U.S. waterways infrastructure is being outpaced by modern vessel traffic and size
Ship traffic and age are causing damage the sides of water channels
Much of our water infrastructure was built in the 1950’s or even before
A Jones Act claim can help injured seamen—or surviving relatives in the case of fatal injuries—obtain financial compensation when they are injured in the normal course of their duties aboard a vessel if those injuries are caused by the negligence of their employer. Jones Act Claims can be successful even in instances where an employee was partially negligent, provided that the employer also bears some level of negligence. Over the past few years, there have been reports detailing the fact that America has an aging river infrastructure in many places. This could lead to more injuries on the waterways that could also lead to more civil claims being filed.
Take the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway where it intersects the Brazos River in a southern state. Boats that are often transporting tons of consumer goods or supplies must navigate a difficult entry into and through the gates to access the river. In fact, those floodgates take more hits from passing boats and barges than all of the other 242 dams and locks along rivers in the U.S. Statistics indicate that the floodgates and bank walls are struck approximately once every four days. Damage to the sides of the channel can be seen in that area in the form of scrape and bump marks.
Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that about half of these water systems were constructed over 50 years ago. The funding to maintain these river navigation systems has not kept up with the demand for their use. Considering that traffic through just the Brazos gates in Texas alone has jumped about 40 percent during the past three years, the chances for tragic accidents is just increased. This is especially true in cases where employers are not taking the appropriate steps to keep their workers safe.
It is known that navigating through these particular floodgates is dangerous, even when the weather conditions are as ideal as possible. Strong river currents and high winds can make safe navigation more difficult, especially considering that parts of the channel allow only 12 feet or even less of clearance on each side of a vessel. Although companies pay to fix damage that they cause when passing through the gates and channel, this aging infrastructure could prove to be dangerous if not deadly to workers who must pass through on their vessels.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of an employer while working on a sea or river vessel, please call us at 1-888-586-7041 to find out the steps you can take to seek financial compensation. We can help you learn your rights under the law and determine whether a Jones Act claim may be in your best interests. Additionally, we know the steps to take to give your case the best chance of success possible. You should not have to suffer financial hardship while recovering physically and emotionally.
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