Every week people call or e-mail us simply to find out their rights after they have sustained a maritime injury. We never charge for these conferences. We explain their rights for "maintenance and cure," and try to determine if they might be entitled to a greater amount of maintenance, which is tax free. We also explain their rights under the Jones Act and under General Maritime Law.
Sometimes, employers will pay benefits under the Federal Longshore and Harborworkers' Act or under State Workers' Compensation laws. The costs to the employer for those programs is less and the benefits to the injured worker are also significantly less, in most cases. We try to determine whether or not the employer's action is appropriate, given the facts of each case.
Very few lawyers around the country practice in this very narrow specialized area of maritime law representing only injured workers and others injured in maritime settings, and even fewer have done it as long as we have. We keep records of these calls and ask individuals to update us periodically on their medical progress, and to call us on our national toll-free number 866-416-4412 if they have any further questions or concerns. Many times, their cases, particularly if they are able to resume their career without any restrictions or limitations, do not necessitate their employing and paying an attorney out of their settlement. We never pressure prospective clients, but when they determine that they would desire our assistance, then and only then do we consider asking them to sign a contingent fee agreement. This means that they will owe our firm nothing until and unless we make a recovery for them.
Mr. Merting is one of only approximately 250 attorneys nationwide to have been invited to join the Academy of Trial Advocacy, formerly the Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys. This organization is limited to attorneys who have demonstrated their abilities and expertise in cases involving brain damage, death, and other catastrophic injuries cases. Mr. Merting is also a longtime member of the Admiralty Law Section of the American Association for Justice. Through membership in these two professional organizations, the firm has confidential access to Internet ListServes which allows Mr. Merting to instantaneously obtain and share information with other plaintiff maritime and injury attorneys nationwide regarding defense expert witnesses, trial strategies, and beneficial court decisions and recent settlements.
Employers, cruise lines, and others who are responsible for maritime injuries, and their insurance companies, have some of the best maritime defense attorneys representing their interests. We would respectfully suggest that if an individual thinks he/she can get a fair shake dealing with those firms without experienced legal representation, they may find out only too late that they were mistaken. Please don't you make the same mistake!
To schedule a free consultation to discuss your maritime injury case, contact the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.
John W. Merting holds the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell: A/V and has been a sustaining member of both the American Association for Justice and the Florida Justice Association. He has been listed in the Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Attorneys. He has been named in Florida Super Lawyers for multiple years.