The Mississippi is one of the biggest river in the United States, with countless tons of cargo passing through it every single year. The hard work of “brown water” seaman all along the River play a vital role in making sure that the flow of goods and cargo continues without delay. These workers risk injury every day to do a very dangerous job that is incredibly important to the economy in the United States.
People don’t typically think of Mississippi River accidents when they think of “offshore accidents.” But, even though they may be thought of differently, Mississippi River accidents are generally governed by the same laws as accidents occurring in the Gulf of Mexico.
Laws Applicable to Mississippi River Accidents
For purposes of a personal injury claim, the most important fact about the Mississippi River is that it unquestionably qualifies as a “navigable” waterway under the law.
Why is this important? Because it gives injured River workers the ability to take advantage of the protections of the Jones Act and other maritime laws. If River workers are injured in the service of vessels on the Mississippi, they be able to bring negligence claims against their employers. This is different from a typical work accident case where an injured worker will likely be limited to a worker’s compensation claim against his or her employer.
In addition to the Jones Act, Mississippi River accident victims may be able to bring claims under the general maritime laws. These laws include claims for unseaworthiness and claims for the payment of maintenance and cure (medical and living expenses).
For River workers to bring most of these claims, however, they still must qualify for seaman status. The test for whether a worker is a seaman is complicated but generally looks at whether he or she has been assigned to a vessel, aids in the service of the vessel, and spends a good bit of his or her time working for the vessel.
These different remedies allow Mississippi River accident victims several ways to get compensated for their injuries. This can allow for recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
Call a Mississippi River Accident Attorney Today
If you been injured while working on the Mississippi River, or in some other type of offshore or maritime accident, call The Mahone Firm at (504) 564-7342 for a free and confidential case consultation.
Don’t delay in getting the help you need. Mississippi River accidents, like other offshore accidents, are subject to a statute of limitations that can prevent you from filing a claim if you’ve waited too long.