Even if everybody follows proper safety procedures and acts as any reasonable person would in their situation, barges can still be incredibly dangerous places to work. If you recently got hurt in the course of your employment on a barge, you are likely familiar with how painful these types of injuries can be. It can also be complicated and expensive to fully recover from them.
Fortunately, you can seek fair compensation for every injury you sustained with assistance from a seasoned maritime accident attorney. By seeking representation from Memphis barge accident lawyer Elissa M. Coombs, you can vastly improve your prospects of successfully pursuing a claim and getting the economic recovery you need.
There are numerous ways in which reckless or careless behavior could spell disaster for every crewmember abroad a commercial barge. An operator unfamiliar with the area a tow is traveling through might end up grounded or getting in a collision with another vessel. A dockworker’s failure to secure cargo properly before departure could lead to bone fractures, crushed extremities, or even the loss of a limb out on the water.
Likewise, poorly maintained machinery could catastrophically fail during operation, missing safety equipment could lead to preventable injuries even during relatively minor incidents, and the risk of falling overboard could lead to serious injuries or an accidental drowning. In the worst-case scenario, leaking fuel or an underwater collision with a gas pipeline could result in an explosion, often with ultimately fatal results.
Whatever the specific cause of a barge accident was, a Memphis attorney could work diligently on behalf of an injured worker to help them seek financial restitution from their employer or from a negligent third party. In the event that a barge accident results in a worker’s death, legal counsel can work with their surviving family members to pursue compensation for wrongful death.
In many situations, barge workers who are injured on the job are protected under federal maritime law rather than state-level workers’ compensation laws. Different pieces of federal legislation may apply to a case depending on whether an injury occurs while out on the water or on a dock providing service to a barge. It is a good idea to speak with a local barge accident lawyer about legal options before taking any action personally.
Recoverable damages may also vary depending on the legal grounds that a claim is based on. For example, the Jones Act allows barge workers injured in “navigable waters” to seek compensation for injuries caused by their employer’s negligence, plus medical expenses and certain cost of living expenses incurred while recovering on shore. On the other hand, third-party litigation may allow recovery for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including physical pain and emotional anguish.
Any accident that occurs away from dry land has the potential to be especially dangerous, and those that occur on barges are no exception. However, like other maritime workers, individuals who suffer physical injury while working on a barge have important legal rights at their disposal, and taking advantage of those rights could be essential to ensuring your long-term physical and financial recovery.
A knowledgeable Memphis barge accident lawyer from the Law Office of David E. Gordon can discuss your circumstances with you and help pursue the best course of action for seeking financial restitution. Call Elissa M. Coombs today to set up your free consultation.