Working offshore comes with a number of risks that range from slight injuries to disabilities or even death. Due to the precarious nature of the maritime industry, offshore workers are advised to be extra careful when working to prevent unnecessary injuries and accidents. In addition, employers are also required to provide as safe a working environment as they can to ensure that accidents and fatalities are minimized. Despite this, human negligence is still the number one cause of accidents at sea. If one is injured while working at sea due to the negligence of an employer or a colleague, they should hire a Houston Maritime Lawyer like: Zehl & Associates to ensure that they receive adequate compensation for damages suffered.
The forms require victims to state who or what they think caused the accident that resulted in their injury. This puts the victim in a tough spot because while they want compensation to cover costs related to injuries sustained from the negligence of the employer, many don’t want to lose their jobs. As a result, they cave in to pressure and end up settling for a paltry amount.
Hiring a Houston offshore injury lawyer helps to safeguard the interests and rights of all seamen in accordance to relevant maritime laws that applies to them. Since many offshore employers are powerful companies with teams of lawyer at their beck and call, it is important for victims to hire a seasoned attorney to fight in their corner. In addition, lawyers help to guide their clients through the complex and murky waters of maritime law – with complicated terminologies and long legal procedures.
Reasons to Hire an Offshore Injury Lawyer
1. Experience Assessing Claims
Houston offshore injury lawyers have experience working with maritime employers and insurance companies. They are able to evaluate a claim and decide on the best course of action to take to ensure that claims are paid on time. This ensures that their client’s hospital and upkeep bills are recovered. Maritime law is huge and complicated and requires someone who has hands-on experience on how to navigate these legal waters.
2. Contingency Fee Agreement
Most offshore injury lawyers accept to work on a contingency fee basis. This allows the client to receive top legal representation without paying any upfront fees. The lawyer agrees to receive their payment only after their client has been awarded damages. Their fee is usually a percentage of the compensation (or settlement) amount awarded. However, the client is required to pay for other charges that are required for the case to proceed. These include paying expert witnesses or paying doctors to review medical records.
3. Red Tape
Complicated legal matters, complex medical terminologies and huge amounts of paperwork are quite common in offshore injury cases. A seasoned attorney will be able to effectively handle such matters with ease allowing their patient time to relax and recover peacefully. To aid the attorney in handling paperwork, it is prudent to keep all relevant records that may be required during the case.
4. Investigative Team
Since most maritime accidents happen offshore, gathering actionable evidence that can be used to support a victim’s case is hard. A well-established attorney, often works with a dedicated and expert team of investigators who gather evidence and examine all the related technical aspects of the case. This evidence can later be used to back a victim’s case.
5. Lawyers are Objective
Many victims experience a series of emotional changes after an accident. These can include anger, disappointment, frustration pain and even fear. Some people may also experience post-traumatic stress. Under this state of mind and emotional turmoil, it is hard to remain objective when personally handling a case. It is also easy to make rash and sentimental decisions that could potentially damage one’s case or result in an unfair settlement. Hiring an attorney is therefore recommended to help the victim during this hard time of their life.
6. Alternative Dispute Resolution
An experienced and professional lawyer will be able to come up with an alternative conflict resolution method that allows a timely and amicable solution. This may save the victim money, time and emotional energy.
7. Handling Insurance Companies
Offshore attorneys have gained experience in handling insurance companies after representing past clients. They know how to deal with insurers and are not easily intimidated, confused or pressured to accept an unsatisfactory settlement amount.
8. Lawyers Can Negotiate a Suitable Settlement Deal
Many offshore injury claims are settled by negotiated settlements rather than trials. In many cases, trials tend to drag along sometimes for years. During this time, a victim often experiences financial strain from paying medical bills or unemployment. An offshore attorney can negotiate a favorable settlement that allows the victim to move on with their life. This also saves a lot of time and expenses that would have been used during trial.
9. Free Consultation Services
Many offshore attorneys offer free consultation services to potential clients. This allows the victim to decide whether they need the services of a lawyer and what step to take next. Given the complex nature of maritime law, it is best to seek the advice of a seasoned professional on suitable options available to an injury victim.
Maritime law is complex.
This results in a tedious battle when a victim demands compensation for injuries and damages received while working offshore. To be able to recover these damages, it is prudent to hire a reliable Houston offshore injury lawyer.