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Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Reviewing Cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and Nationwide
Nationwide Success

Ohio River Barge Accidents

Accidents involving workers and crewmen on barges and tugboats are common occurrences, and subsequent injuries can be very serious and sometimes fatal.

Operators of dams, locks, river barges and other vessels on the Ohio River may be held accountable if an unsafe work environment leads to any injury that keeps an employee out of work.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in recent years, over 300 employees were killed on barge and tow combinations, and around 380 explosions or fires occurred on barges or towboats in the United States.

In recent years, tugboats and barges have sunk on the Ohio River, resulting in fatalities and severe injuries.

The aging infrastructure of dam spillways, and older boats on the river have been the primary causes of worker injuries. Victims and families of victims have filed lawsuits against all parties responsible, including dam and lock management, negligent boat and barge operators, as well as inattentive captains and crews.

As one of the busiest waterways in the country, the Ohio River sees heavy transport traffic throughout the year, and the thousands of workers employed in any capacity in river transport deserve a safe working environment. Should employees come down with an injury or a work-related illness, employers may be liable to compensate workers for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future earnings.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury while working on the Ohio River or adjacent harbors and docks, you may have a claim against a negligent employer or product manufacturer.

Joe Lyon is an experienced workplace injury attorney well-versed in the legal and economic impact injuries and illnesses have on a victim and their family.

Dock & Barge Accidents

Transport and maritime companies are required to train employees on safety practices, and are responsible for creating a safe work environment above all else, but employers can be negligent which may result in serious injuries. Barge and Ohio River transport workers commonly suffer following injuries:

• Burn Injuries
• Brain Injury
• Neck & Spinal Injury
• Bone Fractures
• Amputations
• Lacerations 

Common Harbor & Ohio River Accidents

Explosions & Fires: Fires are relatively common on barges and boats, and may be the result of improperly stored fuel, defective fuel lines, combustible materials on deck, and tank leaks. Fires can spread and cause severe injury or death on board.

On-Deck Accidents: Most injuries will occur during the work day during normal work hours. Common injuries include slipping on wet stairs and catwalks, falls on unsecured ladders, tripping on unfixed objects on board, unsecured swinging cables, or unsecured cargo. Overboard accidents may be caused by a number of factors.

Dam & Lock Accidents: Malfunctioning dams and locks can cause injuries to both boat crews and workers around the dams and locks. These systems are extremely important to providing a safe river work environment, and any failure in operation may cause serious injury or death.

Ohio Dock Accidents: Not all accidents may occur on the boat. Accidents on docks may occur during loading or unloading, or during cleaning or maintaining a vessel. This does not mean the employer is not responsible for the injury. Any injured worker on a vessel, whether docked or on the water, may be compensated for a preventable accident.

Ohio River Barge Accidents

After serious accidents occur, the most important business at hand is the best medical attention possible. Following treatment, injured workers may have legal questions about the types of compensation available for certain types of injuries. Employers may be responsible and claims can be filed for the following:

Gross Negligence—employer negligence is one of the most common causes of accidents for river transport employees. Regardless of the position on a boat crew, every crew member relies on their employer to maintain a safe working environment and protect them against obvious hazards.

Defective Equipment—equipment failures may occur when cables and lines break, hoists malfunction, cranes tip, or safety features are defective. Barge accidents could be caused by manufacturing defects or by negligent maintenance. In any case, injured workers may have a claim against the parties responsible for poor equipment.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing barge accidents
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.

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Personal Injury Information Center