How to Hire a Boat Lawyer
If you've been in injured in a boating accident, a boat lawyer may be able to help you with your personal injury case. If you are able to prove that the accident was not your fault, you may be awarded a settlement to cover medical bills and the cost of any property that was damaged.
If you have a friend or family member who has worked with a boat lawyer, you can see if he or she would recommend their lawyer. But if you're not able to get a personal recommendation, you've come to the right site. Attorneys.com has a service that will connect you with local boat lawyers.
When you're ready, you may begin the process by completing a short form on this page or calling 1-877-913-7222. Once you have answered a few basic questions, we will connect you with one or more boat lawyers in your area. You can contact the lawyer on your own, or he or she will follow up with you within two business days.
Meeting with Boat Lawyers
Once you have the name of at least one boat lawyer that who works with marine accident victims, you will want to set up a meeting, or initial consultation, with each one. This meeting is a good chance for you to learn more about the lawyer and for him or her to get to know more about your case. Personal injury lawyers, including maritime accident attorneys, usually won't charge for these meetings, but you will want to check first so that you are not surprised.
Prepare for these meetings. You can start by making notes about the basics of your case: When the accident happened, what happened, and any medical bills or other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
You should also make a list of questions to ask the attorney, including:
- The boat lawyer's experience handling cases similar to yours
- What he or she thinks about your case, the amount of the award you may receive and how he or she will handle your case
- How he or she charges for legal services and how much your case may cost
If you have any special needs when hiring a lawyer, such as a boat lawyer who represents marine accident victims with back injuries or a lawyer who speaks Spanish, make sure to ask these questions during your consultations.
The reason for this meeting is to help you decide if you want to hire this lawyer. You might want to take notes during your meetings, so you can remember the key points when it is time for you to make a decision. Everything said in these meetings will be kept confidential, so feel free to speak your mind.
How Will Your Boat Lawyer Charge You?
Personal injury lawyers will either charge an hourly rate or bill on a contingency basis. If the lawyer bills you his or her hourly rate, you are paying for the actual time spent working on your case, no matter the outcome. On a contingency basis, the lawyer will only get paid if you receive a monetary award. Contingency awards are usually calculated as a percentage of money awarded.
Selecting a Boat Lawyer
After finishing your initial consultations, it is time for you to choose a boat lawyer to hire for your case. You may begin by eliminating from consideration any attorneys you definitely don't want to hire. If you are deciding from among several attorneys, you may want to ask each lawyer for the names of his or her past clients for you to talk to. References such as these may help you make up your mind.
When choosing an attorney, you will look for a lawyer who meets the following criteria:
- Has the skills and experience to handle your case
- Puts you at ease and makes you confident with his or her judgment
- Offers a case strategy you understand and agree with
- Has reasonable fees
When you have found a lawyer that satisfies these requirements, you are ready to hire him or her and begin your personal injury case.