Hiring an Experienced Offshore Accident Attorney
Working offshore on an oil rig or marine vessel can be dangerous. Despite safety precautions, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore accident, it’s important to get experienced legal help to protect your rights. Here’s what to know about hiring an offshore accident attorney.
Look for an attorney who specializes in offshore injury litigation. This complex area of law requires extensive expertise in maritime law and jurisdiction, as well as an understanding of the unique safety risks and systems involved in offshore work. Ask about the lawyer’s track record with similar offshore accident cases. Their experience will make a big difference in how your case is handled.
Ask About Jones Act Claims
Many offshore accidents fall under the Jones Act, a federal law that protects seamen who are injured on the job due to negligence. An offshore accident attorney will determine if your case qualifies as a Jones Act claim, which can lead to larger financial compensation. This law is complex, so you need an attorney well-versed in Jones Act claims.
They’ll Investigate Your Accident
Your attorney will thoroughly investigate what led to your offshore accident, whether it was an equipment failure, safety lapse, extreme weather conditions, or other factors. These details are critical for building a strong case to prove negligence or liability. A good attorney will compile evidence, interview witnesses, inspect the accident location, and more.
Full Litigation Capabilities
Most offshore accident cases end up going to litigation. Make sure your attorney has extensive litigation experience and a track record of success. Be prepared for a long battle requiring patience and persistence. Your attorney should have the resources and determination to see your case through to the end.
Find an Attorney You Can Trust
Ultimately, you need an offshore accident attorney you can trust to fight for your best interests. Make sure they are responsive, and supportive and will keep you informed every step of the way. Personality and trust are just as important as skills and experience when hiring a lawyer.
Suffering an offshore injury can be devastating, but an experienced attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation so you can focus on healing. Do your research to find the right offshore accident lawyer. With their help, you can seek the justice you deserve.
Don’t Delay In Seeking Representation
Time is of the essence when pursuing an offshore injury claim. There are strict statutes of limitations that dictate how long you have to take legal action, often just 1-3 years from the date of injury. It’s critical to consult with an offshore accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. They can immediately launch an investigation and build your case while the evidence is fresh. Any delay could hurt your chances down the road.
Be Wary of Offshore Operators
Offshore operators like oil rig owners will quickly launch their own legal defense teams when an accident occurs. They may try to pin blame on workers or evade liability through legal technicalities. Don’t sign any documents or accept any compensation offers from offshore operators without your attorney reviewing them first. Anything you sign could harm your case later on.
Are You Owed Maintenance and Cure?
If you were injured while employed offshore, one of the first steps is determining if the company owes you “maintenance and cure.” This provides compensation for living and medical expenses until you reach your maximum recovery potential. Your attorney will demand the offshore operator start paying maintenance and cure benefits while your injury case proceeds.
Beware of Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies use various tactics to deny or minimize claims. They may dispute the extent of your injuries, claim pre-existing conditions are actually responsible, or make lowball settlement offers hoping you’ll take the quick payout. Having a knowledgeable attorney helps ensure you aren’t manipulated and receive full and fair compensation.
Pick an Attorney You Can Work With
Since offshore accident cases can drag on for years, make sure you choose an attorney you can communicate with easily. You’ll be in frequent contact sharing updates and making major decisions together. Find someone who is responsive, understanding, and who you feel comfortable confiding in. This relationship is vital during the ups and downs of litigation.
With the right offshore accident attorney guiding you, you can pursue maximum compensation so that you can move forward after a tragic offshore accident. Do your research and choose a lawyer with the right mix of expertise, resources, and personal rapport. This provides the best chance of success in your maritime injury claim.