Barge Accidents

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New Orleans Barge Accident Attorney

barge accidentBarges are among the most dangerous places to work, even compared to other maritime vessels. This is, of course, the reason why the operation of barges is so heavily regulated by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). It is also the reason why federal legislation such as the Jones Act protects people injured in barge accidents.

Different types of barges have different types of accident risks. Some of the most common types of barges are:

  • Crane barges
  • Dry bulk cargo barges
  • Hopper barges
  • Jack-up barges
  • Liquid cargo barges

All told, there are about 20 types of barges.

Types of Barge Accidents

Some of the most common types of barge accidents are:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Fire and explosion accidents
  • Crush injuries
  • Accidents caused by equipment malfunction or poorly trained operators
  • Chemical exposure
  • Oxygen deprivation

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, allows a “seaman” injured by negligence on a “Jones Act vessel” to sue his employer or the owner of the vessel. Since the Jones Act is part of federal maritime law, Jones Act lawsuits work quite differently from ordinary persona injury lawsuits or workers’ compensation claims.

How We Can Help

An ordinary personal injury lawyer will be lost in a federal maritime lawsuit without a specific understanding of maritime law and the intricacies of the maritime compensation system. Only relevant experience in this field can provide a truly working knowledge of maritime law. Fortunately, attorney Tom Shlosman has been helping personal injury clients handle federal maritime lawsuits for years.

Mr. Shlosman is licensed to practice before:

  • The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The federal courts of the Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court
  • All lower Louisiana state courts

Client Testimonials

Best Lawyer in Nola!

Tom was very thorough and cares about your case! He was the one calling me explaining [why] things took as long as they [did]. Most of time you have to constantly call your attorney to see what your status is. He’s the best and he will help you!

– Colby, March 24, 2016

My Other Areas of Practice

In addition to maritime law claims, I also handle personal injury and criminal law cases involving:

  • 18 Wheeler Accidents
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Auto Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Criminal Defense

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the statute of limitations deadline for filing a maritime lawsuit?

The general deadline is three years after the date of the accident. In some government-related lawsuits the deadline is only two years, and in some of those cases there are filing deadlines that are even shorter than two years. Consult with your lawyer to calculate the exact date after he or she becomes familiar with the facts of your case.

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Quarter barges are used as living quarters for seamen, and an accident on a quarter barge falls under the Jones Act if it is classified as a “vessel.” The mere fact that it floats does not, without more, qualify it as a “vessel.” A detailed analysis of the nature of the barge will be necessary in order to determine whether the Jones Act applies.

What are some of the features of Jones Act claims?

Following are a few:

  • The provisions of “maintenance and cure” apply, allowing the victim to obtain compensation for food, lodging and medical expenses

  • Punitive damages are possible

  • Wrongful death damages for survivors are possible

  • It is easier to prove causation than it is for an ordinary personal injury claim

  • It is easier to prove unseaworthiness (based on the condition of the vessel) than it would be if the Jones Act did not apply

What should I do if I have just suffered a barge injury?

  • Report the accident to your superior and complete an accident report

  • Seek immediate medical treatment

  • Photograph the scene of the accident

  • Keep records of everything that happens relating to your case, and photocopy every document

  • Contact an experienced maritime lawyer

You Don’t Need a Dime to Retain Me

I charge nothing for an initial consultation, and I don’t charge any upfront fees. In fact, I will never charge you anything unless I actually win compensation – and even then, my fees will be calculated as a percentage of the amount you actually recover. It is the quality of your claim that I care about, not the number of zeroes on your bank account statement.

Get Started Immediately

Don’t wait until the statute of limitations deadline is looming to begin preparing your case. For a multitude of reasons, the sooner you get started preparing your claim, the better your chances will be. You can contact me, an experienced New Orleans Maritime Lawyer, through my “Contact Us” page on this website, you can email me at, or call me at (504) 826-9427, Shlosman Law Firm. The time to act is now.