Q: Should I hire the maritime attorney closest to my home to help me pursue my injury case?
Many maritime attorneys can represent clients from anywhere in the United States, so you aren’t required to hire a local lawyer. Maritime law is complicated, and it covers a wide range of issues dealing with navigation and shipping.
Maritime law governs the conduct of vessels at sea, and it doesn’t depend upon the statutes of any state government. Since most maritime injuries are suffered beyond state borders, federal law typically applies in these cases.
However, even when a state court presides over a maritime case, the court must apply maritime law, not state law. Under general maritime law, employees who are sick or injured are entitled to compensation, and their rights include:
- The right to medical treatment. An injured worker is entitled to receive treatment until he's achieved maximum medical improvement. At this point, his condition has improved as much as possible according to his doctor, and he isn’t expected to experience further healing.
- The right to living expenses. When an employee is unable to work due to his injuries, he's entitled to receive basic living expenses during his recovery period.
- The right to choose a doctor. A maritime employer may attempt to convince an injured employee to see the company physician, but he's free to seek treatment from the doctor of his choice.
Choosing an Attorney
If you’ve been injured aboard a vessel, you need a lawyer who understands the specialized field of maritime law to help you receive the compensation you deserve. An experienced maritime attorney will review the case to determine your best legal options. Factors he may consider include your employment status, the seaworthiness of the vessel, and the time limits applicable to your claim.
Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the free consultation most injury attorneys provide so you can find the right lawyer for your needs. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.