Admiralty Maritime:

Tugboat and Barge Workers

Maritime workers who are injured on a tugboat or barge may face many hardships following their accident. Many need a long recovery period, while others may never be able to return to work. Tugboat and barge injuries leave many workers wondering how they will afford to support their families. However, if you are a seaman who has been injured on the job, you have Jones Acts rights that can be protected with the help of a skill admiralty attorney. While many circumstances can lead to a maritime worker’s injury, accidents are too often caused by employer or co-worker negligence. Injuries caused by an overworked or untrained crew can also be considered negligence under the Jones Act.

After a worker is injured on a barge or tugboat, the employer will provide medical treatment from the company doctor. However, it is important to remember that you can seek medical care from a doctor of your choice. Also, if you are injured, do not finish your shift. Not only will this worsen your condition, it will be more difficult to prove employer negligence or unseaworthiness of the ship.

While injured tugboat and barge workers can receive maintenance and cure, they can also collect other damages if the injury was caused by negligence or unsafe working conditions. Some factors that contribute to maritime injuries include:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Defective machinery
  • Insufficient/negligent crew
  • Towing winch failure
  • Worn-down stairs
  • Falls overboard or off ladders
  • Tow lines parting
  • Collisions with other ships
  • Chemical exposure
  • Lack of sufficient lighting
  • Wire ropes sweeping the deck

If you have been injured on a tugboat or barge, you may be eligible for a Jones Act lawsuit. In a maritime lawsuit, you can collect damages that exceed the amount you would receive for maintenance and cure. As an injured worker, you may be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills and lost wages. It is important to speak with a maritime lawyer immediately following your accident.