Working on barges on Charleston waterways can be hazardous work, and barge workers are often exposed to a variety of dangerous working conditions due to the weather, heavy machinery, and equipment used on barges. Barge owners, operators, and operating companies, therefore, have a duty to provide a safe working environment.
However, all too often barge workers suffer work-related injuries, resulting in time spent away from work, lost income, and in some case permanent injury and even death.
If you have been injured while working on a barge, contact a Charleston barge accident lawyer from Howell and Christmas. Knowledgeable accident attorneys understand the serious impact an injury can have on you and your family and are prepared to help you every step of the way.
Common Charleston Barge Accidents
Barges typically are large flat-bottomed vessels that have the capacity to transport massive quantities of freight on open waters and are commonly seen in the Port of Charleston transporting cargo to and from destinations. However, because of these ships size and weight, they pose unique dangers to workers.
At Howell and Christmas, skilled Charleston barge accident lawyers bring decades of experience helping injured barge workers and other maritime workers recover for their injuries, and have become familiar with some of the most common types of barge accidents.
Faulty Machinery and Equipment Related Accidents
Barges are generally equipped with various heavy machinery and large equipment used to move and secure cargo aboard these vessels.
However, these machines can cause a number of significant injuries if they are not properly maintained, serviced, and operated.
Common injuries from faulty machinery and equipment aboard barges include fingers, hands, feet, or limbs becoming lodged in moving parts.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are a major source of injuries for barge workers. Many slip and falls can be prevented by a barge’s owner by ensuring equipment is adequately secured, ensuring spills and liquids are cleared, and by maintaining non-skid surfaces on the deck.
Many barge workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals, gases, and dangerous conditions inside tanks and enclosed spaces aboard barges.
In addition, many barges are equipped with watertight and airtight compartments that do not let fresh oxygen in. This can pose a potential hazard to workers as they work in these environments.
Falling Overboard and Drownings
Barge workers face a constant risk of falling overboard and potentially drowning. Barges often must navigate through difficult weather conditions, and even in the best weather, barges workers are at risk of falling overboard due to moving equipment and cargo.
At Howell & Christmas, attorneys are familiar with the tough working conditions that barge workers endure on a daily basis, and bring decades of practical experience and cost-effective methods to help injured workers navigate the difficult aspects of a maritime and barge accident case in Charleston.
A Charleston barge accident attorney will approach an individual’s case with confidence and diligence, working closely with them to ensure their needs are met.
Understanding the Jones Act
If an individual has suffered an injury while aboard a barge, they may be entitled to compensation under the federal Jones Act. The Jones Act applies to seaman working on vessels such as barges and applies to those who are injured on these vessels, as a result of their employer’s negligence.
This law provides injured barge workers with a means of recovering financially from medical expenses, personal injuries, pain and suffering, and other rehabilitative expenses.
However, because of the complexities of this law, it is always advisable to have an experienced and knowledgeable Charleston barge accident lawyer assisting.
Howell & Christmas attorneys have been supporting injured barge workers by aggressively seeking compensation for injuries, and ensuring they receive the compensation they are entitled to under the Jones Act.
Contact a Charleston Barge Accident Attorney Today
Charleston barge accident lawyers will work closely with you to provide individualized support and guidance following a barge accident. With decades of practical experience, skilled lawyers have helped injured workers gather crucial evidence to support their case, and have ensured that injured workers are fairly represented and supported while applying to benefits and compensation.
Contact a Charleston barge accident attorney at Howell & Christmas, today to learn how they can help you.