Barge Accident Lawyers in North Carolina
With 1,150 miles of waterway and two major ports, North Carolina hosts hundreds of barges and thousands of boats yearly. Working conditions for seafarers can be extremely dangerous, among the most hazardous of all professions. Accidents among waterborne workers result in hundreds of severe personal injury cases and fatalities each year. Unfortunately, workers injured in barge accidents are not covered under traditional workers’ compensation laws. However, there are boating laws that can help you if you or a loved one suffers a serious injury or wrongful death in a barge accident.
If this is the case, the North Carolina barge accident lawyers at Montagna Maritime Law can help. If you have suffered a barge accident in North Carolina, call Montagna Maritime Law toll-free at 757.622.8056 or use our easy online contact form for a free case evaluation today.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Barge Accidents in North Carolina?
Not all barge accidents happen due to collisions with other boats, personal watercraft, or fixed objects. Slip-and-fall accidents, equipment failure, and weather comprise some causes of accidents on barges.
What Are the Most Common Injuries From Barge Accidents in North Carolina?
Boating accident attorneys see many different injuries from barge accidents. Some of the most common we see include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushing and pinching
- Burns and smoke inhalation
How Is Liability Determined for Barge Accidents in North Carolina?
Under the Jones Act, employers of seamen in the state of North Carolina are required to offer a reasonably safe work environment and to ensure that the vessel is properly maintained and kept in a reasonably safe shape. Maritime employers under this law are liable not only for their own failures to maintain these conditions, but for the negligence of any employee. This includes the captain, crew members, and all other workers.
To bring a successful negligence claim in boat accident cases for additional compensation under the Jones Act, the injured maritime worker must prove several facts. First, they must show that the crew, boat operator, officers, or boat owner on which the worker suffered from a personal injury, was negligent in violating the duty of care to provide and maintain a safe work environment. Second, they must demonstrate that their negligence caused the injury in question.
Am I Eligible for Compensation After Being Injured in a Barge Accident in North Carolina?
If you are hurt while working on a barge, you have legal rights to maintenance and cure under the federal Jones Act. The Jones Act was an important addition to maritime laws that advanced workers’ rights offshore, even if they are injured in international waters.
This law states that if you are injured while working on a boat of any kind, including a barge, your employer must pay for room and board while you recover. In addition, all your medical expenses resulting from your injury, including medical bills, medical care like procedures and rehabilitation, and even medication, must also be covered by your employer.
What Steps Should I Take After I am in a North Carolina Boating Accident?
Taking the proper steps after any boat accident can make all the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and suffering life-changing injuries and medical bills. Accident victims who suffer serious injuries in a barge accident in North Carolina should take the following steps to improve their chances for compensation.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
The first step after any workplace injury in any field of employment is to report your injury to your employer immediately. Reporting the incident is the first step in getting a claim filed with the insurance companies so your medical care and room and board can be covered.
File Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
Do not expect your employer to file the injury claim for you. Be certain that you begin your claim within the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the timeframe under the law to file an injury case. For the most part, this timeframe is three years from the date of your injury. There are, however, some exceptions in personal injury cases. If you miss the statute of limitations, discussing your options with North Carolina personal injury attorneys with experience in maritime law is crucial.
The Jones Act requires you to provide proof of “unseaworthiness.” If possible, you should take photos and videos, compile a list of witnesses willing to discuss what they saw, and get a copy of your accident report. In addition, if you have any personal property damage from the incident, keep those items safe and in the condition they were in immediately after the incident. Your barge accident lawyer may be able to use these as they build a case for you.
Obtain Medical Reports
You have the right to any medical records from doctor’s visits, medication prescriptions, procedures, and any other medical care you receive. These reports and documents can be helpful to the North Carolina barge accident law firm as they work on your personal injury case.
Hire a Boat Accident Lawyer
One of the most important calls you can possibly make after your accident is to a personal injury lawyer with practice areas in barge accidents. For many people, having representation from a barge accident attorney is vital to getting maximum compensation for their injuries.
How Can a Barge Accident Lawyer Help?
A knowledgeable barge accident attorney serving North Carolina can help you pursue your personal injury claim and fight for you to get the appropriate compensation for your accident. The right barge accident attorney knows how to gather evidence, build a case, and fight for the settlement you deserve under the Jones Act and maritime law. When insurance companies deny your claim, fighting back can take a long time and be very complex. An attorney knows how to remind the other side that you are the victim and deserve to be paid.
We’re With You for the Long Haul
At Montagna Maritime Law, we have represented maritime workers from all across North Carolina and beyond. We care about our clients and treat every case with compassion and dedication. We build close, long-term, and trusting client relationships and stand by our clients every step of the way.