Technically speaking, any lawyer who has been admitted to the state bar or federal court where you are filing your case could potentially represent you in your case. However, there is a big difference between hiring an attorney and hiring the right attorney. If the attorney who drafted your will is concentrated in estate planning law, he or she may not know the intricacies of maritime injuries and the laws that apply to them—even if he or she is willing to take the case.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer Experienced in Maritime Law
Maritime lawyers are aware of all the laws applying to both workers and employers, and that knowledge gives them bargaining power to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Think of it this way: would you have chosen your past attorney if he or she had no experience in that area? Would you hire an injury lawyer to draft your will, or a tax attorney to handle your car accident case? The question has even more weight for those who have suffered injuries on or near the water, as this is a specific area of law that rarely overlaps with other kinds of injury cases. As a result, few attorneys are fully versed in maritime law.
A maritime injury attorney will be able to explain your options and what you may be owed based on:
- Your classification as a worker. Your worker status depends on who may be held liable for your injury compensation. Federal workers’ compensation programs include the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act, but NY workers’ compensation statutes could also apply to your claim. Identifying all forms of available compensation can significantly affect the value of your claim.
- The extent of your injuries. Injuries to maritime employees are often severe and can cause a complete change in the employee’s future abilities. A maritime lawyer can calculate the full extent of your losses, including reduced capacity for employment and the pain and suffering you have endured.
- Causation and liability laws. Maritime cases are usually filed at the federal level and involve a variety of laws that can affect the value of a claim. For example, maritime law has its own set of standards for proving fault for an injury, while the Limitation of Liability Act allows an employer to severely limit the amount owed to victims after a disaster.
- Negligence and unseaworthiness. In addition to providing compensation for your medical bills and lost income, federal laws allow employees to sue maritime employers for negligence and unsafe conditions that lead to injuries.
One of the most pressing reasons to consult with a maritime attorney is that your employer’s lawyers will definitely know every defense they can use under maritime law. Our firm can even the playing field, getting you the maximum amount of compensation you are owed for your medical treatment and lost ability to earn a living. Contact us online or call us directly at 212.465.8840 to speak with a maritime injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer as soon as possible.