MARCH 15, 2011 by Bill Abbott
When dealing with matters pertaining to the Jones Act and other maritime laws, it is essential that you have proper, legal representation. Just as all doctors do not provide the same level of care, every Texas Jones Act lawyer does not practice the law with his or her client’s best interests at heart. Unfortunately, some attorneys practice law in less-than-ideal ways.
Juan Puga knows this from his personal experience. Puga was a pipe welder for Fluid Crane and Construction. He suffered an injury and began receiving workers’ compensation benefits in addition to paid medical care. The Hastings Law Firm solicited Puga while he was still in the hospital. Once he signed the contract, his financial situation changed for the worse. Hastings filed a Jones Act suit against Fluid Crane and Puga’s benefits of over a $1,000 per week were cancelled.
Puga tried to contact the Texas Jones Act lawyer because he knew the suit was falsely filed. He finally terminated the contract and reached a settlement with Fluid Crane. Hastings now wants a cut of his settlement. Puga recently filed a suit against the Texas Jones Act lawyer. In his suit, Puga alleges that the Hastings Law Firm filed an unjustifiable Jones Act suit against Fluid Crane. He also wants the courts to rule that Hastings is only entitled to attorney fees.
Had Puga signed a contract with a different Texas Jones Act lawyer, the situation might have been different. An experienced Texas Jones Act lawyer would have known that Puga did not need a Jones Act claim. His benefits would not have been cancelled and the headache and hassle would have been avoided. Should you find yourself injured while working on the water, know your rights. Research your Texas Jones Act lawyer before signing any contracts. Without quality legal advice, you could end up in the same “boat” as Juan Puga.