Getting away from home by working on a barge has its perks. After weeks on a river or lake, tugboat and barge workers usually have several days to rest and relax on shore before heading back to work. By working in the industry for years, maritime employees can secure handsome wages. Yet these benefits come at a cost. Simple mistakes can lead to accidents quickly, and pricey medical bills and lost wages can result.
What is FELA?
Barge employees that sustain injuries are governed by a different body of law (FELA) than other injured workers. FELA stands for Federal Employers Liability Act, which was passed more than 100 years ago to increase safety standards in the maritime industry. The Act also applies for railroad employees.
FELA provides a better remedy to injured maritime workers than most laborers receive. The majority are governed by regular workers compensation laws. Whenever a barge worker is injured or killed in the course of his or her employment, the barge company is liable for its negligence. Injuries on rivers and in lakes can be serious, and this is one of the reasons for this added protection
Thanks in part to industry safety advancements enforced by FELA, working for maritime corporations is much safer than it used to be … but the system is not perfect. Accidents still happen, and when they do, hazardous working conditions can lead to permanent injuries or even fatalities. When that happens, there is no time to spare in contacting an attorney to represent and advise you on how to make the greatest possible recovery for your medical bills, loss of wages, and emotional suffering.
What Makes FELA a Great Remedy?
FELA offers great protections for employees who work on barges and railroads. In the past, when companies have attempted to finagle their way out of following industry standards and covering FELA liability, court cases such as Kelly v Southern Pacific Co (1974) have established that even sub-contracted employees should be covered by FELA laws. In short, maritime workers are better positioned to gain recoveries than laborers of most trades thanks to FELA.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Navigating the FELA laws can be complicated. Certain points must be proven in order to gain the full reward under FELA laws. A lawsuit filed against a barge company must prove that the business was negligent, failing to take reasonable precautions in providing workplace safety or properly warning employees of danger. In short, injuries must be specifically linked to the company’s shortcomings. The barge injury attorneys at WWF&G are already familiar with these laws and the best practices for making a monetary recovery.
Our attorneys are experienced in all types of personal injury cases, including those involving barges. We have become known in the Greater St. Louis area as a firm that will prosecute cases to the fullest extent, and maximize recovery for injured victims. Our firm has the resources and trial network to give you and your family confidence during a difficult time. As a result of continued success, past clients and attorneys regularly recommend injury victims to our firm.
Take a look at our results page for other examples of cases we successfully settled or won in trial. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll-free at (877) 993-4529. We are certified to represent clients from the states of Illinois and Missouri.