Primary Causes of Maritime Accidents

It is inherently dangerous to work at sea. To provide a safe working environment, Ships and Workers alike must be seaworthy. When maritime accidents happen, the vessel is often far from help. When a crew member is burned in an explosion, or if the vessel has capsized because of extreme weather conditions, getting outside assistance can be delayed. If a vessel loses power and is “floundering” in stormy waters, collisions with other ships, or permanent structures and even land can occur.

There are dozens of causes for maritime accidents. Many of them are unavoidable like severe or extreme weather conditions. Other accidents are caused in part, or even entirely by negligence. If a maritime accident was the result of someone’s negligence, workers injured in the accident can claim compensation for damages caused by the accident under the Jones Act and other Admiralty laws.

A considerable portion of maritime accidents can be attributed directly to human error. Conditions at sea can be severe. This means that crew members need to be well trained, and alert to dangerous situations. This can prevent many accidents from happening. Unfortunately there are many factors at sea that can contribute to accidents with disastrous consequences.

Here are some causes of human errors that have led to maritime accidents:

  • Long Hours, Lack of sleep leading to Fatigue
  • Inexperience, and lack of training
  • Long voyages, extended time at sea
  • Personal relationships aboard the vessel
  • Reckless Behavior, including abuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Poor decision making and/or negligence
  • Pressures and stress of Job Duties

Offshore and maritime workers encounter numerous dangers. The specific dangers faced depend a lot on what type of job their vessel is doing. A fisherman who works at sea for extended periods of time will face different hazards than a worker on an offshore oil platform. One thing remains constant: Working at sea is dangerous.

Examples of Common Maritime Accidents include:

  • Explosions
  • Fires
  • Shifting of improperly secured cargo leading to injury
  • Slips and Falls
  • Poor/improperly stowed equipment.
  • Steering/navigational failures
  • Running Aground
  • Collisions with other vessels, or permanent structures.
  • Many others

If you have been injured while working at sea, consulting with a qualified maritime attorney is a crucial step. A maritime attorney will help you determine if your accident was the cause of negligence, and what type of compensation you can seek under the different types of Admiralty Law. Carabin Shaw has a qualified, experienced team of attorneys that will work for you to protect your interests. If you have been injured in the service of a Maritime Vessel or while performing other maritime duties, contact Carabin Shaw day or night, 7 days a week for a free consultation. 1.800.862.1260

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