One of the most devastating accidents that can occur at sea is a ship collision. Despite radio communication and global positioning systems, these accidents still occur. According to the Allianz Group’s 2017 Safety and Shipping Review, there were 72 vessel collisions between 2007 and 2016.
Types of Vessel Collisions
The most common ship collisions include:
- Bow-on: This accident occurs when two ships strike each other from their front ends.
- Stern: A stern collision is the result of one vessel striking the rear of another.
- Side: This occurs when one ship is hit on its side by another vessel.
- Allision: This accident involves one ship striking a stationary object, such as a dock or a bridge.
Typical Vessel Collision Injuries
Collisions with other ships, docks, bridges, rocks and reefs can lead to devastating injuries, including:
- Falls. A sudden vessel collision can easily knock seamen off their feet, leading to cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and broken bones.
- Drowning. A collision can rip a hole in the hull of the ship, causing it to quickly sink and drowning passengers and crew.
- Hypothermia. Even when vessel passengers manage to remain afloat and avoid drowning, immersion in freezing cold water can quickly lead to hypothermia. This is a serious medical emergency, causing vital organ failure, impaired thinking, irregular heartbeat, and even death.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychological stress caused by nearly drowning in a ship collision can be overwhelming. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops due to the victim experiencing a terrifying event. Anxiety symptoms may surface immediately, or many days, months, or even years after the accident.
When ships collide with each other, with bridges, or with other offshore infrastructure, determining liability and assessing damages can be challenging and complicated. If you’ve been injured while working aboard a ship, you need an experienced maritime attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.
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