If you are a Jones Act seaman or deckhand on a tugboat, towboat or barge and have suffered a serious injury while locking through a lock, you have valuable legal protections under federal maritime law. Have one of our Louisiana lock accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., explain, free of charge, your legal rights under the Jones Act and general maritime law.
The maritime attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., are here to help the dedicated maritime workers who make a living on the water. We have a detailed understanding of the Louisiana lock system and inland waterways, including the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River. We are licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas.
If you have been injured in a lock accident, a towboat lock collision accident or a barge lock allision, it’s important to make the right call when choosing a Jones Act attorney.
Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation. Mr. Gordon, Mr. Elias or Mr. Seely will answer your questions. We understand that maritime workers keep irregular hours. We take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’ll know you’ve made the right call after you’ve spoken with us.
Lock Accident Jones Act Attorney
The series of locks and dams on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway allows barges and commercial ships and vessels to step up or step down the waterway from one water level to another. The locks and dams create sufficient water depth during periods of low water to allow for safe navigation of commercial vessels. But locking through large tows of barges remains physically demanding and dangerous work. Bridge collisions occur. A strong outdraft on a lock can cause a towboat to collide with a dam gate or structural embankment, exposing crew to the risk of injury or fall from heights. The deterioration of vertical concrete on some locks, caused by frequent flooding and high usage, may allow barges to become wedged under the shore armor, creating hazardous working conditions and exposing barge deckhands to risk of serious injury.
If you are a Jones Act seaman and have been injured in a marine accident at a lock, you may have legal rights to compensation under the federal maritime law. After any serious marine vessel injury, you may face substantial medical bills and time off work. So it’s important to understand your rights to maintenance and cure and other benefits. A lock accident lawyer at Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., will review your lock accident or marine vessel accident at no charge and provide legal advice about your right to compensation.
Louisiana Lock Accident Lawyers
Louisiana has 25 locks on its waterways. There are no locks located directly on the Mississippi River in Louisiana, but a number of locks connect waterways to the Mississippi. Whenever a marine vessel or barge tow is transiting a lock, deckhands, deck engineers, able-bodied seamen and mates are at risk of injury. Smaller locks that do not accommodate longer modern trains of barges require the uncoupling and reconnecting of barges. Deckhands may fall overboard while uncoupling barges or get pinned between a vessel and a gate if a barge or towboat moves unexpectedly while locking through a lock. Towboat hands may fall overboard if boats collide or hit a lock gate. A cable or line under tension may snap and cause a traumatic injury or a fatal injury.
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which stretches form Florida to Texas, has six heavily used locks. The GIWW is the nation’s third busiest waterway, and its heaviest traffic is along the Louisiana coast. About 157 million tons of bulk cargo pass through the locks each year, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Algiers Lock —Algiers Lock is located just below New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River at Mile 88 above Head of Passes. It provides an alternate waterway connection from the Mississippi River to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. It was completed in 1956 and has 8,400 lockages annually.
- Harvey Lock—The Harvey Lock is on the west bank of the Mississippi River across from New Orleans. The Harvey Lock connects the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway with the Mississippi River via the Harvey Canal.
- Industrial Canal Locks - New Orleans, La.—The Industrial Canal Lock, also known as the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock is at Mile 92.7 above Head of Passes. It is just off the Mississippi River in the New Orleans Industrial Canal. The canal provides an important link between the Mississippi River, the GIWW, Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River-Gulf outlet.
- Port Allen Lock – The Port Allen Lock is located at the southern end of the Port of Baton Rouge on the west bank of the Mississippi River. It connects the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to the Mississippi River near the Interstate 10 bridge. The lock is located at the northernmost point of the Mississippi River, where barge traffic can pass into or out of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The typical barge tow passing through the lock consists of a towboat and one to six barges. There is a lockage every 90 minutes on average.
- Leland Bowman Lock — Located in Southwest Louisiana, Leland Bowman Lock is situated on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway two miles west of Intracoastal City. It is 1,200 feet long and is heavily used by commercial marine vessels. It averages about 5,300 lockages a year.
- Calcasieu Lock -- The Calcasieu Lock is located at the intersection of the Calcasieu River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near the cross of Highway 384. Completed in 1950, it is heavily used by commercial shippers and averages 6,550 lockages annually.
- Freshwater Bayou Lock —This lock is the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. It is the busiest lock in the New Orleans district, averaging 16,000 lockages annually. It is heavily used by supply vessels servicing offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and by commercial fishermen based in Intracoastal City.
- Bayou Sorrel Lock—The lock is located on the Atchafalaya River about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge. The limited capacity of Bayou Sorrel Lock requires uncoupling of longer barge tows, putting deckhands at increased risk of injury. It averages about 9,300 lockages a year.
- Bayou Boeuf Lock —Also part of the Atchafalaya River basin system, Bayou Boeuf Lock is approximately 2.5 miles east of Morgan City, La. Bayou Boeuf Lock averages 15,400 lockages annually.
Towboat crews and maritime workers work in all kinds of weather and water conditions. A serious marine vessel injury can occur at any lock at any time if a collision occurs, a boat moves unexpectedly or a mariner falls. Any mariner seriously injured in a tugboat accident or lock accident should talk to a maritime lawyer to understand what legal options are available under the Jones Act and general maritime law. The lock accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., are licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas and have helped many Gulf families overcome a serious injury or loss
Call Louisiana Lock Accident Lawyer
If you are a tugboat deckhand, a towboat mate or an able-bodied seaman and have been injured in a lock accident, you may have legal rights to compensation under federal law. You may have significant medical bills and time off work, so it’s important to understand your legal rights to full maintenance and cure benefits. Talk to a personal injury attorney who understands maritime workers’ rights under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act and general maritime law.
The lock accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., are licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas. Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation. Mr. Gordon and Mr. Elias will be glad to answer your questions.