Dredge Accidents

Boat dredging

Dredge Injury and Accident Lawyer

A dredge is a vessel or machine that is used to scrape and remove gravel, sand or sediment and other materials from the bottom of a water or sea bed. There are many different types of dredges that perform various tasks, including suction dredges, dredge barges, submersible dredges, fishing dredges, clam shell dredges and mechanical bucket dredges. Dredges and other heavy equipment, such as cranes and backhoes, are essential in maritime construction projects including the building of new bridges and piers. Dredging operations also play a critical role in providing ships and boats with access to harbors, rivers, bays, ports, sea channels and other waterways.

Working on a dredge can be very dangerous. Crew members and other workers can suffer serious harm and even die in a dredge accident. These kinds of accidents involve all types of injuries, including:

  • Slip and falls caused by spills, debris and slippery conditions
  • Neck and back strains and other injuries from heavy lifting
  • Amputations and paralysis
  • Head injuries
  • Equipment accidents, including burns and electrocutions
  • Falls due to inadequate railings or lack of proper safety devices
  • Many other injuries resulting from the negligent acts of the employer, vessel owner and other parties

Jones Act Claims

When a maritime worker is injured in an accident involving dredging operations, the worker may be entitled to legal protection under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that gives injured seaman the right to collect certain benefits from their employers. If a maritime employee is classified as a seaman under the Jones Act, the worker will be entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits from his employer. Maintenance and cure benefits are similar to state workers compensation insurance programs in that the employer must compensate the injured dredge worker for his or her daily living expenses (“maintenance”) and reasonable medical expenses (“cure”) regardless of who may be at fault for the accident.

Unlike traditional worker’s compensation programs, if negligence is involved, the injured dredge worker will be permitted to file a lawsuit against the employer to recover damages similar to those in a personal injury case, including lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical care and treatment, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

If the company that owns the dredge is a different company from the employer, the injured seaman may also be able to file a legal claim under General Maritime Law against the dredge owner. These types of legal actions are known as “unseaworthiness claims” and give injured maritime workers the right to recover damages from vessel owners when a vessel or any of its equipment is unsafe or unfit for its intended use.

A Jones Act Lawyer Can Help You Determine if you have a Claim

If you have been injured in a dredging operation in a bay, port, river, coastal area, channel or other body of water, it is essential to seek proper legal advice as quickly as possible. Injured workers often are confused by the law and mistakenly think that they do not have a legal claim. The Willis Law Firm can review your situation and explain all of the legal rights and protections that are available to you. You can schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced injury firm by completing our online contact form or by calling 1-800-468-4878. We represent injured maritime workers nationwide.

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