Requirements Of A Good Jones Act Attorney

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Before you hire a Jones Act attorney, it is important that you evaluate the attorney to determine if they meet the following criteria. Our office firmly believes that these criteria should be considered minimum criteria of any qualified, experienced Jones Act attorney.

Extensive Experience Handling Jones Act Claims

A Jones Act case is not a simple claim to handle. The Jones Act is a very specific federal statute which has numerous rules and regulations which apply to claims under the Jones Act. While most of these rules and regulations help the injured seaman prove his case, it is impossible to take advantage of them unless you have an experienced maritime attorney handling your case. Your attorney cannot take advantage of helpful laws if he is not aware of them.

Your Jones Act Attorney Should be a Serious Trial Litigator

The vast majority of Jones Act claims must be filed in court and heavily litigated before they can be settled for a fair amount. Jones Act employers typically hire litigation defense attorneys who are paid by the hour. These attorneys will typically defend all aspects of your claim. It is very common to have to file motions in court and argue with opposing counsel in order to obtain the documents and evidence which may be necessary to prove your claim. Your attorney should be a strong advocate and he must be familiar with the courtroom in order to properly prove your case.

Your Attorney Must have Sufficient Financial Resources to Handle Your Case

Jones Act claims can be expensive to prepare and present at trial. Typically medical experts will be needed in order to prove the extent of your medical damages. This usually includes expensive medical testing as well as, perhaps, payment for surgeries prior to trial. Additionally, several types of experts are usually employed during a serious Jones Act claim including economic experts to discuss your wage loss, vocational experts to discuss the lack of job opportunities to you in the future, and liability or safety experts to discuss any negligence on the part of your company or its employees. Your attorney must have enough money to afford these expenses in order to properly prepare your claim.

Conclusion

Our office has worked with several excellent maritime attorneys in the past as co counsel on various cases filed in states outside of Louisiana. We have consistently found that the above criteria have always been present in our co counsel. The attorneys who we have had the privilege to work with are fierce advocates for their clients and they are not afraid to adequately prepare their claims for trial. Our office operates in the same manner, and it is critical that you obtain an attorney who will do such while handling your Jones Act or maritime claim.

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