Choosing a Maritime Lawyer
It is important to be very careful if you are employed in sea-going vessels, ports and offshore oil rigs. The risks are greater so the possibility of incurring accidents is greater. In the event of an injury, you will certainly require legal assistance for making your claims. This makes it necessary to choose a highly-experienced legal attorney.
Experience and Success in Handling Cases
One of the criteria in making your selection is the amount of experience and success factor as a practicing lawyer in the shipping industry. The experience entails complete knowledge of maritime matters especially those related to accidents while at sea. You have to research carefully about the background of these legal luminaries. This can be done by checking the websites of law firms that specialize in maritime cases involving seamen and workers employed by maritime firms. This lawyer must also be sympathetic to the plight of aggrieved workers or their families. Remember that in cases involving claims for damages or recompense, you will have to compete with big shipping companies which rely on very good lawyers.
Expertise in Maritime Law
Your prospective counsel must be knowledgeable about marine law. Majority of maritime issues go beyond international borders which makes the job more complicated. You have to be assured that your lawyer has sufficient background regarding international maritime laws as well as existing legal systems and clauses. It is also practical to opt for a legal counsel who has acquired some experience in handling “Jones Act Cases”. In other words, your lawyer must be well-versed with marine-related mishaps, personal health claims, vessel owners who have neglected their accountabilities, and other circumstances where mariners have died or lost arms, legs or eyesight. This lawyer must have the patience in guiding you through the process and provide you with the legal information that you badly need.
Check Credentials of Prospects
Find the means to check on the reputation and track record of the candidates in your short list. Consult your relatives or colleagues who may have knowledge regarding the credentials of these lawyers. It will be helpful if you can find former clients to inquire about legal competence and accomplishments. You can also refer to the websites of top law firms to ensure that you get only the best attorneys. There are also legal associations that maintain a roster of achievers in different fields. These resources will definitely serve as a trustworthy guide that will enable you to make a good selection.
Establish Trust Level
It is also essential to build a relationship that is covered by trust with maritime lawyers. It is not just a matter of paying the lawyer to represent you in making claims or filing a lawsuit. This bond should be anchored on mutual confidence as well. Beyond the capability, eloquence and knowledge of maritime legal matters is the willingness of your counsel to give you more than service. It is not enough that your lawyer helps you discern the technical aspects of your case. This person should also stand up to provide moral support which is so essential during these critical times in your life.