Alabama, Jones Act

Alabama Maritime Law Firm for Barge and Tugboat Accidents

As the Port of Mobile continues to expand, Alabama is increasingly becoming a key location for the country’s shipping, transportation, seafood and cruise industries. But with the rise in activity off the shores of Alabama comes the increase in risk for a wide range of accidents for seaman, longshoreman and other workers. If you have been injured offshore Alabama waterways, a Alabama tugboat accident lawyer at Willis Law Firm can help.

Maritime accidents are particularly common on barges and tugboats. Whether it is a slip and fall on a slick or cluttered deck or a crushing accident caused by the negligent operation of a crane, the injuries caused can have a significant impact on both the injured person and his or her family. 

Alabama barge accident attorney David Willis helps people injured in tugboat, towboat, barge and other offshore accidents get the full compensation available under the law. Willis Law Firm has a strong track record of successful results for the people and families devastated by maritime accidents.

The Willis Law Firm Can Help with All of Your Jones Act Claims

If you have been injured in a maritime incident in Alabama or anywhere else in the nation, the Willis Law Firm is here to help. Federal and state laws provide important protections and legal rights to individuals who are injured in maritime accidents. The Jones Act is a federal law that provides injured seaman with the right to file a negligence lawsuit against an employer when any level of employer negligence causes or contributes to the seaman’s injuries. Under the Jones Act, an employer who is found to be negligent is required to pay the employee’s damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disability and disfigurement and pain and suffering. The Jones Act also requires employers to pay injured seamen maintenance and cure benefits even if the employer was not at fault for the accident.

The Jones Act and other maritime injury laws are complex and should be handled by a qualified maritime injury lawyer. The Willis Law Firm, a Texas and New York maritime injury law firm, has more than 30 years of experience representing injured oil rig workers, seamen and other maritime workers along the Gulf Coast and across the nation.

Barge vs. Tugboat: The Difference Explained by an Alabama Barge Accident Attorney

Barges and tugboats are often confused with one another because they serve similar purposes and are regularly used together. 

A barge is a flat-bottom boat that is used primarily to transport heavy goods on rivers and canals. They often look like a very large raft and typically do not have a motor or other source of power.

Tugboats, on the other hand, are small boats that are typically used to pull barges or disabled vessels. They can also be employed to steer larger ships through narrow canals and other passageways or as ice breakers to clear a path for those vessels. 

How Barge Accidents Happen

As an Alabama barge accident attorney, we can attest that accidents happen – and they happen all the time. Like other types of accidents, mishaps on barges can happen in a number of different ways and be caused by a wide range of factors. There are certain features of working on a barge, like being exposed to heavy machinery, large loads of goods and long hours on the job that can increase the risk of an accident.

One common theme in barge accidents is shoddy or malfunctioning tools and equipment. Whether it is a cluttered deck that leads to a trip and fall, a malfunctioning crane that causes a person to be crushed or improper safety equipment that makes an accident worse, barge workers often suffer serious injuries that can cut their careers short and change their lives.

Then there are the people operating the equipment. Negligent training and poor oversight of maritime workers is a recipe for disaster on a barge. It also puts everyone else on the barge at risk.  

Your Rights After A Tugboat Accident in Alabama

The good news is that a person injured in a barge or tugboat accident has the right to seek certain benefits and compensation. An Alabama Tugboat accident lawyer at our firm can help with this process.

The Jones Act is a federal law designed to operate similarly to many state workers’ compensation systems. It establishes a largely “no fault” system in which barge, tugboat and other maritime workers can get medical benefits and compensation without having to prove that their employer or someone else is to blame for an accident. The compensation may include money for missed wages, future medical expenses, reductions in earning capacity and pain, suffering and emotional distress, in certain situations.

To get that benefits and compensation you have to prove that you are a seaman covered by the Jones Act and that you were injured aboard a vessel.

Common Types of Maritime Injuries After a Barge or Tugboat Accident

If you are employed in Alabama’s maritime industry you know just how serious a maritime accident can be. Whether you work on a tug, barge, cargo ship, fishing boat, jack-up rig, offshore oil rig, platform, dredge or other type of vessel, you are forced to deal with risky and dangerous conditions every day you are on the job. While maritime employers are under a legal duty to protect their employees and provide a safe working environment, far too many employers neglect these duties. When an employer or vessel owner fails to ensure that a work environment is safe for the crew, severe injuries are likely to result, such as:

  • Crushed limbs
  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Electrocutions
  • Slip and Falls
  • Bulging & Herniated Discs
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Neck and back strains and injuries
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxins

Our Commitment to You – How an Alabama Barge Accident Attorney Can Help

At the Willis Law Firm, an Alabama tugboat accident lawyer at our firm can help you determine your Jones Act eligibility and maximize your compensation. Contact us at 1-800-468-4878 email us through our online webform for a free consultation and to learn how we can help you.

Our attorneys have dedicated their professional careers to helping maritime workers in Alabama and across the country in their times of need. We are committed to helping people focus on their physical and mental wellbeing after an accident with the confidence that comes with knowing that we are fighting for them.

Our lawyers understand how the law works and we know how to build the strongest possible claims for the people that we represent. The firm has had significant success resolving cases without long and drawn out court battles.

About the Port of Mobile, Alabama’s Fastest Growing Port

Alabama’s only deep water port, the Port of Mobile moves more than 54 million tons of cargo a year. That traffic makes it among the country’s 10 largest ports and the fastest growing in Alabama. 

The port is located on the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mobile River, offering access to some 15,000 miles of inland and Intracoastal waterways. It connects to the Alabama River, the Tombigbee River, the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, the Black Warrior River and the Tennessee River, among other waterways.

The port’s location also makes it an increasingly popular spot for departing cruise ships. A nearly $500 million investment in the port over the last two decades means economic activity is expected to continue to expand throughout the state’s maritime industry.

About Alabama Maritime Industry

The Port of Mobile is the centerpiece of a thriving maritime industry that brings a wide range of jobs and economic benefits to Alabama.

The state’s location along the Gulf of Mexico, combined with 77,000 miles of rivers and streams, makes shipping and other maritime activity a major contributor to Alabama’s economy. Other ports and harbors in the state include the Port of Decatur, Port of Guntersville, Port of Florence and the Barry Electric Generating Plant.

At the Willis Law Firm, we proudly represent maritime workers throughout Alabama. An Alabama barge accident attorney at our firm can help you understand your legal rights and explore your options after an accident. 

Speak with an Alabama Tugboat Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on a barge or tugboat, it is important to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced lawyer before accepting a deal from your employer or an insurance company. An Alabama barge accident attorney can help ensure that you get the full benefits and compensation available.

The Willis Law Firm assists workers and their families who suffer from maritime-related injuries throughout Alabama and across the country. We have extensive experience in these cases. Give us a call at 1-800-468-4878 or email us through our online webform to find out more about your legal rights and options.

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Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office - Houston, Texas
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056
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