Barge accidents, like other accidents that occur on seaworthy vessels, fall under the umbrella of maritime law. Victims of barge accidents can suffer potentially life-altering injuries that can impact their ability to earn an income and support their families.
If you have suffered one or more significant injuries in a Lafayette barge accident, you should consider seeking legal counsel as soon as possible. A Lafayette barge accident lawyer could evaluate the circumstances that led to your accident and could provide advice about your options. If you have grounds for legal action, they could help you pursue just compensation.
Dangerous Conditions on Barges
Accidents can occur on almost any type of barge or other vessel. Dangerous conditions on barges often arise when the owners fail to adequately maintain the premises on-board, including the platforms, equipment, and ropes. Accidents can also occur when an employer’s safety standards are lacking or when the equipment itself is defective.
When it comes to responsibility for defective conditions on barges, several individuals or legal entities could share in the blame. The injury victim’s employer, as well as the barge owner, might have concurrent liability, while equipment manufacturers could be directly or indirectly responsible for equipment defects that lead to injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a barge accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Pursuing Compensation Under the Jones Act
The laws which apply to maritime accident cases are significantly different from those involved in motor vehicle crash lawsuits and other personal injury actions. First, maritime accidents often proceed in the federal court system, as opposed to the state court system, and federal law may apply to the case.
One such applicable federal law is the Jones Act – commonly known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. This law often applies to maritime injury cases, including those that involve barges and other seaworthy vessels.
Under the Jones Act, injured workers aboard a barge or other vessel have the ability to file a lawsuit against their employer for injuries suffered while they were working. The Jones Act takes the place of traditional workers’ compensation laws, which compensate injured workers for their on-the-job injuries – regardless of who or what caused those injuries.
Barge accident cases and traditional workers’ compensation cases are very different, and the applicable laws differ significantly. Consequently, accident victims should consider having a Lafayette barge accident attorney on their side who is familiar with Jones Act. These cases can quickly become complex, but an experienced attorney understands how to effectively pursue fair compensation on an injured worker’s behalf.
Lafayette Barge Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Iberia Parish Barge Accident Lawyer
Required Duty of Care
Individuals who own barges and employ others to work on them must act reasonably at all times to avoid causing injuries. Acting in a reasonable manner includes providing a well-maintained barge that is both seaworthy and safe. Barge owners and employers must also make sure that all equipment and machinery on the barge is well-maintained and in working order at all times.
When barge owners and employers violate this duty of care and an accident occurs, they can be responsible for both the accident and any resulting injuries. The legal basis for maritime accident cases comes from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. When owner/employer negligence causes a worker on a vessel to become injured, then the worker could take legal action by suing both the owner of the vessel and their employer.
Since Jones Act cases are different from other personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, injured workers often benefit from consulting with an Iberia Parish barge accident attorney. An experienced lawyer could file a lawsuit on the injured worker’s behalf and help them recover the compensation they need.
Common Barge Accident Scenarios in Iberia Parish
Maritime accidents which may fall within the Jones Act could include any of the following:
- Slip and falls which occur because barge floors and other surfaces are not properly maintained and kept free of dangerous conditions
- Explosions and fires which occur because of chemical spills or poorly maintained machinery on the vessel
- Equipment malfunctions that occur because of negligent maintenance by the barge owner or employer, or by young and inexperienced equipment operators
Accidents sustained on a barge are often serious and could lead to head trauma, spinal cord injuries, fractures, broken bones, and even death. Accident victims who have suffered any one of these injuries at work should contact a barge accident attorney in Iberia Parish as soon as possible.
Speak with a Lafayette Barge Accident Attorney Today
Victims of barge accidents often face terrible consequences. In addition to potential financial hardships, including lost earnings and medical bills, accident victims may be incapacitated and endure constant pain and suffering for the rest of their lives.
When it comes to pursuing a maritime injury claim, having an experienced lawyer on your side can be a tremendous help. A Lafayette barge accident lawyer could help you understand the significant differences between Jones Act lawsuits and ordinary workers’ compensation. Based on the circumstances, they could devise the best strategy for helping you move forward. Call today to set up a consultation.