Maritime Accidents and Cargo Ships By Michael Shelton on July 23, 2019

A cargo ship with shipping containersAt the Shelton Law Firm, we help injury victims and their loved ones no matter where their accident occurred. The incident may have been a traffic collision, a slip and fall injury at a hotel, or it could have occurred while on the water. It doesn’t matter. Houston, TX attorney Michael E. Shelton and his team are there to help.

With that in mind, we would like to focus on maritime law cases, specifically those involving cargo ships. These kinds of accidents on the water can be extremely dangerous, even deadly.

Capsizing or Sinking Vessels Due to Cargo Issues

Capsizing or sinking is one of the deadliest types of accidents that can befall a cargo ship. In these cases, large waves and rough seas could tip a ship over or shift the distribution of weight on the vessel. This is an especially big hazard when large shipping containers are present.

Injuries from Shifting Cargo While at Sea

Shifting cargo and shipping containers can do more than cause a vessel to capsize. The cargo itself can strike or crush people working on the cargo ship. These kinds of incidents can lead to catastrophic and even fatal injuries. Typically, our Houston legal team notices these incidents are the result of poorly secured cargo or rough waters.

Dangers While Loading and Unloading Cargo

Even when a cargo ship is docked there are dangers to consider. Loading and unloading cargo can cause a number of injuries. Cranes, forklifts, and other kinds of shipping vehicles are common to hoist and transport cargo on a ship. Vehicle accidents, crane accidents, and other kinds of dangerous incidents may occur.

Causes of Cargo Ship Accidents

Some of the most common causes of cargo ship accidents include:

  • Inexperienced Workers/Crew - Safely working on a ship or at the docks can take time to master. Workers and crew who lack experience could cause accidents to occur simply because they lack the proper awareness of what their duties entail.
  • Lack of Training - Related to the above, working on or around a cargo ship requires specific training. Operating a crane or a forklift safely requires training, for instance, as does securing cargo and operating a large vessel. A lack of training could translate into an increased risk of accidents.
  • Mechanical Problems - Even a well-trained and experienced crew may not be able to contend with serious mechanical issues. These problems could affect the ship itself or they could affect cranes, forklifts, and other equipment necessary for loading and unloading cargo.
  • Bad Weather and Rough Waters - On the note of things that are beyond the control of even experienced crews, weather and turbulent seas can be extremely deadly. They will increase the risk of injuries on the cargo ship, and could also increase the risk of capsizing and sinking.

Who Is Liable During a Cargo Ship Accident?

Negligence may have played a role in a cargo ship accident. In such cases, it’s important that you speak with the team at our Houston law firm. We can go over the evidence of your case and determine if there were factors related to unsafe working conditions that contributed to the accident occurring. We can help you seek damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses associated with the harm you or a loved one experienced.

Speak with Our Team of Attorneys

For more information about boating accidents and your legal options, be sure to contact a skilled maritime injury and accident attorney. The Shelton Law Firm can be reached by phone at (713) 807-0700.

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Michael E. Shelton

The Shelton Law Firm

Personal injury attorney Michael E. Shelton has been representing victims of catastrophic injuries in Houston, Texas, for nearly 50 years. He is proud to be a union card holder as a journeyman pipefitter and General Counsel for the Texas Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO. He is affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The Texas Bar Association
  • The Houston Bar Association
  • The Louisiana State Bar
  • The Louisiana Association for Justice

If you are the victim of a personal injury, schedule a free consultation with The Shelton Law Firm today by contacting us online or calling (713) 807-0700.

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