My father, who lives in Mobile, was recently hurt and hospitalized while working offshore on an oil rig. I suggested that we hire a lawyer to help us, but he wants to make sure we find the right person for the job. What questions should we ask to make sure we find the best injury attorney to help us with this case?
Offshore injuries fall under maritime law instead of the injury laws in your state, so you may not find the experience and knowledge you need from a personal injury law firm that is not familiar with these cases. You and your father will want to check on several things while looking for the right lawyer.
Find a Lawyer Who Works for the Injured Party
First, you would certainly want to make sure you find an attorney who works for individuals who have been hurt, rather than a law firm or lawyer who works for the insurance companies. You need someone to advocate for you against those who caused your injuries and the insurers who represent them.
You should ask about who they represent in injury accident cases, what they do to fight for justice for victims, and how many payouts they recover for their clients each year. They should answer these questions and discuss more about their client base with you, including offshore injury cases.
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Find an Attorney Familiar with Offshore Injuries
It would also be wise to ensure the attorney or firm you select has experience handling complex and specialized matters such as accidents and injuries that happen offshore or on an oil rig. These cases are not ones that every attorney knows how to handle, and your father’s case shouldn’t be the one your lawyer uses to learn about offshore injuries or experiment with different tactics. That is why it is so important to research your potential attorney or trust a well-known attorney.
Offshore injury cases may involve the Jones Act or other maritime law that is outside the experience of many personal injury lawyers. The way maritime law works to compensate those hurt at work on the open sea or ocean-faring vessels differs significantly from Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws and general personal injury statutes.
You should ask the attorney what their experience has been with similar cases, the outcome of these claims, and how familiar they are with these laws. These will be among the most important questions to find the right firm. You want to work with someone who can confidently build—and win—a case in this unique area of law.
Research Attorney Fees
Once you have found an attorney who handles this type of case, the next step would be to determine how much the attorney will charge and whether you have to pay upfront. Of course, the Morris Bart law firm doesn’t charge unless we collect for you. You and your father are going through enough with the injury, stress, and worry, and you shouldn’t be concerned with how you will pay your lawyer to get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Our team believes you should not have to pay for representation out of your own pocket. We know it is difficult to make ends meet, much less pay the medical bills coming in and come up with the money to pay a retainer or hourly fees for your attorney, when you are hurt and out of work. This is why we are a contingency-fee firm.
Our payments are only due after the conclusion of your case. We take our attorney’s fees from the money we recover for our clients and deliver the rest of the compensation to them as soon as possible. You can learn more when you ask about how our payment structure works during your initial consultation.
Keep Open Communication Channels
Finally, you want to ensure that when selecting an attorney, you will get to talk to and work with your actual attorney and not get passed off to a machine, case manager, or paralegal who isn’t licensed to practice law. Just like you want a doctor performing surgery on you, not a nurse, you want your lawyer handling your case, not an administrative assistant. This is why, when you hire the Morris Bart law firm, we will give you direct phone, fax, and email access to your lawyer and their assistant.
During your consultation with a prospective attorney, ask who will be handling your case, how often you will receive updates, and what you should do if you have questions or concerns. All of these are key factors in determining if an attorney is a good “fit” for you and your dad. You will feel more confident and comfortable if your communication preferences align with your law firm’s policies.
These are all important questions you should ensure you know the answers to before you make the crucial decision of who to hire as your attorney.
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The Morris Bart law firm offers complimentary initial consultations for offshore injury victims and others hurt on sea-faring vessels or the open ocean, including while working on offshore oil rigs. You can learn more about our firm and your case by contacting our attorneys today.
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