Paducah River Lawyers Aid Victims of River Accidents
Knowledgeable Kentucky attorneys hold maritime companies accountable
Paducah’s location has made it a hub for transportation and commerce on the western rivers. With so much maritime activity, legal claims for events that occur on the water are often adjudicated in area courts. At the Oakes Law Firm, we have more than 20 years of experience assisting people injured while working on the river. While maritime companies often treat their workers as if they were covered by workers compensation or disability plans, these folks are actually protected by federal law, including the Jones Act and federal maritime law. No matter what type of harm you suffered, we can aggressively pursue a full recovery on your behalf.
Comprehensive counsel for all types of maritime legal issues
If you have been hurt while on the river, we can provide detailed advice on the procedural rules that can affect your potential suit, including:
- Jurisdiction — The U.S. Constitution places jurisdiction for admiralty litigation in federal district courts. However, some kinds of maritime suits can also be handled in state courts. We can advise you on where your case might fall and which system may be more favorable to you.
- Statute of limitations — In cases arising from injuries on the water, injured workers often have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. However, some claims may require filing within one year, so it is best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury.
- Burden of proof — Claims for compensation in maritime actions, including those under the Jones Act, are sometimes decided under standards more favorable to the employee than the standards for typical land torts. Because river workers are required to stay on board their vessels for prolonged periods, and because the duty to maintain a safe vessel is so important, a towboat or barge owner or operator can be held liable even if their negligence played only a small part in the incident.
These concepts and your legal rights may seem confusing, but we can explain how they apply to you in a free initial consultation.
Strong advocacy for Jones Act claims involving injured river workers
Workers who are injured on vessels while on the navigable waters within the United States are often covered under the Jones Act. This 1920 legislation applies to “seamen,” which includes sailors and others whose job is connected to the vessel’s function. If injury or death results from an unsafe condition somewhere on the vessel, the Oakes Law Firm can bring a negligence claim against the liable employer. We work aggressively to help victims recover for lost wages, medical bills (“maintenance and cure”) and even damages unavailable under typical workers’ compensation claims, such as pain and suffering. Many dangers exist on any tow. When an injury occurs, a quick response might be necessary to investigate the cause of the incident, so if you have been hurt aboard a working vessel, it is best to call an experienced maritime attorney immediately.
Contact a dedicated Paducah admiralty attorney to schedule a free consultation
The Oakes Law Firm represents clients in Kentucky personal injury and maritime matters. Please call 270-908-2843 or contact us online for a free initial consultation at our office in Paducah.