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June 6th, 2011

Crane Operator Injured in Barge Accident on Muskegon Lake

A crane operator was fortunate to escape without serious injuries in an accident on a barge on Muskegon Lake, Michigan .  The crane tipped over, trapping the operator underneath.  The 38-year-old operator had been using the crane for lifting when it suddenly tipped over.  A steel beam crashed through the cabin of the crane, trapping the operator inside.

Firefighters rushed to the scene to extricate the man.  According to personnel at the scene, the man was injured, but his injuries are not as serious as they could have been.  He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to the company that owns the crane, it’s too early to say why the crane tipped over the way it did.   The man is expected to make a recovery.

Maritime accidents on inland waterways may also qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, depending on the circumstances.  For instance, in order to qualify as a Jones Act lawsuit, the accident must involve a worker who was assigned to and had a  substantial connection to a vessel in navigable waters.  However, determining Jones Act seaman status is not as simple as that.  The laws are vague enough for maritime companies to try to reject a worker’s Jones Act seaman status in order to deny compensation.

If you have been injured in a maritime accident on a vessel, it’s very likely that your employer and their insurers will try to limit the extent of their liability.  You may be eligible for compensation not just under the Jones Act, but also other maritime laws.  Only an experienced maritime lawyer can review your case to decide what kind of compensation laws apply to you.

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