Main Causes of Maritime Accidents and How an Attorney can help?

 In Blog Posts

Traveling on a ship comes with risks and dangers. When you are on a ship, whether you are working or traveling for leisure, there is always a risk of an accident occurring. With accident injuries at large scale may also occur. Even if there are no injuries, extensive damage to the ship may occur.

There are several reasons for accidents and consequent damages to passengers as well as the ship such as negligence or poor maintenance. The severely injured passenger may seek a lawsuit against the company binding the owner of the ship through the court to pay for the damages. During the trial, a personal injury attorney looks for the following reasons that led to the accident:

  1. Failure of Equipment:

Maritime equipment is well designed and built to bear the weight and stresses while navigating the seas, oceans, and waterways. Maritime equipment is extremely complex and a ship contains tens of thousands of moving parts.

The most common cause of maritime accidents is engine failure and issues with the electronic system. In certain cases, the failure of equipment is caused by natural phenomena, for instance, heavy seas or weather. Among other causes, the following are the factors that lead to equipment failure:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Failure to regularly monitor the ship’s system
  • Lack of essential equipment or protective gear
  • Breakdown in the communication procedure
  • Breakdown or failure of operating procedure
  • Language barrier in crafting written-manual
  • Absence of Proper Training and Human Mistake:

The Mariners Alerting and Reporting Scheme (MARS) states that human errors cause most of maritime accidents. When there is a lack of training as well as inexperienced and fatigued staff, human error is bound to occur leading to accidents. In case of automated functions of a ship, it is essential to be properly trained and learn how to operate a vessel.   

The vigilance and on time reaction of the captain in case of an emergency situation saves the ship from the disaster. Well trained officers have quicker reaction time and can handle the crisis effectively and better than the inexperienced crew members.

Being properly trained is not sufficient. If seamen are fatigued and don’t take proper rest, their performance affects negatively.  Working continuously on ships exhausts the officers and seamen and chance become higher than they take a poor decision, confuse or misread the navigational signals, warning and charts and react slowly. The overworked crew working on the vessel are on the greater risk of being injured or killed.

  • Collisions:

Despite the modern communication and navigational aids, such as radars, ship-to-ship- radios, computerized navigational charts, and GPS, there is still a risk of collisions.

Collisions at sea mostly occur at busy ports near the coast or in narrow straits. These accidents occur because of the inexperienced watch standers on the bridges, malfunctioning radar system, navigational errors and poor decision making by fatigued workers.

  • Lack of Proper Maintenance:

Ships and maritime vessels are made up of a complex and interlinked system that must work accurately to navigate on the waters. From tiny to biggest, every part is essential in a ship. The most solid part of the ship cannot stand the wear and tear over time, so it is essential to properly maintain the ship to prevent accidents and disasters.

There are many cases when seamen or passengers got severely injured or killed due to trip and fall accidents. Such maritime accidents are preventable given the maintenance of these ships.

Attorney’s Assistance in Maritime Accidents:

Severe injuries or even death from maritime accidents can become subject to a personal injury lawsuit. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, the best approach is to consult an attorney to have complete guidance through the procedure.

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