Port of Mobile Accident Lawyer

Maritime Injury Attorneys

The Port of Mobile is an extensive deep-water port In Mobile, Alabama and also serves as Alabama’s only deep-water port. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the port is the 10th largest in the US by tonnage. A public port, its deepwater terminals connect to over 1500 intracoastal waterways. The public terminals handle various cargo loads such as containerized, bulk, and roll-on/roll-off.

The Port of Mobile is the largest break bulk forest products port in the United States, and one of the largest importing ports for coal. In 2015, the Port of Mobile handled 29.1 million tons including 237,266 containers. Due to the nature of the shipping industry, accidents can and do occur. The amount of traffic from ships creates dangerous scenarios in which ship to ship, ship to shore, and barge accidents and injuries are inevitable.

Loading and unloading cargo and containers from ships and heavy barges is dangerous work, the risk of injury is serious. The potential causes of injury can be endless from tug boat and barge collisions, crane accidents, fires, chemical leaks, explosions, lifting accidents, and exposure to toxic chemicals. These injuries can be serious and result in death.

When a worker is injured on a ship, barge, tugboat, or any other vessel in the Port of Mobile, they need to contact a lawyer as the worker may be entitled to relief under the Jones Act. This relief can include daily maintenance and medical care as well as other damages available under the Jones Act. When a third party other than the Jones Act employer may be negligent and/or the source of the injury or death, the third party employer may be liable as well. Additional negligent parties may be liable for the individual injuries under the General Maritime Laws available.

Port of Mobile Injury Lawyer

If you were injured on a ship, barge, or other vessel or while at work in a port terminal in the Port of Mobile, we are eager to help you. The choice of law available could include the Jones Act, Longshoremen, Harbor Workers Compensation Act or General Maritime Law. Additionally, worker’s comp may be available. Individuals who believe they may have a claim should contact an experience attorney to help maximize the damages and relief available to them.

David Willis is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer in Houston, Texas with over 30 years of experience handling accident cases and claims on intracoastal canals, ship channels, ports, docks, chemical plants, bays and other waterways across the country. Call the Willis Law Firm for a free consultation at 1-800-883-9858.

Kentucky River Accident & Injury Lawsuit

Kentucky River Accident & Injury Lawsuit

Kentucky has over 1000 miles of navigable rivers and waterways. It is one of the most vast and complex river systems in the United States. In fact Kentucky is surrounded by rivers on three sides of the state with the Ohio River to its north, the Mississippi River to its west and the Big Sandy and Tug Fork Rivers to its east. Additionally Kentucky contains 3 more major river systems including the Cumberland, Green, Licking and the Tennessee Rivers.

Kentucky has twelve riverports including Hickman-Fulton County, Eddyville, Paducah-McCracken County, Henderson County, Louisville-Jefferson County, Owensboro and Greenup-Boyd County riverports and terminals. Of all of these, the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Terminal is one of the nations busiest inland riverport and barge terminals in the Country.

Kentucky Barge Traffic and Accidents

With the vast miles of navigable rivers in Kentucky also comes the vast number of tug, barge & river accidents as well. Some of the major tug and barge operators in the state include: AEP River Operations, Crounse Corporation, Devall Commercial Barges, Henry Marine Service, Higman Marine Services, Inc, Ingram Barge Company, James Transportation LLC, Kirby Inland Marine Corporation, Magnolia Marine Transportation, Muscle Shoals Marine Service, Inc, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company, Shapley Marine Company, Parker Towing Company, Southern Marine Construction Company, Volunteer Barge & Transport, W. L. Hailey & Company and Winn Marine.

While tug and barge traffic occupies most of the maritime traffic, some dredges, fishing boats, cargo type vessels, ferries and construction boats also navigate the waterways of Kentucky. No matter what type of vessel you are on, if you get injured then most likely you will be covered under the Jones Act Law. This Federal Statute provides compensation to seamen / crewmen injured while operating a vessel on navigable waters. If the crew member is sent ashore to assist in other duties and is injured or is traveling to another vessel or retrieving parts or supplies, then he also likely will be covered by the Jones Act. Workers at these terminals responsible for loading and unloading cargo from a barge or vessel and they get injured, then they may have rights under State Worker’s Compensation or under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. These laws for the injured worker can be confusing and this is where we can help guide you.

Tug and Barge River Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured on a ship, tug, barge or any vessel then call and speak to a maritime lawyer for a Free Confidential Case Consultation at 1-800-883-9858 or fill out our Online Form and we will get back with you usually within 1-12 hrs.

Port of New Orleans Accident and Injury Attorney

Port of New Orleans Lawyer

The Port of New Orleans is the major river port along the Lower Mississippi River and near the Intracoastal Canal System. It is a deep river port served by six railroad lines including BNSF, CN , CSX Intermodal, Norfolk Southern Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, Kansas City Southern Lines and one local transportation rail line 26 miles long called the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad System. The Port of New Orleans handle many types of cargo including: coal, steel, oil, manufactured goods, grains and ocean containers and the port has many major cruise ships loading and unloading over 700,000 cruise ship passengers yearly. The port is equipped with heavy cranes, toploaders, sideloader, container cranes, trucking facilities and docks and 100’s of acres for trucks, trailers, raillines, bulk cargo and container storage.

Besides large ocean going cargo ships and passenger vessels, the tug and towboat traffic at the Port is busy handling over 50,000 barges per year as well. New Orleans also has another terminal and docks known as the Port of South Louisiana which handled 3 times more cargo and tonnage than the Port of New Orleans.

Barge Lines in Ports of New Orleans

As stated above the barge lines operating in the NOLO area are vast. They include Progressive Barge Line, LLC, Marquette Transportation Co., Marine Transportation and Towing Canal Barge Co., Blessey Marine Services, Inc., Dixie Marine, Harvey Gulf International Marine, C.F. Bean, AEP River Operations Crescent Towing, American Commercial Lines LLC , Guidry Brothers Towing Co., Tidewater Marine, Dixie Marine, Carline Management Company, Wood Dredging Company, Bean, Ingram Barge Company, Bisso Towboat Company, C & J Barge & Crane, Weeks Marine, Kirby Inland Marine, LeBeouf Bros. Towing, M&P Barge Co. , Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. and Coastal Marine Contractors, Inc.

River & Maritime Injury Lawsuits

Due to the very busy nature of this river system, port and docks often many serious injuries happen due to the negligence of co-workers, employers, ship and vessel companies, crane operators, and dock workers. If you become a victim of such negligent conduct you may have a right to file a legal action or lawsuit to recover for your injuries, losses and other damages. Whether you were working for a tug or tow boat company, cargo ship, freighter, fishing vessel, salvage or construction ship or barge, dredge, jackup rig, pipe lay barge or any other type of support vessel or ship, then your legal rights probably fall under the Jones Act. Other type of injuries on the docks loading or off-loading ships and cargo likely are covered by workers comp or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Inland Waterway & River Accident Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt on a ship, barge or vessel or on the docks, we are here to talk and help advise you of your legal options under the law. Talk to a maritime injury lawyer for free. Mr. Willis is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer in Texas with over 30 years of experience in handling accident cases on waterways, rivers all over the nation. Call for a Free Consultation at 1-800-883-9858 or tell us what happened online if your prefer.

Paducah-McCracken Riverport Accident & Injury Lawyer

Barge Lawyer

At the confluence of the Ohio and Tennesse Rivers is a major shipping and barge terminal known as the Paducah-McCracken Riverport. It is the only riverport and terminal at the confluence of the, the Ohio River, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Cumberland River, the Paducah-McCracken Riverport is less than 50 miles from the Mississippi River. It has crane, rail and truck service and is the nation’s most northern ice-free river port facility.

The location is ideal as it is centrally located for superior distribution with direct connections to the heartland of the United. This river port offers cargo handling, crane, bagging, storage and warehousing of bulk cargo, lumber, feed & seeds, petroleum products, sand, steel rolls and beams, pulpwood, coal gravels and SeaLand type of ocean going containers.

The Paducah Riverports has eighteen different barge and towboat companies providing service along the Paducah Riverfront including:

  • Ingram Barge Co.
  • Kirby Inland Marine
  • Bluegrass Marine
  • Hunter Marine
  • Excell Marine Corporation
  • James Marine
  • Luhr Brothers
  • Marquette Marine Transportation
  • American Commercial Lines

Barge & Tugboat Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in the Paducah-McCracken Riverport area or along any river or waterway on a tug, towboat, barge, dredge, crane, ferry, recreational or pleasure boat, then you may have rights to file a injury lawsuit under the Jones Act or under the General Maritime Law. Both sets of maritime laws can provide you with legal rights to collect money for your injuries and damages that you have suffered while working on a ship or vessel.

If you were hurt onshore loading or unloading cargo then other laws such as worker’s compensation and The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) also provide you protection and legal rights for your injuries and losses. Due to the often confusing laws and facts that exist in many cases, it is critical that you contact an experienced maritime lawyer to assist you. Don’t let your employer or the insurance company representative decide what set of laws apply to you and your injury. Many times the path they choose and the medical doctors that they send you to are not on your side, nor do they have your best interest at heart.

Call and talk to an attorney with 30+ years of maritime injury experience at Willis Law Firm 24/7 for a Free and Confidential Case Evaluation at 1-800-883-9858 or fill out the online form.

Tug Boat & Barge Accident Lawyer

Tug Boat & Barge Accident Lawyer

Tugs and barge injuries happen daily. Whether on deck or in the engine room, making tow, making locks, dropping barges, checking tow or handling the lines, injuries happen. Tugboat injuries often occur while bending or stooping, entrapments with drum winches, climbing or descending ladders or stairs, lifting or carrying equipment. In many cases the vessel’s condition, lack of working equipment or lack of a trained crew may have played a part in causing or contributing to your injury. Sometimes cold weather conditions with ice or snow covered decks and stairs. Other times oily or slippery floors and stairs are the cause, and even missing or worn out safety equipment may be the culprit. No matter what, you must immediately take the necessary steps to get well and protects your rights under the law.

Many barge and towboat workers are also exposed to high and low levels of benzene exposure on barges from pure benzene and benzene containing aromatic hydrocarbons from barges tanks full of toluene, xylene, jet fuel, aviation gas, naphtha and other bulk chemicals. These benzene containing chemicals are known to cause AML Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Aplastic Anemia (AA), myelodysplastic syndrome or myelodysplasia (MDS), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, blood cancers, bladder cancers and other leukemias and cancers.

After Your Injury on a Barge or Tugboat:

  • Report your injury immediately to your Supervisors
  • Fill out an Incident Report
  • Keep a Copy of the Accident Report You Filled Out
  • Get Witnesses Names and Contact Information
  • Get to a Doctor and get Needed Medical Treatment
  • Call a Tugboat & Barge Injury Lawyer – If you Have any Questions

After A Maritime Injury – What Happens Next?

If the injury on the barge of towboat is serious, and immediate medical attention is needed, make sure you give the medical personal a short history of what happened as well. Under the Jones Act you are entitled to receive maintenance and cure. Cure being the medical treatments and medicines and care needed to get you to your maximum medical improvement and the maintenance being those wages that the employer would have spent housing and feeding you on the vessel. The daily rate may be $15-$40 or depending on what you union contract requires. It is very important that you know your rights as an injured tow boat or barge crewman. In many cases additional monies sometimes substantial amounts may be awarded to you if we are able to show or prove that your employer or the vessel owner was negligent or that the vessel was unseaworthy. This is when it is very important to get legal help soon. If you give a statement or sign an affidavit to facts that support your employer’s position and not your own, then it will be harder to make a case for you. If in doubt, call us for a Free Confidential Consultation.

Towboat & Barge Injury Lawyer

When you are injured you a law firm will work as hard for you as you do. All Maritime and Jones Act cases are handled on a contingency fee and we of course never charge you or collect any fees unless we are successful for you. Call 1-800-883-9858 – Nationwide 24/7

Tugboat Barge Crash Shuts Down Houston Ship Channel

By Houston Chronicle

By Zain Shauk, Houston Chronicle

Houston Ship Channel Lawyer

A set of barges crashed into an electrical tower Sunday in the Port of Houston, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down most of the nation’s second-largest maritime shipping complex, possibly until Wednesday.

A towing vessel pushing three barges of scrap metal through the Houston Ship Channel about 6 a.m. hit a 300-foot-tall electrical tower, which carries lines across the artery, said Petty Officer Richard Brahm, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported.

The crash happened at the narrowest point in the waterway, leaving three-fourths of the port’s terminals inaccessible.

“Maybe if it was wider we could have got boats around it, but it’s not, so it’s a logistical problem,” Brahm said. “It’s a bad place for it to happen.”

There was no risk of electricity-related injuries or effects to the power grid, which is owned by Houston-based CenterPoint Energy, because lines in the area were deactivated prior to the crash for maintenance work, said Penny Todd, a spokeswoman for the company.

CenterPoint was in the process Sunday of moving equipment needed to clear the steel tower and cables from the waterway — work the company expects will be completed Wednesday, she said.

The 25-mile-long port complex is a major economic engine for the region and in 2009 handled more waterborne tonnage than any port in the country, according to the Port of Houston Authority.

About 60 ships carrying $322 million in goods and resources — ranging from crude oil to finished products in containers — move through the port each day, said Chief Warrant Officer Lionel Bryant, a spokesman for the Coast Guard.

19 miles closed

Items shipped through the Port of Houston move to and from destinations in every state, which could mean delays for companies with vessels in the water.

Those ships will have to drop anchor and wait until the steel electrical tower, which was propped up by the barges after the accident, is removed.

At least eight ships were waiting in an anchoring area outside the port after the crash. Five others were waiting to leave.

The Coast Guard closed 19 miles out of the 54-mile-long ship channel, leaving more than 100 terminals — including those for oil giants Shell and Valero — cut off from the sea.

Further delays possible

The few accessible terminals are mostly for container ships and will not be usable by most companies that would need other infrastructure for loading and unloading or that had planned to arrive at terminals north of the crash site, said Tom Pace, presiding officer of Houston Ship Pilots, a labor association.

Three days of backups could result in further delays, even as traffic begins moving through the port again, Pace said.

“It’s going to take probably three days to get everything back to normal after that,” he said.

Crew members from the towing vessel, the T/V Safety Quest, were removed from the boat and tested for drugs and alcohol.

It was unclear how the accident occurred, but the tower’s location has long been known to ship pilots who work in the port, Pace said.

It was one of six towers in the channel, but was the closest to the preferred waterway for traffic.

“The one problem is the tower’s really close to the navigable channel,” Pace said. “That’s probably one of the reasons it had happened.”

Staff writer Sarah Raslan contributed to this report.


Houston Tug Accident Kills One, Closes Channel

Four miles of the Houston Ship Channel will remain closed until the 56-foot tug J.R. Nichols, which sank Wednesday evening, can be removed. Five seafarers were aboard the tug when it sank. Four were rescued; one man lost his life.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Robert Cole said this morning that two or three tow vessels with fuel barges could not get underway due to the closure but that movements of larger vessels had not been affected.

T.J. Nelson, business manager for the Houston Pilots Association, also said that the closure has had a minimal impact on vessel movements because it affects only the uppermost reaches of the ship channel.

The 56-foot tug sank in the Houston Ship Channel near the Sims Bayou Turning Basin on Wednesday night, closing the waterway from the dock at Vopak in Galena Park to Sims Bayou, an upper stretch of the ship channel near the 610 bridge, Cole said.

Of the five seafarers aboard the tug at the time of the accident, four were rescued by workers at a refinery near the site, the Coast Guard said. One seafarer could not be found; his body was recovered on Thursday afternoon by TNT salvage divers. His name has not yet been released.

The Coast Guard said that it will not be able to determine what caused the sinking until after the tugboat has been raised. The tug had 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. At least 1,000 gallons of that were spilled in the ship channel.

According to Niels Lyngso, director of maritime affairs with the West Gulf Maritime Association, skimmers are on the scene and the spill has been boomed off and largely contained as of Friday morning. The Coast Guard said that an attempt to lift the tug will be made Friday. TNT Salvage will use the crane barge Curtis T to rig the tug for lifting and then the heavy-lift crane barge Big John for the lift itself. After the tug is secured on the barge the Coast Guard will survey for pollution prior to allowing vessel traffic in the area.

What happens after an accident on a barge or tugboat?

An accident that occurs while working on a tugboat, barge or other vessel can be devastating and may result in painful injuries. After an injury occurs, it is crucial that you report it to your supervisor. If the injury prevents you from returning to work or getting another job, you need to contact a maritime attorney.

Investigators and attorneys will be contacted after a maritime accident.

The maritime industry is notorious for trying to blame someone else for an accident involving a worker. Vessel owners, employers and third parties do not want the liability of a Jones Act lawsuit. Investigators and lawyers will be employed to build a case in their defense. In order to prove that the company is not responsible for your injuries, the following activities will take place:

  • The accident scene will be documented
  • Evidence will be secured
  • Witnesses will be interviewed
  • Recorded statements will be obtained
  • Affidavits will be taken

When a barge injury or tugboat injury is serious, the company will act even faster. Lawyers are commonly used to conduct the investigation so that the defendant can say the evidence is privileged and confidential. Defense attorneys will claim privilege when the evidence shows that the company was at fault for the accident.

An investigator may contact you after an injury to hear your recollection of the event. Many times the investigator will record the conversation and your statement could end up being used against you.

Your employer may send you to an approved doctor.

Some of the big maritime employers have their own approved doctors and they may tell you that you have to be treated by one of these medical providers. The employer will often communicate with the approved doctor to learn details of your medical condition. The physician may even discuss his plans to get payment approval with your employer. As an injured maritime worker, you have the right to choose your own doctor and you also have the right to a second opinion. You are also not required to sign a blank medical release to allow open discussions with your doctor.

The company may try to settle with you.

Occasionally, your employer or other responsible party may contact you to inform you that they want to negotiate a settlement. You may be asked during the meeting how much you are willing to accept to settle your injury claim. Even if you give a reasonable figure in which you would be willing to settle, you may be told that the amount is too high. Often injured workers end up accepting an amount equal to only 10 to 25 percent of what their case is really worth. That is why you need to have an experienced maritime lawyer on your side looking out for your best interests.

You should consider hiring a maritime attorney after your accident.

The laws that govern the maritime industry are complex, but a maritime attorney can make sure that your legal rights are protected. The Willis Law Firm has represented hundreds of injured maritime workers and their families. Contact a maritime attorney today and learn more about your legal options.