Various kinds of accidents happen in the maritime industry, some of them extremely serious.
Here are six of the most common maritime accidents and the laws under which injured parties can pursue financial compensation to cover their medical expenses and more.
1. Commercial fishing accidents
Commercial fishing boats are often caught in hazardous weather conditions. It is not unusual for fishermen to incur injuries on deck or fall overboard.
2. Tugboat accidents
Tugboats are small but powerful. Their job is to move large vessels safely into and out of port. Crew injuries may result from pilot error or from an incident where the large vessel blocks the tugboat crew’s ability to see a dangerous situation developing.
3. Cargo ship mishaps
Explosions are the main cause of accidents on cargo ships and oil tankers. A conflagration is always damaging to the vessel involved and can result in severe crew member injuries or death.
4. Crane accidents
Crane operations, whether in port or on a vessel, are always risky. An issue with a winch or a faulty wire can result in a serious accident with devastating injuries or death.
5. Cruise vessel mishaps
Cruise ships may face weather hazards that can result in unstable conditions on board and injuries to passengers and crew. Fires sometimes occur, and cruise vessels may also capsize.
6. Oil rig accidents
The work on an oil rig is complex and dangerous. If there is an explosion or oil spill, marine life as well as humans both locally and globally may all feel the effects.
Learning which law applies
There are two laws designed to assist workers injured in maritime accidents. The Jones Act protects crew members on many vessels, including tugboats, commercial fishing boats, cargo ships and cruise ships. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act protects harbor workers, platform workers, offshore oil riggers and others with similar occupations. However, passengers who sustain injuries while on a voyage are usually covered under general maritime law.