A recent barge accident on the Mississippi River has claimed the life of a worker. The accident occurred near the U.S. 190 bridge. While little information is known about this particular accident because it happened very recently and because it is currently under investigation, this tragedy calls attention to the dangers of working on the river. Many workers work on or near the river every day, and, just as is the case with any other type of workplace, there is the potential that injury or even death may occur at work.
The Mississippi River is a very busy waterway, with barge and towboat traffic that can be rather heavy at times. The towboats and barges that operate on the Mississippi and on other major waterways can be dangerous places to work, especially in crowded areas where there are many vessels in close proximity to each other on the water. Water and weather conditions can change suddenly, which can increase accident risk dramatically. Workplace accidents on barges and towboats can occur when vessels collide, as well as when vessels are moving along the waterway and even when they are docked or at anchor. Slips, falls, and other sudden injuries can occur on barges and towboats, as can injuries associated with lifting heavy things and operating machinery.
Since workers on barges and towboats can be seriously injured or killed, it is important that these workers and their families understand that the worker’s compensation laws which govern most workplace injuries do not apply to individuals who are injured while they are working on navigable waters. When a worker is injured while working on navigable waters, a law called the Jones Act serves as the means by which the injured worker can collect damages.
The Jones Act differs from ordinary workers’ compensation in a couple of ways. One major difference is that a worker must prove negligence on the part of their employer before they can be awarded damages. Another difference is that the Jones Act provides for payment of some categories of damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, that regular worker’s compensation does not. The Jones Act also provides free medical care and maintenance payments that help injured workers pay for their living expenses as they recover from their injuries.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support for Mississippi Workplace Accident Victims
Barge and towboat accidents are different than regular worker’s compensation cases, but that does not have to stop you from recovering for your injuries or damages. If you were hurt while you were working on navigable waters, you may be eligible for one or more types of relief under the Jones Act. An experienced Mississippi workplace accident attorney can help you understand the various types of relief that may be available to you, as well as how you can pursue any relief that you may qualify for. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.