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Causes and Types of Maritime Accidents

Diamond Head 24 Jan

Diamond Head 24 Jan

Working on a maritime vessel can be an extremely dangerous job. To help reduce the risk of injuries, ships are required to be “seaworthy,” which essentially means that the ship must be properly built, maintained, manned, and equipped. Despite this requirement, though, dozens of maritime accidents occur every year, some of which are fatal and the majority of which are preventable. A Houston maritime attorney can represent you if you have been the victim of a preventable maritime accident. The following considers some of the most common types and causes of maritime accidents and injuries that occur on the high seas.

Human Error: A Preventable Cause of Maritime Injuries

The vast majority of maritime injuries are caused by simple human error. However, while to err is human, many errors are the result of preventable circumstances. For example, maritime workers who make errors may:

  • Be overworked;
  • Suffer from disrupted sleep; or
  • Be improperly trained.

When maritime employers make errors that lead to worker injuries, negligence, recklessness, poor judgment, and safety violations may all be to blame. If an employer’s negligence is the cause of an injury suffered by a maritime worker, that worker has the right to legal recourse.

Types of Accidents Leading to Injuries

Human error can lead to accidents that cause serious injuries for maritime workers. Some causes of injuries that may be preventable include:

  • Capsizings;
  • Collisions;
  • Explosions;
  • Fires;
  • Equipment failures;
  • Cargo shifts;
  • Chemical spills; and
  • Slip and falls.

All of the above accidents may be preventable if proper care is taken. For example, proper ship maintenance may help a maritime vessel stay afloat in a storm. Proper maintenance of on-board equipment can prevent equipment failure. If cargo is improperly loaded, for example, it can shift and cause a head injury, crush injury, or more. All of these examples highlight acts of negligence.

What Types of Injuries are Maritime Workers Most At Risk of Sustaining?

The accident types listed above can lead to tragic injuries for maritime workers. These injuries might include, but are not limited to:

  • Drowning,
  • Head injuries,
  • Amputation injuries,
  • Broken bones,
  • Internal injuries,
  • Hypothermia,
  • Burns,
  • Disease/illness (if exposed to dangerous substances),
  • Crush injuries, and
  • Spinal cord and back injuries.

In the most serious of instances, a maritime accident can lead to a maritime worker’s death. When injury or death occurs, the injured maritime worker or his or her family has the right to recover damages under the Jones Act or Death on the High Seas Act, assuming the injury was the result of employer’s negligence.

How a Texas Maritime Attorney Can Help You

Working as a maritime employee can be dangerous. When your employer’s negligence causes a preventable injury, do not wait to take action to meet with a skilled Texas maritime attorney. At Forrest & Kolodny, L.L.P., our maritime lawyers can help you file your claim under the Jones Act, prove negligence, and recover the money to which you and your loved ones are legally entitled. To meet with us at no cost and no obligation today, call 713-532-4474 at your earliest convenience.

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