Maritime law is the practice of the law that covers disputes, contracts, offenses, or injuries that occur in navigable waters.
This type of practice is also called admiralty law and involves complicated layers of land-base as well as maritime legal matters. It takes a trained lawyer who specializes in these types of cases to fully understand all the particulars.
If you need a maritime attorney to represent you for injuries, workman’s comp, or a negligence claim, there are a few requirements you need to look for before hiring your lawyer.
Experience As a Maritime Attorney
If you have a cavity or need dental work done, you don’t make an appointment with an eye doctor. Even though they are both doctors, you understand that a dentist has the training and experience to take care of your exact need.
Maritime lawyers go through specific education to equip them to handle these types of cases. They concentrate on the legal issues surrounding maritime issues and keep up to date on all changing laws and regulations.
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Also, keep in mind that you may need to go to trial. Find a maritime lawyer who is familiar with going before a judge and ready to go to trial if necessary. You want someone who knows what to expect next and will not back down until you get the answers you deserve.
Don’t trust just anyone with your valuable case. Make sure the attorney you choose has the skills and knowledge to see you through the ups and downs of these often challenging proceedings.
Simply put, it takes money to present a strong maritime case. There could be a need for expert witnesses in a wide range of fields. Each witness will want payment for their testimony.
There may also be the need for quality medical testimony to support an injury claim. Doctor’s skilled in these types of injury cases can make or break the outcome.
There will also be documentation and research that is required to build and support your claim and the case. All of this takes upfront financial resources to obtain.
You need a maritime attorney who has the resources available to gather all the necessary information to back up your claim.
Just like you look for good reviews for a new restaurant to try or hotel to visit, reviews are just as important for the maritime lawyer you need to hire.
Take the time to research reviews, both from previous clients and other attorneys.
Because maritime law is such a specialized field, non-specialized lawyers will often refer potential cases to maritime attorneys that they respect and have worked with before. Ask your new potential lawyer how often they have had referrals.
Testimonials from those involved in previous cases are also a good resource. Make sure the lawyer you are considering has positive feedback in reliability, knowledge, and also how he interacts with his clients; which will be you!
Great Support Team
A lawyer is only as good as his/her support team. A maritime claim takes dedicated and skilled individuals working behind the scenes at the office and in the field.
Many hours of preparing documents and testimony go into making a successful claim. If the case involves injuries, all the medical records will need to be obtained and sorted. All claims for lost wages will require documents from employers.
All of this information has to be coded, recorded, and organized in case it is needed at trial. A great maritime attorney has an outstanding support team ready to handle all of the paperwork and research needs required for a win!
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A Focus on You
Many lawyers today are overloaded and continue to add caseload after caseload to their calendar. It is good to want to stay busy, and you want a lawyer who works hard, but also has the time to focus their attention on you and the case.
Make sure when you are speaking with them at the initial consultation that they are truly listening to you. They should be attentive, ask questions, and show an understanding of the facts surrounding the issue.
Feel free to ask if they will be handling the case themselves, or if someone will do most of the work for them. Ask how easy it will be to get in touch with them. Don’t sign on anyone who isn’t prepared to be available to talk to you when you have questions.
You should feel comfortable around your attorney. You need to be able to trust they will be working for your best interests. Be upfront and ask them to fully commit to the case and look for any signs of reservation.
Do You Really Need a Maritime Lawyer
If you are thinking of handling your maritime law issues yourself, think again.
These types of cases are complicated and generally are not resolved quickly. If you are being accused of an unlawful act, you need someone to fight for your defense.
If you have been injured, you may be unable to file all the proper paperwork at the right time to receive your compensation. The insurance company for the other side will want an investigation before paying out a large settlement. You need someone in your corner to make sure you get the money you are owed to move on with your life.
Don’t risk your future or financial ruin. Your best bet is always to hire an experienced maritime lawyer.
There are many types of cases that fall under maritime law. The outcome for you will depend on which type of case it is.
If you are being sued for negligence on the water and owe money for damages, an experienced lawyer can help negotiate a reduced and fair settlement and payment plan.
If you are injured in an accident, you may be entitled to medical coverages, lost wages and payment for pain and suffering. If the accident occurred while on a job, your employer/company will work hard to protect their financial interests. They will have lawyers ready to argue against your claim.
A good maritime attorney will work hard to get you the outcome you deserve. That may be a fair settlement without going to court, or it may involve going the distance and presenting everything to a jury.
Either way, your rights will be protected, and they will fight to win justice for you.
The Next Step
A maritime accident can have serious long term effects. There is so much at stake that it pays to have someone on your side.
A trained and experienced maritime attorney knows the laws and how to work them to protect your future. Trust the professionals and let them fight for you.
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