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Laws that Protect Injured Barge and Tugboat Workers

The Jones Act and other maritime laws give an injured crewman the right to seek compensation after an accident due to negligence and/or the unseaworthiness of a vessel. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to collect compensation for maintenance (living expenses), care (medical expenses) and other damages.

These laws don’t just apply to vessels on the high seas but also protect the crew members who maneuver the thousands of barges that travel our nation’s rivers and other inland waterways. But you only have a limited time in which to act.

The Jones Act

Enacted in the 1920s, the Jones Act is among the most important laws governing the rights of maritime workers. This federal law expanding the rights of injured seamen under General Maritime Law and adds new rights and causes of action by which an injured maritime worker can recover compensation for the damages suffered because of an on-the-job injury.

Learn More About Who Qualifies Under the Jones Act

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

For workers who aren’t covered by the Jones Act, there are still federal maritime laws that offer protection. One of these is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, which provides benefits for workers who are injured while working in support of the maritime industry on any navigable waterway.

Learn More About Your Rights as a Longshoremen

General Maritime Law

General maritime law provides for legal protections of crewmembers of a vessel, allowing them to recover compensation for injuries caused by the unseaworthiness of a as well as the right to medical and living expenses in the form of maintenance and cure payments.

Learn More About General Maritime Law

Maintenance & Cure

General maritime law provides seamen who are injured or become ill while working on a vessel the right to receive maintenance and cure benefits until reaching maximum medical improvement or returning to work.

Learn More About Maintenance and Cure

Barge and Tugboats Injury Attorney

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Compensation For Workers Injured While Working on a Tugboat or Barge

River barge accident attorneys

Contact the barge accident lawyers of The Lambert Firm without delay to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our firm’s leading Louisiana barge and tugboat injury attorneys. We’re headquartered in New Orleans and represent clients all over the U.S. We accept maritime injury and wrongful death cases on contingency, so there will be no out-of-pocket expenses, and we only collect a fee after we recover compensation for you.

The type and amount of compensation you may be able to recover after a maritime accident depends on many factors, including the nature of your job, the specific maritime law your claim falls under, and the severity of your injuries. Compensation may include:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
Contingency Fee Explanation
Filing a Maritime Accident Claim
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Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Injuries Can Result from a Tow or Push Barge Accident?

There are many injuries that can result from a tow or push boat barge accident, including:

  • Bone fractures
  • brain, neck and spinal cord injuries
  • blindness
  • amputations
  • crush injuries
  • burns
  • and hyperthermia.
What Type of Barge and Tugboat Workers Do You Help?

Our barge accident lawyers help all workers who are employed on tugboats and barges, including but not limited to:

  • crane barge / midstream operation workers
  • tug boat crews
  • plug & abandon operations
  • dredging operation workers
  • lay barge operation workers
  • deckhands
  • mates
  • tankermen
  • pilots
  • and captains.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of the types of maritime workers we help.


What Types of Barges are Used in the Maritime Industry?

There are many types of barges used in the maritime industry. The most common are:

  • Dry Bulk Cargo Barges – These types of barges are used to haul and ferry dry cargo.  Some of the material they may carry are grain, sand, gravel, and minerals like steel and coal.
  • Liquid Cargo Barges – The barges are completely in opposite to the dry bulk cargo barges explained above.  These barges transport items like petrochemicals, liquid fertilizer, refined products like gasoline and diesel fuel, and pressurized products.
  • Split Hopper Barges – These barges are designed for carrying dredged material in the water. This barge is used in marine construction because it can unload the material at the site.
  • Crane Barges – These are offshore barges that are moved by deck engines, tugs, or mounted outboard engine propellers.
Can I Sue If I Was Injured in a Tugboat?

Without knowing the circumstances of your barge or tugboat accident, we can’t say yes with 100% certainty. That being said, tugboat workers have MANY legal protections when they are injured on the job, and our tugboat and barge accident lawyers have more than 40 years of experience in helping workers just like you get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation – 800-521-1750

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The Lambert Firm 5 5 21
Have lived in NOLA for 2 decades and am extremely grateful to the Lambert Firm From the lawyers to ancillary staff, everyone is extremely dedicated, courteous, and most importantly - prepared.
The Lambert Firm


(504) 581-1750

701 Magazine St, New Orleans LA 70130

FAX: (504) 529-2931


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