritime lawyer will help you demand justice.
1. How to Know When You Need a Maritime Attorney
One of the most common ways to tell you you need a maritime injury attorney is when you are unsure whether you need one. For example, suppose you were unsure whether you had the right to pursue legal action after suffering an injury aboard a cruise ship or as a maritime worker.
In that case, you might contact a reputable admiralty lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. to determine your next steps.
Other instances in which you might find it necessary to hire a maritime attorney include:
- Injuries that occur due to toxic spills, waste, and water pollution
- Boat accidents caused by negligence or defective boat parts
- Dock accidents and injuries
- Wrongful death
- Injuries to seamen
- Longshoreman injuries
- Cruise ship passenger injuries
- Cruise ship worker injuries
- Explosions and fires
2. Advantages of Having a Maritime Injury Attorney on Your Side
Depending on the type of maritime accident you were involved in, there are several advantages to having an experienced attorney working for you. Some of the top benefits you get include:
- A legal advocate with extensive knowledge and experience in maritime laws
- Help determine whether you have the right to pursue action under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Jones Act, or other laws
- Assistance negotiating with insurance companies when they attempt to take advantage of you
When looking for the right maritime attorney to take on your case, you want to consider how long the attorney has been practicing maritime law, whether they have a strong track record of success, the number of maritime accidents they’ve represented and won, and whether they will allow you to hire them on contingency.
3. Ways Your Maritime Attorney Advocates for Maritime Injury Victim’s Rights
When you hire a maritime injury lawyer to take on your case, you do not need to worry about anything else. Your attorney will be responsible for determining whether you should file a claim for maintenance and care under the Jones Act or pursue benefits through the LHWCA.
You can rely on your lawyer to conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of your accident so they can identify the liable parties and hold them accountable accordingly. You can learn more about your rights and the value of your claim and begin to plan for your future.
Your maritime injury lawyer can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to protect you from being taken advantage of during your greatest time of need. If the insurance company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve, you can expect your lawyer to prepare to bring your case to trial.
4. They Prove Negligence Under the Jones Act
If you are considered a seaman, you have the right to recover compensation for what is known as maintenance and care.
This covers your medical expenses and reasonable living expenses while you recuperate. However, you also have the right to restitution for many types of economic and non-economic personal injury damages, including:
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Chronic pain
- Physical suffering
- Disfigurement in skin scarring
- Emotional distress
It may not always be clear whether hiring a maritime lawyer is right. However, since admiralty attorneys work on contingency, there is no risk to you if your lawyer does not win. You can go after the restitution you deserve without putting any money down or covering any court costs along the way.
With a maritime lawyer working for you, you can focus on regaining functionality, improving your health, and getting back to work. At the same time, your attorney goes up against the liable party to secure maximum compensation for your damages.