Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye while working on commercial cargo vessels, fishing boats, tankers, or on the docks. Sorting out everything that needs to be handled after a personal injury, however, can be downright overwhelming. Especially when dealing with complicated state and federal maritime laws.
Your Houston maritime lawyers at Lapeze & Johns strive to make the processes of a maritime suit as effortless as possible. We understand how physically and emotionally painful a maritime accident can be and we believe it is our duty to provide you with the best legal care to limit your stress.
After sustaining a maritime injury, and aside from providing yourself sufficient time to recover, the first step you should take is to contact an attorney who specializes in maritime law. As a client, there are a number of questions you should first ask the potential lawyer in order to make sure that they can properly handle your case. Getting to know your legal team is important when seeking the restitution you deserve.
The following questions to ask your maritime lawyer will equip you with the knowledge you need and give you better insight into who will be representing you in court. They are as follows:
1. Why should I hire you as my maritime lawyer?
If you are injured on the job while out at sea, some employers may be unwilling to fairly compensate you for your pain. That’s when you need the right lawyer to fight for you. Not just any lawyer will do, however. They should have your best interest at heart. The trustworthy maritime lawyers at Lapeze & Johns will be able to:
- Communicate with your employer and the insurance company on your behalf.
- Ensure that your medical bills are taken care of.
- Ensure that you are retrained if you cannot fulfill the duties of your old job.
- Ensure that you keep your house, car, and other property.
- Get you the restitution that you deserve.
Don’t let your employer discourage you from filing a Jones Act claim. Get legal representation you can trust.
2. What is your experience in handling maritime injury cases and Jones Act claims?
Experience is the difference between winning and losing in a court of law. If the lawyer you are looking to hire lacks the experience required to accurately represent you, it is unlikely that you will receive the compensation you need to recover.
Keith Lapeze and Chris Johns, the founding members of Lapeze & Johns, both have over 20 years or maritime law experience throughout the Gulf Coast. They have represented offshore workers and longshoremen from crew boats and dredges to jack-up and semi-submersible drilling rigs.
3. How much do you charge for representation?
Because a maritime injury can mean time away from work and issues with income, this can be one of the most important questions you will ask your potential lawyer. Some attorneys may recommend a contingent fee arrangement where you won’t pay unless you win the case, and a small percentage of your winnings would go to your attorney. Others may charge upfront fees just for a consultation.
At Lapeze & Johns, you don’t have to worry about that. Our legal consultations come at no cost to you, and if we’ve earned your trust to represent you in court, we won’t charge you a penny unless you win.
When you win, we win.
4. Can you handle my case if I live in a different state?
Finding an experienced attorney for a maritime injury isn’t limited to the state that you live in. If you are injured while out to sea, you should be able to find the right representation to fight for you.
At Lapeze & Johns, not only do we represent individuals in Texas but also clients from Louisiana and Gulf Coast states.
5. Is this your only area of practice?
With experience comes diversity and utility. Asking this question provides you better insight into what type of practices the firm handles, as your specific circumstance may require a certain expertise.
While many law firms practice many fields of law, we here at Lapeze & Johns also cover the specialty areas of maritime law from Jones Act, offshore injuries, fire and explosions, and harbor workers. Recruiting us as your primary maritime legal representation will ensure your victory in the courts with our 98% success rate.
6. Do you have working relationships with expert witnesses in the maritime field?
This question is vital to your success. Any good law firm will have expert witnesses in their arsenal. Expert witnesses provide unbiased evidence that can make or break a case, and you’ll need all the help you can get if your employer is denying you compensation.
Rest easy knowing that Lapeze & Johns has expert witnesses in the maritime and medical industry to help your case and get you the results you deserve.
Don’t settle for less. Let Lapeze & Johns handle your maritime accident to get you the recovery you require.
The complex world of admiralty law can be as difficult to navigate as the Gulf is during hurricane season. But with the right maritime lawyers at the helm, it can be smooth sailing.