Whether you’ve suffered an injury working in the maritime industry or while vacationing on a cruise ship, you want the best chance at filing a successful claim for compensation to cover your expenses and damages.
Maritime law is very specialized – far more so than workers’ compensation or personal injury law. It’s not like traditional civil law. That’s why whether you have an injury case or a commercial dispute that involves maritime laws and regulations, you need specialized legal guidance.
Experience in this area of law is critical
Practicing maritime law requires fully understanding and keeping up-to-date on state and federal maritime and admiralty laws and regulations as well international treaties and conventions. That’s why it’s best to look for a firm with years of maritime law experience.
While going to trial is often a last resort, you want attorneys who have plenty of trial experience and a proven record of winning at trial in federal and state court in front of juries. This will encourage defendants and particularly their insurers to make the best possible settlement offer early – which can ultimately save time and money.
If you choose a multi-attorney firm, it’s a good idea to choose one whose attorneys have experience in various types of maritime and admiralty law – maybe even on the other side, representing insurers or employers. Just as prosecutors who become criminal defense attorneys can benefit their clients by knowing how the other side works, so can attorneys who have been on the “other side” of a case.
Evening the playing field
Whether you’re a seaman, a longshore or harbor worker, a commercial fisherman an offshore oil worker or a passenger on a cruise ship owned by a massive corporation, it can be easy to feel like you’re a “small fish.” By choosing the right maritime lawyer, you can even the playing field and increase your chances of prevailing.