How do I choose the best attorney for my maritime injury case in Louisiana?

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William Gee - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: William Gee

Located in Lafayette, LAWilliam Gee LTD

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Maritime law can be complex, and there are many qualities and skills you should look for in the attorney you hire. If you were injured or someone you love died while working on a boat, the lawyer you hire matters.

They should be firm, resourceful and tactful. Above everything else, they should be knowledgeable about the Louisiana legal system, maritime law and the intricacies that make these legal cases difficult to manage and win.

The attorney you hire should know the legal details of the Jones Act, the Shelf Lands Act and general maritime law. Each has its own standards, and your lawyer should be well versed in each of them.

The venue of your case also matters.

Many of these cases happen on the water, and there could be issues about where you can file your case. Does your attorney understand these restrictions? Do they know whether a jury trial or an appearance before a judge is best?

You want to hire an attorney who has experience getting the best possible outcome in cases decided by a judge and in jury verdicts. There are nuances about judges and jury trials. The requirements and procedures required in each vary. Your attorney should understand these intricacies. Their knowledge can help maximize your success.

Your attorney should prepare your case appropriately

Your attorney should approach every case as if it is going to court. Many maritime cases involve an orthopedic injury. Your attorney must take depositions and be prepared to collect medical evidence and have experts ready to take the stand to support your case.

In many of these cases, your attorney must argue the need for surgery, necessary medical care and plans for future care. Your attorney should have medical experts supporting you. In most of these cases, you will be challenging the boat owner or a shipping company. They have extensive resources available, including experts.

Your attorney should be prepared to collect witness statements. They should also collect evidence, including:

  • Accident reports
  • Job descriptions
  • Safety manuals
  • Safety meeting logs
  • Vessel logs

There are important liability issues. The witnesses, experts and evidence could be the difference in proving liability. Your legal counsel’s expertise and resourcefulness can help you prove loss of life’s pleasures, damages and medical and economic losses.

maritime legal cases require hard work and preparation

Many maritime legal cases involve falls, slips and trips on boats that are out of port. They frequently involve offshore employers, poor work conditions and unrealistic expectations from your employers.

Your attorney should be prepared to work extensively to get you the best results possible. It could mean preparing for a variety of court and legal actions against defendants in a variety of venues. It is important that your legal counsel understands maritime law and how to apply those laws. They should know how to get you the best outcome possible.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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