A Barge Accident Attorney Handles Your Claim Every Step of the Way 

Workplace injuries in the majority of industries will entitle you to a claim through an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance in which your damages are limited, and you are not required to prove liability. However, when your injury happens while you are working in the maritime industry, different laws and statutes will apply. This is the case whether you were injured on a vessel like a barge, in onshore operations related to offshore production, extraction, or prospecting, or in a variety of other jobs that are defined as one of a “seaman” under federal maritime law. A barge accident attorney at Brais Law is available to consult on your injuries to determine if we can help with your claim. Below, we take a brief look at when a seaman injured in a workplace accident is entitled to damages. To determine whether or not you have a claim for the costs and damages related to your barge accident injury and to collect the full amount you deserve, it is best to work with an experienced barge accident attorney who has a focus on maritime law. The interrelated statutes of maritime law and various Acts will determine what options are available to you and the process you’ll need to follow in order to take advantage of them. 

Federal Maritime Law and the Jones Act May Determine Your Claim for Your Barge Accident Injury

When a covered employee in the maritime industry is injured on the job, oftentimes, both federal maritime law and the Jones Act will apply. In other instances, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCS Lands Act) will apply. These statutes will generally entitle you to compensation for your lost wages and earnings potential due to your injuries, in addition to medical costs and, in some instances, vocational retraining.

The extent of your injuries, future medical costs, and the related impact on your earnings ability will ultimately determine what options for compensation are open to you.

If your loved one was injured in a barge accident or incident on another vessel or during offshore or onshore operations and they are unable to bring their own claim, or if they were killed, you could be entitled to a survival action under the Jones Act. Discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney at Brais Law Firm to determine your options. Determining which statutes and rules apply to your injuries requires a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of these overlapping bodies of law. Figuring this out while trying to recover from your injuries can be difficult, and if you work with a barge accident attorney on the case, you’ll be able to step back and focus on recovery while we take over your case from claim through compensation. 

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Employers are Required to Provide Adequate Breaks and Opportunities for Rest

One of the more difficult aspects of managing life in the maritime industry is time management. If you are working and living on a vessel, you may spend many days in a row in your workplace. Despite the fact that you are physically present in the workplace, your employer is legally required to provide you with sufficient breaks and time to rest between your shifts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that when workers experience long work hours and extended or irregular shifts, it can lead to fatigue, as well as physical and mental stress, and prolonged exposure to other workplace hazards. The loading and offloading process of barge work can demand extended hours and working late into the night, which exponentially increases the risk of injury. Worker fatigue is often experienced during extended hours of the workday or during irregular shifts and has been found to:

  • Be 18% higher during shifts in the evening compared to day shifts 
  • Be 30% greater during night shifts than during day shifts 
  • Lead to a 37% increase in the risk of injury when working more than 12 hours on a given day

The level of alertness of workers also decreases as a result of worker fatigue and has been found to have caused a variety of substantial disasters including the Texas City BP oil refinery explosion. OSHA estimates that the annual cost of fatigue-related, health-related lost productive work time to employers amounts to about $136.4 billion each year in the U.S. If your employer failed to provide you or another employee with adequate rest and an accident or incident resulted, causing you injury, you could have a claim for your damages. Employers are liable for damages when their negligence was the cause of the accident or incident that led to your injuries. This includes not only situations like improper maintenance or poor equipment upkeep that creates the risk of harm but also instances where insufficient rest is provided to enable employees to work safely and responsibly. 

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Connect with a Barge Accident Attorney at Brais Law Firm

The experienced maritime lawyers at Brais Law Firm have extensive experience representing crewmembers injured while working on various vessels. The founding partner or Brais Law Firm, is board certified in maritime law. Our team of attorneys has decades of combined experience achieving winning results for our clients through pre-trial claim negotiations or by winning cases on their behalf in court. To make the most of your limited initial consultation, be sure to get your paperwork together concerning your medical costs, any records of the accident or incident that led to your injury, and any other information related to your injury.

We will review your injury and the cause of it to determine if we can help with your case, then discuss options on how to begin our attorney-client relationship. You are not obligated to anything until we sign an engagement agreement, and generally, we only get paid if we win so that you pay nothing out of your own pocket. Reach out to a barge accident attorney over the phone at 800-499-0551, or visit our website to begin by scheduling your initial free consultation. There is no risk in discussing your case with one of our experienced attorneys.

Who Will be Handling my Case?

Your case will be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney who knows what it takes to get the results you deserve. The practitioners at our firm have over 70 years of collective trial experience. Our credentials and qualifications are extensive, including an “AV” Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell and membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. More importantly, we have a first-hand understanding of how insurance carriers operate because we represented clients insured with major insurance companies for nearly 20 years before we made a choice to change sides so that we could help the people who need us most – individuals just like you. Learn more.

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Cruise Ship Crew Member Injury

"I was in pain for a good 6 months, it was just a nightmare. It wasn't until I got Mr. Brais that I really started getting the help I needed from the doctors. You need somebody you can trust, somebody to give you some guidance. They stuck in there with me the whole way."

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"I highly recommend Brais Law Firm. Their professionalism and expertise were top notch. My slip and fall injury case involved a well known cruise ship and was nerve racking to me. They calmed all my fears and walked me through step by step. In the end they helped me obtain a favorable recovery. Look no further, call them with your Maritime case!!!"

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Tug & Barge Crew Member Death

"I just thought he [Mr. Brais] was the man to do it. I felt comfortable with him being by my side. The pain my family has suffered has been immeasurable, but he was there with me. It’s not just him, it’s his team also. Keith really stood up for my son. I know I made the best choice."

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"I was in an accident where I was struck by a boat and boat propeller. The Brais Law Firm represented me in a very professional manner. I am very satisfied with the service and support I received from the firm and happy with the results they achieved. I recommend Keith Brais and his firm to anyone needing representation related to a maritime personal injury."

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