Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW)
Beginning at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, Virginia and stretching to Florida Keys. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) spans approximately 1,200 miles. The AIWW or “the ditch” as it is commonly known, is a series of rivers, canals, sounds and bays that are heavily utilized by both commercial vessels and recreational boats and watercraft. The AIWW provides ships, barges, tugboats, fishing boats, tankers and other vessels a protected passage for transit through the lower east coast of the United States. Commercial activity can be heavy on the AIWW, with barges and other vessels transporting commodities such as oil, gasoline, sand, iron, fertilizers, chemicals, wood, produce, building materials and manufactured goods.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway serves 10 ports and harbors from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Key West, Florida and is linked by a number of canals, including the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, the Dismal Swamp Canal and the Cape Cod Canal. Further the AIWW serves fourteen different military bases and four US Coast Guard Stations along the waterway.
Maritime Accidents on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
With so much commercial and recreational activity going on, serious accidents can occur on the AIWW. These accidents are typically governed by admiralty and maritime laws. If you are a worker who has been injured on a tugboat, barge, ship or other vessel on the AIWW, you may have important legal rights under the Jones Act and other federal and state laws.
While you may be familiar with how maintenance and cure payments work, you may not know that the Jones Act gives injured seamen the right to sue their employers for negligence damages. This means that in addition to collecting your maintenance and cure benefits, you may also be able to file a Jones Act negligence lawsuit against your employer if your employer’s negligence played any part in causing your injuries.
Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may also have legal claims against other parties responsible for your injuries such as the owner of the vessel that you were working on, as well as third party defendants including maintenance and repair companies, product suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
A Marine Lawyer Explains What You Need to Do
When you are injured in a marine accident on the AIWW or any other waterway, you need to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. While your company and its insurance carriers are likely to pressure you into giving a statement about the accident, you should never give any written, recorded or sworn statements to your employer until after you have talked with your attorney. These kinds of statements can be used against you later on to negatively impact the outcome of your case.
The Willis Law Firm is an experienced maritime injury firm that will carefully guide you through the legal system. For more than 40 years we have been helping injured seamen across the nation collect the financial compensation that they need and deserve. The laws and procedures governing maritime injury cases can be confusing so it is important to have a skilled attorney on your side. At the Willis Law Firm we will make sure that you take the right steps at the right times so that you have the best chance of obtaining a maximum recovery in your case. Fill out our online contact form or call us today at 1-800-468-4878 to schedule a free, initial consultation.