Whether you’re working on a boat, an oil rig, or a dock, accidents can happen in an instant. But if it takes just a moment for you to sustain a serious injury, it usually takes quite a bit longer to get your personal injury claim resolved. There’s no getting around it: Anything related to maritime law is bound to be complex. That is why it so important to have a skilled attorney who can walk you through the process, helping you get the compensation you need in the quickest timeframe possible. Of course, most people have never had the experience of hiring a maritime lawyer—which is what makes it important to do some due diligence. As you meet with a maritime attorney, use the following questions to ensure a fully-informed decision.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MARITIME LAWYER
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING MARITIME LAW?
Again, maritime law is fairly complex, and it’s also very niche—that is to say, it’s a field of law that many attorneys have little familiarity with. You need someone who understands maritime law inside and out, so it’s only logical to ask about experience.
2. HOW MANY MARITIME CASES DO YOU WORK ON EACH YEAR?
It’s okay if your maritime attorney also takes on, say, car accident cases—but if he or she works on just one maritime case a year, focusing primarily on other fields of law, then they may not be the dedicated specialists you’re looking for.
3. WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR ME IF I HIRE YOU AS MY MARITIME LAWYER?
Get your potential attorney to lay out the benefits they can offer! Hopefully, your lawyer will be able to handle your case before your employer and your insurer; get your medical bills taken care of for you, and help you if you can’t return to your previous role. These are just some of the perks you should listen for!
4. HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST ME?
When hiring an attorney, always ask what the rate is—and, when you’ll need to pay it. A lot of maritime lawyers won’t actually charge you until if and when they win the case, which is obviously ideal.
5. TELL ME ABOUT THE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS YOU HAVE WITH MARITIME EXPERTS.
Most of the time, maritime cases are won through the use of experts—people who know a lot about maritime law and can provide unbiased evidence to support your claim. Always seek an attorney who has these relationships in the local community.
6. HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
This isn’t necessarily something that your attorney will be able to tell you right away, but it is reasonable to ask for a basic valuation of your case before you commit to moving forward with any kind of legal action. Find the Best Maritime Lawyer to Represent Your Case With these questions, you can vet potential attorneys and find a legal specialist you feel comfortable with. One more piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to go with your gut. If there’s an attorney you just don’t feel right about, that’s reason enough to keep looking for someone who instills confidence. At McLaurin Law, we have extensive experience representing injured workers in Jones Act/ maritime accident cases. We’re here to talk with you more about our services whenever you’re ready; contact us today to set up a consultation.
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.