Paducah – A Major Hub for the Barge Business
The city of Paducah is situated halfway between Nashville, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers. It is known as the “Four-Rivers Area” due to its proximity to the Mississippi, Cumberland, Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. Coal, grain, asphalt, chemicals and other products are transported on the thousands of barges that travel the area’s river system each year. Paducah has become a major hub of activity for barge operations and many barge lines are headquartered in the area.
The state of Kentucky is unique in that it is bordered on three sides by rivers – the Ohio River to the north, the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork River to the east and the Mississippi River to the west. There are several of ports and harbors situated throughout the state of Kentucky, including the Paducah-McCracken Riverport in Paducah-McCracken County.
Maritime Accidents in the Paducah Area
Working on the barges, tugs and other vessels that travel our nation’s river systems is a difficult and risky occupation. The crewmembers, deckhands, engineers and other maritime employees who work on the river can suffer serious injuries when an accident takes place. These injuries can keep a river worker off the job for an extended period of time and, in some cases, even prevent the worker from ever returning to his or her former occupation.
The companies that own and operate barges and other commercial vessels have a legal duty to take appropriate steps to prevent workplace accidents. When a company fails to keep employees safe from harm, the company can be held legally liable should an injury occur.
The Jones Act is a federal statute that protects seamen who are hurt injured in maritime incidents. Under the Act, an injured seaman has the legal right to file a lawsuit against his employer if his employer’s negligence played a part in his injuries. In a Jones Act negligence suit the employee can recover legal damages similar to a traditional negligence lawsuit, including:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
Even if employer negligence did not play a role in your injuries, your employer still has a legal duty to pay you maintenance and cure benefits if you are a seaman who has been injured in the course of your employment. These benefits are designed to cover the cost of your daily living expenses on land and the medical care you need to properly treat and care for your injuries.
Depending upon the facts of your case, you may also have the right to sue other parties responsible for your injuries, including the owner of the vessel, product manufacturers and maintenance and repair companies. You should discuss your case with an experienced maritime attorney who will review your situation to identify the best legal options available to address your accident and injuries.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Barge Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in a tug or barge accident or any type of vessel on the rivers in the Paducah area, the Willis Law Firm can help. We represent injured seamen nationwide in all types of maritime accidents. Our firm offers 24/7 service and your case will be handled from start to finish by an experienced maritime injury lawyer. Call us today at 1-800-468-4878 to schedule a free and confidential case review.