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You should never conclude a case without legal advice.

 

Always have any documents you are asked to sign reviewed by an attorney. You do not always have to hire an attorney on a contingency fee contract to handle your whole case, however.

If you choose to try to work out the matter on your own, do not, under any circumstances, conclude the matter, sign the check, or sign any releases without talking to a maritime attorney about it. Generally, lawyers cannot conceive of a situation where you would be better off handling a case by yourself because it is just too complicated, there is just too much at risk, and we have just too many bills to pay so we need your business. Seriously, any good lawyer will advise you that you are better off and safer to get legal advice before you do anything on your case, and I agree with that.

In reality, however, many cases are serious enough that the employer should pay some amount to settle the case, but small enough that an attorney either will not get involved, or there's just not enough to go around after attorneys' fees.

 

If you choose to try to work out the matter on your own, do not, under any circumstances, conclude the matter, sign the check, or sign any releases without talking to a maritime attorney about it.

 

img-goodworkersIf you have been off with a broken bone for six months and it was your employer's fault, but there are no more problems and you are ready to go back to work for your employer, your employer may be willing to pay you a lump sum to settle the case and allow you to go back to work. In that situation, you probably will be better off negotiating the matter with your employer and going to work. You might get more if you hire an attorney to negotiate, but you might also be asked to sign a release which says you are resigning from the company.

If you choose to work out the matter on your own, do not, under any circumstances, conclude the matter, sign the check, or sign any releases without talking to a maritime attorney about it.

You don't have to hire an attorney on a contingency fee contract to bounce a proposed settlement off one, and you must have the settlement papers reviewed by an attorney before signing anything. Most good maritime lawyers will review a settlement document for a few hundred dollars, and it is money well spent by you.

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