What do you call a nice person at a lawyer convention? The caterer.
Yes, at RITE Law, we have heard them all. No question, there are some great lawyer jokes out there. But, all lawyer jokes aside, there are some occasions when it is a very good thing that you have a lawyer by your side. One of those times is when you are trying to assert a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (the Longshore Act). Indeed, the workers’ compensation program for those who work on or around the harbors of our nation can be a complicated journey.
Accordingly, in this article we are going to cover a number of reasons why you would be wise to obtain the services of a Longshore workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville to help you with your Longshore Act claim when you have been injured on the job.
If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the Longshore workers’ compensation lawyers in Jacksonville at RITE Law are here to help. At RITE Law, we have a group of Longshore workers’ compensation lawyers in Jacksonville who have your best interests at heart, and who have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
1. Why Get an Attorney When I Can Handle a Claim on My Own?
It is true that you could get through the Longshore Act claim process on your own. However, dealing with the insurance companies and the federal Department of Labor on your own is a daunting task. Without a little legal advice from a Longshore Act attorney, you might get stuck in the bureaucratic “red tape” that comes with a federally administered workers’ compensation program.
Moreover, having a Longshore workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville on your side will ensure that you maximize your overall compensation from the Longshore Act process.
2. Can’t the Government Give Me Legal Advice on the Longshore Act?
The short answer to that is “no.” It certainly would be a huge help if the government – which administers the Longshore Act – could give you a little legal assistance. However, it is simply not allowed.
The Longshore Act is administered specifically through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) under the U.S. Department of Labor. The OWCP staff will be able to help you with routine questions on process, like when and where to file certain documents. And the staff does its best to help claimants. However, the OWCP staff does not include lawyers.
Thus, they are not qualified to give legal advice, particularly when it comes to interpreting a statute or Longshore Act regulation. The reason the OWCP cannot give legal advice has to do with potential liability. If someone from the OWCP gives incorrect information, that you rely on to your own disadvantage, then you would essentially have a legal claim for compensation against that staff member for the improper advice. Accordingly, the OWCP avoids that altogether by not giving legal advice.
3. Could the OWCP Recommend an Attorney for Me?
Unfortunately, no. For the same reasons of liability discussed above, the OWCP cannot appoint or suggest an attorney for you. Given that the OWCP handles many cases, and thus comes in contact with many attorneys, it does not want to be put in the position of looking like it is picking favorites among attorneys.
4. Can Attorneys Work on Contingency in Longshore Cases?
For those who do not know, a “contingency fee” is a situation in which a lawyer will take your case without having you (the client) pay anything until the lawyer is able to get compensation for you in your case. Then, the lawyer will retain about one-third of that compensation as the attorney fee.
In the Longshore Act world, however, attorney’s fees are highly regulated. In fact, the OWCP or the judge in your case will first need to determine what is reasonable attorney fee for a particular case before you would have to pay the fee.
Some of the factors that the OWCP or a judge consider on reasonableness include the prevailing legal fee rates in your area, the length of time spent on your claim, the attorney’s level of experience, the complexity of your case, and the amount of compensation you received.
In sum, there are several barriers to you handling a Longshore Act claim by yourself, and any fees you would need to pay to an attorney is reviewed before you have to pay the bill. Therefore, consider hiring an experienced law firm to be your Longshore workers’ compensation lawyers in Jacksonville, like the lawyers at RITE Law.
Call Longshore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Jacksonville at RITE Law.
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way.
We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville.
Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.