Many people are drawn to jobs at the dockyards of Charleston’s port for the high pay and fringe benefits. Still, the possibility of suffering a workplace injury is very significant, so barge workers should be aware of their rights.
South Carolina workers’ compensation laws cover most injuries that workers might suffer while on the job. However, a major exception to this rule is workers who perform their jobs on ships. All crew members on ships and barge workers are exempt from workers’ compensation laws, as are many dockyard workers.
Fortunately, a qualified Port of Charleston barge workers injury lawyer could help you pursue compensation in a different way. If you are hurt while working on a barge, a dedicated attorney could represent you and your family in a personal injury lawsuit filed under federal law to obtain the benefits you need.
Injuries That May Occur While Working on a Barge
Barges present many potentially hazardous conditions to workers. All the usual hazards that involve working on a ship apply, such as slipping on standing water, being tossed around below deck during rough weather, or even the possibility of the ship sinking.
In addition to typical hazards they face while working on a ship, barge workers are typically required to participate in many of the same activities as factory workers. This makes them vulnerable to injuries resulting from:
- Improperly maintained machinery
- Loading vehicles and incorrectly used cranes
- Falling objects
- Tool failure
- Inhalation of toxic fumes
An injury that would qualify a barge worker for compensation does not need to result from a catastrophic incident. Workers who are unable to work after the gradual development of a debilitating injury, such as joint pain or lung disease, may also be qualified to receive benefits if the genesis of that injury is work-related. A Port of Charleston barge workers injury lawyer could help workers identify the source of their injuries and work towards receiving much-needed compensation.
Seeking Compensation as a Barge Worker in Port of Charleston
Employees who are injured while working on a barge must pursue a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. Compensation from a successful suit can provide payments for the costs of medical care, any loss of future working ability endured in the injury, and even for any mental trauma inflicted in the incident.
A federal law known as the Jones Act, listed at 46 U.S.C. §30104, states that injured workers on vessels have a cause of action to sue their employers after being injured on the job. This law only applies to workers who do the majority of their work on a water-worthy vessel, and only if the injury in question is directly related to them performing their usual job duties.
This contrasts with how most other employees in the state, who are covered by workers’ compensation insurance plans, would receive compensation for a workplace injury. As such, it is vitally important that all barge workers understand their rights and how to demand compensation in the case of an injury. A Port of Charleston barge workers injury attorney could help injured individuals file these lawsuits and demand appropriate financial restitution. Reach out to a seasoned lawyer today to get started on filing a claim.
Talk to a Port of Charleston Barge Workers Injury Attorney
A work injury is always a serious matter, and the consequences from one that occurs while working on a barge can be severe. Workers who are injured while working on a barge have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in a United States District Court under the Jones Act. This act places civil liability on barge owners whenever one of their employees is injured on the job.
A Port of Charleston barge workers injury lawyer could represent you if you feel you were denied benefits to which you are entitled as a barge worker. Skilled legal counsel could fight against the insurance companies on your behalf and work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today to learn what kind of legal options may be available to you.