When you’ve got a legal dispute you need resolved, you always want to get the right person for the job. Whether you know it or not, there’s a big difference in hiring an attorney and hiring the right attorney.
If you’re going through divorce proceedings, you’re going to want a divorce lawyer or a mediator. If you’re dealing with a bankruptcy, you’re going to need a top notch bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re dealing with a civil rights issue, you need an experienced civil rights attorney.
The same can be said if you’re going through maritime litigation. If you are, you’re going to want an expert in maritime law and maritime law.
Just what is a maritime lawyer? It’s one that specifically deals with a part of law that deals with offenses, accidents and injuries that make place on water. That includes servicemen who are in the Navy and includes any body of water on which seamen. It’s important to note that maritime law and maritime litigation includes people who work on vessels that are routinely out at sea. However it does not include vessels that are not ready to go out to see.
Let’s say you’re a seaman in the Navy. If you’ve been in an accident or been injured during your service, there is a specific set of regulations and laws that apply to the maritime industry when it comes to disability benefits. Believe it or not, servicemen aren’t compensated or covered under traditional workmen’s compensation. Instead, they are covered under the Jones Act, so if you’re going through maritime litigation, you’ll need an attorney that’s well-versed in the Jones Act.
Injuries to seamen can happen in a variety of ways and the Jones Act helps protect workers and helps provide damages for:
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Lost wages
- Physical suffering and pain
- Medical expenses and costs
To qualify for protection under the Jones Act, a seaman absolutely has to prove that injuries that were suffered happened as a result of negligence by someone else, whether it’s the vessel or an employer. This is essential because insurance companies will challenge the veracity of a claim and may even discourage a seaman from filing a claim.
So where does a maritime lawyer come in? For one thing, an experienced attorney of any specialty will be adept at talking with insurance companies and working through any issues. It’s often the case that an attorney can go through maritime litigation rather than tying things up in court.
If you’re a seaman and you think you’ve got a credible case, seek the service of an experienced maritime lawyer. If you have been injured, don’t sign anything without talking to a lawyer first. The last thing you want to do is sign your rights away without really exploring what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.
It’s estimated that a small percentage of civil cases reach Federal courts today (about 1%. Whether you go through maritime litigation or go to trial, an experienced maritime lawyer is going to fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve.