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When Should a California Maritime Worker Contact a Los Angeles Accident Attorney?


By Prev Info - October 19, 2022

 Years ago, workers within the maritime industry had a difficult time in claiming compensation for their injuries. This was because all workers who were employed on sea faring vessels were employed under the notoriously difficult remit of 'admiralty law'. This law tended to protect the employers, and as a result employees who had accidents whilst at sea were not legally covered by any form of workers compensation. 



It wasn't until the Merchant Marine Act, otherwise known as the 'Jones Law' came in, that maritime workers had some sort of protection against accidents on ocean going ships as well as boats on inland bodies of water. Now times have changed, and if you're a maritime worker who has been in an accident at sea, you can contact a Los Angeles accident attorney for help.


So if you are a Californian maritime worker and you sustain an injury whilst at sea why would you contact a Los Angeles accident attorney? If after your accident you tried to claim through the insurance company then more often than not, the insurance company would play down and in some cases devalue your claim. However if you contact an experienced Los Angeles accident attorney who specializes in maritime law, they are working with your best interests in mind and will work hard to deliver the compensation that you deserve.


Maritime law is very complex and was originally set up so that it could operate freely. This being the case, it is very different from state or federal laws and therefore has its own methods of dealing with compensation claims. Nowadays, law firms are well versed in the complexities of the Jones Law and have their own departments of people who operate solely in this field.


So what can an experienced attorney do for you? If an employee has to make a Jones Act claim then immediately he or she is up against the company insurers. These people will be well versed in maritime insurance laws and to this effect will be working for the company to ensure that the result falls in their favor. This being the case, you will need someone to fight your corner and this is where a fully experienced Los Angeles accident attorney comes in.


In terms of cost involved some, if not most, maritime law attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no upfront costs involved and in this case the lawyer will operate on a 'no win no fee basis'. Just to explain this, the lawyer will only get paid out of the settlement fee. This can fall somewhere between 30-40%. On some occasions, the losing party might even have to foot the bill for the attorneys' fees, so the claimant ends up with most or all the money.


Another reason for hiring an experienced attorney in a maritime law case is that in most cases the litigation may well take some time. In the meantime the maintenance money the claimant will receive simply may not be sufficient enough to pay the bills and mortgage. Therefore in some circumstances, depending upon what state they operate in, the attorney may well be legally allowed to advance money to their clients, so that they can fully recover properly without having the added worry of having to get back to work before they are ready.


So what sort of compensation might you expect to receive? Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, maritime workers may well be able to claim the following compensation measures:


Medical bills

Any expenses occurred whilst undergoing immediate treatment such as x-rays and stays in hospital


Rehabilitation

Any ongoing treatment such as physiotherapy and in some cases counselling can be claimed for.


Trauma

Some injuries may well cause ongoing pain and suffering by the individual. If this is the case then you may well find that you are entitled to some monitory gain.


Loss of income

While you are off work, especially if it is a long period of time, you may well be entitled to claim loss of income for that period that you are unable to work. It may also be that you cannot physically do the job that you used to do because of the sustained injury caused by your accident. In this case compensation for this is extremely pertinent


These are just some of the reasons why you should hire a Los Angeles accident attorney. It could save you a lot of heartache in the long run as well as standing up and protecting your rights as a maritime worker.






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