For over 40 years, Lambert Zainey has been protecting the rights of ships’ captains, pilots, mates, deckhands and other maritime workers who find themselves injured and unable to work after an accident on the Mississippi River.
Working on the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River and its tributaries combine to create one of the largest river systems in the world. The river’s course takes it through 10 states — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It’s been a hub of trade since before the European settlement of North America. Today, with major cities and ports located all along its length, the Mississippi River plays a vital role in keeping the U.S. economy strong.
Every day, hundreds of barges, tugboats, push boats and other vessels make their way in and out of ports all along the river, and it’s the job of Mississippi River maritime workers to ensure they reach their destinations on time.Section Close DIV
Common Mississippi River Accidents
Working on the river isn’t without its dangers. River workers are exposed to many of the same risks as workers on ocean going vessels. On the crowded Mississippi River, accidents can happen at any moment.
Some common accidents include:
- Defective equipment
- Human error
- Falling overboard
These are just a few of the causes of serious injury in a Mississippi River accident.Section Close DIV
Nationally Recognized Attorneys
What Laws Protect Maritime Workers Hurt in Mississippi River Accidents?
The Mississippi River is defined as a navigable waterway under the law, which means most Mississippi River maritime workers are protected by the Jones Act and other maritime laws. This means “brown water” Mississippi River maritime workers share many of the same rights as their “blue water” counterparts on the open seas when it comes to seeking compensation for the damages caused by their injuries.
What Compensation Can Injured Mississippi River Workers Recover?
When it comes to Mississippi River accident attorneys in Memphis, TN, Davenport, IA, St. Louis, MS, and other cities along the Mississippi River, few have the substantial maritime injury litigation experience possessed by the Lambert Firm. We represent maritime workers injured all along the Mississippi River, from Minneapolis and St. Paul in the North all the way to the Southern Delta Gulf ports at Iberia, Morgan City, Terrebonne and Fourchon. Our record speaks for itself: We’ve obtained over a billion dollars in settlements for our clients.
Depending on the circumstances, a maritime worker may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages after being injured in an on the job Mississippi River accident.
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Over $1 Billion Recovered For Our Injured Clients
Frequently Asked Questions about Mississippi River Accident Claims
If you are a ship’s captain, pilot, mate, deckhand or other maritime worker who has been injured due to a Mississippi River accident, we urge you to reach out to Lambert Zainey without delay. Statutes of limitation apply for maritime injury lawsuits, and the sooner we get to work on your case, the better your chances of success.
Contact Lambert Zainey to schedule a free consultation with one of our outstanding Mississippi River accident attorneys. Lambert Zainey operates on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront fees or costs for our clients, and we don’t get paid until we win your case.
In the meantime, find out answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear from injured Mississippi River workers:
Mississippi River workers face many dangers. Common injuries include:
- Back Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Chemical Exposure
- Emotional Distress
- Gangway Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Heat-related Illnesses
- Sandblasting Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Water Blasting Injuries
- Welding Fume Exposure
In most cases, the answer is going to be “yes!”
Under the Jones Act, injured workers who qualify as a “seaman” have specific protections. When trying to determine whether a maritime worker qualifies as a seaman, we look at several things:
- Was the river worker employed on a vessel that is in navigation?
- Did the river worker’s duties contribute to the function or mission of the vessel?
- Did the worker spend at least 30 percent of employment on this vessel?
If an employer is “arbitrary and capricious” or “willful or callous” in delaying, denying or terminating maintenance and cure benefits, maritime law allows an injured Mississippi River worker to take legal action that includes punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Read more about your rights if an employer ends maintenance and cure too soon
Unfortunately, it’s hard to estimate this with reasonable accuracy because the circumstances of each case are so different. In some cases, it may take take a few months to resolve a case. In other cases, it can take a year or longer.
Injured river workers sometimes decide not to explore their legal options because they fear being put on a “blacklist” and unable to get another job in the maritime industry.
While we can’t say for sure whether any “list” is floating around among maritime employers, we feel strongly that this should NOT be a factor in deciding whether to pursue a claim. Maritime workers, including workers on inland waterways like rivers, are protected by laws against blacklisting or otherwise retaliating against workers.
Read more about whether there is a “blacklist” of maritime workers