Maritime Accidents in Alabama

Alabama River Accidents, Jones Act

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Commercial operations on the Mobile River can be dangerous. Ships, boats and barges traveling on the river can collide, fuel and other combustible materials carried on barges can ignite, and countless other types of maritime accidents and incidents can take place. When a maritime worker is injured in the course of employment on the Mobile River, the worker will generally be protected under the Jones Act. If you’ve been injured in an Alabama waterway, contact an Alabama maritime accident attorney at the Willis Law Firm today.

About The Alabama River

Formed by the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers about 6 miles northeast of Montgomery, the Alabama River flows westward to Selma, and then south to Mobile, where it merges with the Tombigbee to form the Mobile and Tensaw rivers which empty into the Mobile Bay. The Alabama River is approximately 305 miles long with its depth ranging from 3 to 40 feet. The river’s chief tributary, the Cahaba River, joins the Alabama River 10 miles southwest of Selma.

The Alabama River runs through Autauga, Baldwin, Clarke, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Monroe, Montgomery, and Wilcox counties, and there are three locks and dams on the river located between Montgomery and the Mobile River: The Millers Ferry Lock & Dam, the Robert F. Henry Lock & Dam and the Claiborne Lock & Dam.

Ports and harbors on the Alabama River include:

  • Port of Claiborne
  • Port of Montgomery
  • Port of Selma
  • Port of Chickasaw

About The Mobile River

Located in southern Alabama, the Mobile River is the nation’s sixth largest river basin. The Mobile River is formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers and flows through the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta entering into the northern end of Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. A number of bridges and tunnels cross the Mobile River, including the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge, the 14-Mile Bridge, the General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, the George Wallace Tunnel, and the Bankhead Tunnel.

The Port of Mobile provides direct access to inland and Intracoastal waterways that serve the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio and Tennessee river valleys. In addition to its public deep-water terminals, the Port of Mobile houses shipbuilding and repair companies along with private bulk terminal operators. The port accommodates heavy lift and oversized cargo with barges and other vessels transporting a wide range of products, including coal, aluminum, steel lumber, copper, wood pulp, cement, and chemicals. In 2012, the United States Department of Transportation reported the Port of Mobile as being the nation’s 12th largest port by tonnage, with a trade volume of 54.9 million total tons.

Our Alabama Maritime Accident Attorney Outlines Your Claim

Working on a barge, dredge, fishing boat, tugboat, tow boat or any other navigable vessel is a risky and dangerous occupation. Everyday crew members and other maritime workers across the United States and around the world are seriously hurt when workplace accidents occur.

While working on the Alabama River, Mobile River or any other waterway may be inherently risky, maritime employers have a strict legal duty to protect their employees from harm. When an employer fails to make certain that a vessel or any of its equipment is safe for operation, serious accidents can occur, including:

  • Slip and falls
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Burns and electrocutions
  • Exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals
  • Exposure to old asbestos insulation products
  • Other injuries caused by the negligent actions of employers, vessel owners and other companies

If a maritime worker is injured as a result of the negligent actions of an employer, the worker may be entitled to pursue a Jones Act negligence suit against his or her employer. The Jones Act is a federal statute that gives injured seamen the right to file legal claims to recover damages from their employers. In a Jones Act negligence case, if an employer’s negligence played any part in an employee’s injuries, no matter how small, the employee will be able to recover damages similar to those in a standard negligence suit, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

The Jones Act also provides injured seamen with maintenance and cure benefits. Unlike a Jones Act negligence suit, the injured worker does not have to prove the employer was at fault in order to collect these benefits. These benefits are absolute, and the employer must pay for maintenance and cure until the injured worker has reached “maximum medical improvement.”

When you are injured in a river accident, it is paramount to discuss your case with a lawyer who knows maritime law. Your attorney will carefully review your situation to identify all parties that may be held liable for your injuries and determine the best course of action to take in your case.

Contact the Willis Law Firm for Answers

If you are a crew member or seaman who has been injured in an accident on the Alabama River the Willis Law Firm is here to help. We are a strong and dedicated team of legal professionals with the skills and experience necessary to take on companies operating throughout the maritime industry.

If you have suffered an injury in an accident on a ship, towboat, tug, barge, or any other type of vessel on the Mobile River it is important to talk with an Alabama maritime accident attorney immediately. Your lawyer will answer your questions and make certain that you are taking the right actions to protect your legal rights. Jones Act and General Maritime Law claims can be extremely complicated, so you need to make sure that you have the right attorney on your side.

Whether your case is simple or complex, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-468-4878. Or contact us online. Consultations with The Willis Law Firm are always free and completely confidential.


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