Maritime Accidents

Maritime Law Overview


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The Many Kinds of Maritime Accidents

There are a lot of different types of accidents that can happen on the water. While the maritime industry is vital to the United States, it is not without risk to its workers. Recreational boating can be dangerous as well. So, before you accept a job in the maritime industry or take your next cruise or recreational boat ride, you should be aware of the following kinds of maritime accidents:

Boat Accidents: Boats, just like other types of motor vehicles, may have accidents. For example, a boat could collide with another boat, a rock or a sea animal and the danger to those on the boat can be significant. The boat could capsize, flood or sink. A person could fall overboard or be hurt in an explosion that is triggered by the accident. Similarly, the sea could become unpredictably rough or an unexpected storm could develop causing accidents.

Offshore Oil Rig Accidents: Offshore oil rigs present several different dangers. The use of heavy equipment that is necessary to drill for oil and gas poses the risk of accident, injury and death just as heavy equipment does on dry land. Further, there is a risk of falling overboard and drowning.

Cruise Ship Accidents: Numerous things can cause cruise ship accidents. Cruise ships are subject to the same dangers as other boats in terms of having accidents. However, the extensive kitchens and recreational facilities that are present on cruise ships also make cruise ships susceptible to other types of accidents.

Tugboat Accidents: tugboats are responsible for towing ships that are often considerably heavier than the tugboat itself. This can create dangerous conditions and accidents for the tugboat crew.

Tanker Accidents: tankers can be difficult to operate. Tanker accidents often result from human error or an explosion. The result can be serious injuries, fatalities and significant environmental pollution.

Barge Accidents: barges are big and heavy which make it hard for them to change course quickly, if they can be self propelled at all. That means if another boat, animal or object comes into their path that the crew is often powerless to stop an accident from occurring.

Pleasure Boat Accidents: pleasure boats may be in similar types of accidents as all other types of boats. However, a greater proportion of those accidents may be because of the captain or crew's inexperience or drunk boating.

Ocean Research Vessel Accidents: as with all other types of boats, ocean research vessels are subject to human error, an improperly operating boat and treacherous weather and sea conditions.

Accidents that occur at sea are covered by federal maritime law.

If the accident was caused by negligence, noncompliance with safety standards or a violation of the law then the injured worker or passenger may be entitled to damages for accidents such as those described above.

Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

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