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Fourchon Barge Accident Lawyer

Barges—flat-bottomed boats usually used for carrying heavy cargo—are typically towed by another vessel, but some can operate under their own power. From dry bulk cargo barges designed to carry grain, sand, and building materials to liquid cargo barges built to carry chemical and fuel, to even power barges that generate electricity on the water, any accident involving a barge in Fourchon can have potentially disastrous consequences.

An experienced Fourchon barge accident lawyer should understand that each type of barge is associated with its own specific set of hazards. If you are uncertain as to the cause of your barge accident, contact a seasoned maritime accident attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury.

Common Causes of Barge Accidents

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, on the evening of June 7, 2017, an unmanned barge came loose from its mooring, striking overhead power lines on the Harvey Canal in Louisiana. The only damage reported was damage to the power lines totaling about $440,000.

However, in 2006, a vessel towing two barges on the West Cote Blanche Bay, in Louisiana caught fire when a mooring pin fell off the barge, striking a high-pressure natural gas line. This illustrates all too well the inherent dangers of moving heavy or flammable cargo from port to port, and even with the most skilled crew on board, sometimes things go wrong.

Some of the most common causes of barge accidents include:

  • Poorly trained, distracted or intoxicated crews and captains
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Traveling at unsafe speeds

Whatever the cause of the barge accident, a skilled personal injury lawyer could assess the case and determine if the injured victim is entitled to compensation.

Preventing Barge Accidents and Injuries

When a barge is involved in a collision, the impact can cause explosions, devastating pollution, and debilitating injuries to crew members transporting—or longshoremen unloading—the cargo.  However, barge accidents often occur on a much smaller scale, affecting only one or two crew members. Maritime workers can suffer serious injuries from a simple slip and fall or mishandling the lines.

OSHA identifies slips, trips, and falls as the number one cause of injury in the maritime industry and advises that many barge injuries and deaths could be prevented with proper awareness of hazards. The following  preventative measures should be implemented on every vessel or barge:

  • Minimize slippery surfaces on deck
  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Secure on and off ramps
  • Keep stairs and walkways clutter free
  • Avoid walking on hatch covers or along unguarded edges
  • Practice ladder safety protocol
  • Walk at a normal pace, avoiding quick stops and sharp turns

Although the above may sound like obvious precautions, working aboard a vessel is a hectic occupation, made potentially even more chaotic by weather issues and demanding employers. To that end, if someone suffers injury from a ship or barge accident, they should not necessarily assume it was solely their fault. Instead, they may be better served by contacting a Fourchon barge accident lawyer to discuss what avenues of compensation they may be entitled to.

Workers’ Comp Claims for Fourchon Barge Accidents

If someone employed in the maritime industry in Louisiana is injured on the job, there are several options they can pursue when seeking compensation for their living costs while recovering. Dock and shipyard workers may be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and workers on barges on navigable waters may be able to find assistance through the Jones Act, which is meant to cover seaman on vessels. To learn more about what options may be available in each specific situation, workers injured in a barge-related accident should contact a Fourchon barge accident lawyer for more information.

Fourchon Barge Accident Attorneys Protect Maritime Workers’ Rights

If you were injured or had a loved one killed in a barge accident, contact a Fourchon barge accident lawyer to learn more about your options. A compassionate attorney could answer your questions, guide you through the claim filing process, and fight aggressively for compensation on your behalf. Call today to get started on your case.