The largest tributary of the Mississippi River and, in many places, even larger than the Mississippi herself, the Ohio River is a major source of eastern waterbound traffic in the United States.
Formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River flows southwest through Ohio to rejoin the Mississippi near Cairo, Illinois. The river itself flows through or alongside the borders of six states and serves as the source of drinking water for three million people, as well as a major destination for commercial vessels throughout North America.
Commonly seen vessels traveling along the Ohio River include tow barges, dry bulk cargo, and vessels carrying petroleum-based products (thanks to its prime location near many major oil refineries in the US) heading to points both along the Mississippi River and further eastward for distribution elsewhere. Combine this with the amount of passenger, recreational, and pleasure boating traffic seen throughout the Ohio River, and it’s no surprise that accidents can happen.
Collisions between vessels, accidents onboard a boat, or even injuries offshore while loading cargo onto a vessel are a sadly common fact of life on the Ohio River or anywhere. Maritime injuries can have a huge impact on the life of a maritime worker and their family, but if you’re injured working on the Ohio River, the Jones Act may be able to help you fight for your rights.
The Jones Act and the Ohio River
A series of federal statutes designed to protect the rights of maritime workers, the Jones Act is a vital part of American maritime law when it comes to getting compensation for any injuries suffered while on the job.
Under the Jones Act a worker can seek damages against the shipowner of the vessel they were working on at the time of their injury if the injury can be proven to be the fault of the shipowner. Accidents can happen at any time, and more often than not through employer negligence: failing to provide a safe work environment, failure to train properly, failure to inspect equipment to prevent damage or malfunction, and more. The Jones Act is designed to hold the shipowner financially accountable for any worker injury or illness that resulted from a lack of due diligence, and can provide compensation for medical bills, cost of living expenses, emotional hardships, and much more.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured On The Ohio River?
If you have suffered an injury while working on the Ohio River, either offshore or onshore, the first step is to contact a maritime injury lawyer before you sign any sort of agreement with your employer that may strip your rights to seek compensation.
Here at O’Bryan Law, we have decades of combined experience in maritime law. Our team of experienced Jones Act attorneys has the skills, knowledge, and tenacity you want on your side when it comes time to fight for your rights as an injured maritime worker.
Have you been injured working on the Ohio River? Don’t wait another minute – contact us today and let us fight for the same way we’ve fought for hundreds of workers in the same situation you are.
*Dennis M. O’Bryan is enrolled to practice before the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals which hears appeals from the federal district courts of Pennsylvania (3rd), West Virginia (4th), Ohio and Kentucky (6th), and Indiana and Illinois (7th), respectively. He is a member of the bar of the federal districts for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Southern District of Indiana, and Southern District of Illinois. In those federal district courts in which he is not generally admitted to practice, he gains admission pro hac vice, on a case by case basis, by securing the sponsorship of a reputable local attorney. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, where his office is located.