How Can a Container Ship Accident Attorney Help You?

Working on a container ship can be as adventurous as it is arduous. It is also inherently dangerous and full of everyday hazards. A container vessel accident can cause devastating and life-altering injuries to crew members.

At Pierce Skrabanek, our container ship accident lawyers have helped protect the rights of maritime workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries. Our maritime law attorneys have the skills, experience, and resources to handle complex cargo ship accident claims. 

If you have been injured in a container vessel accident, call Pierce Skrabanek to discuss the details of your case. You can schedule a free consultation by clicking here or calling (832) 690-7000.


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A maritime worker in hard hat and safety gloves conducts the movements of massive cargo containers.

What Are the Most Common Types of Container Ship Accidents?

If you are a maritime worker injured on a container ship, you have the right to recover lost wages and have your medical care expenses covered. You may be entitled to additional benefits if your injuries were caused by negligence on behalf of the captain or crew, or if the vessel you worked on was unseaworthy. An attorney well versed in maritime law can help protect your rights.

At Pierce Skrabanek, we have dedicated our careers to helping hurt maritime workers recover losses and secure compensation for their injuries.

Injuries from cargo ship accidents and container ship accidents are often serious. Cargo ships and freight containers are massive. In fact, container ships are among the biggest ships ever built. They have the potential to cause significant harm to workers.

According to an RMI report on marine casualties and incidents in the last reporting year, the most common types of shipping container ship accidents involve:

  • Electrical accidents: Electrical system defects can lead to numerous cargo ship accidents. Electrical equipment can cause electrocutions, fires, and bring down other vital systems.
  • Crane accidents: Crane accidents can happen when loading and unloading large cargo vessels. While human error and lack of training have been cited, the majority of crane accidents are due to improper maintenance.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Falls can be detrimental in shipping container ship accidents. Large container ships are several stories tall. Falls are the leading cause of worker injuries, accounting for nearly 33% of all maritime fatalities and injuries.
  • Machinery explosions and fires: The most investigated incidents on vessels are explosions and fires. Machinery explosions are largely attributed to a lack of maintenance and safety management. Fires are often faulty electrical wiring.
  • Hazardous material exposure accidents: Large cargo ships frequently carry hazardous materials and chemicals. When there is a spill, failure to properly contain the hazardous material can cause significant injuries.
  • Sliding cargo accidents: Shipping containers on cargo ships must be carefully secured. When shipping containers break loose, they can slide all over the ship, injuring crew members and damaging property. Unsecured shipping containers can destabilize the entire vessel.
  • Enclosed space entry: Entry into shipboard enclosed spaces is highly dangerous. Improper entry and rescue was the second leading cause of maritime employee deaths.
  • Collisions: There were 61 container vessel collisions in the last reporting year. Container vessel accident collisions happen due to difficulty steering in crowded waterways, lack of training, inclement weather, and equipment failures. Collisions can lead to spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, limb loss, and/or wrongful death.

Safety precautions should be put into place and upheld at all times. When protocols are not followed or when they are overlooked, it endangers everyone involved. The severity of injuries can cause someone irreparable damage.

 

What Compensation Is Available in a Container Ship Accident?

The esteemed maritime lawyers of Pierce Skrabanek will work tirelessly to recover the damages you deserve. We can help you use the critical evidence in your medical records and accident reports to obtain the compensation you need.

While there are several different laws that are in place to protect your right to financial compensation, consult our cargo ship accident lawyers about filing a Jones Act claim.

Under the Jones Act, most maritime workers can recover the following damages:

  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Coverage of physical rehabilitation
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering damages

If you have lost a loved one in a container ship accident, a maritime wrongful death claim can recover compensation for funeral expenses and loss of future income. 

While no amount of monetary damages can ease the pain of your loss, it may help with any unforeseen expenses. Call our compassionate maritime wrongful death attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek to discuss the circumstances of your loss.

Looking down a ladder, we see the upside-down image of a ship worker climbing towards us, high above deck.

Are There Inherent Hazards to Working on Container Ships?

Cargo ship crew members can face an array of dangerous working hazards. According to the Maritime Safety and Health Studies produced by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), container ship workers are exposed to:

  • Physical hazards: Noise levels, heavy lifting, slippery surfaces, ultraviolet light exposure, line handling, and narrow passageways
  • Chemical hazards: Exposure to fuel, chemical cargos, cleansers, and diesel fumes
  • Biological hazards: Transmission of diseases and infections
  • Psychosocial risks: Social isolation, circadian rhythm disruption, language barriers, substance abuse, low job control/high demand, fear of piracy

If you are a maritime worker and suffer an injury, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and your health.

Are Container Ship Accidents Common?

Container ship accidents occur more often than people might think. Working on a container ship in docks, piers, or out at sea holds a significant risk for injury.

According to the latest data from the Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents (PDF), there were 1,422 total casualties and incidents aboard cargo ships that resulted in:

  • 48 very serious casualties
  • 36 fatalities
  • 258 injured persons
  • 3 ships lost

Cargo ships, as defined by the report, include:

  • Chemical tankers
  • Liquified gas tankers
  • Oil tankers
  • Bulk carrier cargo ships
  • Container ships
  • General cargo ships
  • Refrigerated cargo ships

Cargo ship accidents and container ship accidents were responsible for 70.3% of the very serious casualties. 

Every person working at sea faces dangers. Serious injuries can have long-term physical and financial implications. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, it is crucial that you contact a cargo ship accident attorney. Debilitating injuries may prevent you from returning to work at full capacity. When your livelihood is on the line, you deserve to have representation from the dedicated legal team of Pierce Skrabanek. Call (832) 690-7000 today to speak with a skilled maritime accident attorney.

What Can Cause a Cargo Ship Accident?

Cargo ship crew workers must be prepared for a multitude of possible container vessel accidents. The maritime lawyers of Pierce Skrabanek understand the stress and grueling nature of cargo ship work. There is a considerable amount of pressure on the job to work long hours and constantly be wary of your surroundings.

When container ship accidents happen, our maritime attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time. 

Cargo ship accidents can happen due to:

  • Improper maintenance and safety measures
  • Equipment malfunction or defects
  • Negligence on the part of managers or coworkers who fail in their safety duties
  • Lack of training or improper training
  • Lack of consistency in enforcing safety policies or safety protocols
  • Hazardous cargo leakage
  • Failure to secure or properly place shipping containers, causing dangerous cargo shifts

If you have been hurt due to a shipping container ship accident, turn to the experienced representation you can trust. Contact Pierce Skrabanek today for a free, confidential consultation.

At Pierce Skrabanek, we have dedicated our careers to helping hurt maritime workers recover losses and secure compensation for their injuries.

What Steps Should You Take if You Have Been Injured in a Cargo Ship Accident?

If you are injured in a container vessel accident, there are important steps to take:

  1. First, seek immediate medical care from a doctor
  2. Keep all documentation and medical records
  3. Report the accident and all medical findings to your employer
  4. Note any witnesses of the incident
  5. If possible, include pictures of the injury and the accident scene. In the event you file a Jones Act lawsuit, these photos will make strong proof of liability

When you are able, contact a maritime attorney who can review your records and advise you on the best legal course of action.

This especially holds true if you have lost a loved one to a cargo ship accident. A maritime attorney can help alleviate the stress and confusion of filing a Jones Act claim, allowing your family space to heal. See our FAQ section below for more about the Jones Act. Let our container ship accident attorneys help you secure the monetary damages your family needs to move on.

A black maritime worker in an orange jumpsuit and white hard hat looks over the sea as he uses a cell phone to call to shore.

How Can Our Container Ship Accident Attorneys Help?

Maritime law is an intricate field, so it is vital that those injured on container ships seek the help of our experienced container ship accident attorneys. At Pierce Skrabanek, we have dedicated our careers to helping injured seamen and longshore workers because we know how vital their work is to our economy.

We at Pierce Skrabanek have secured significant verdicts on behalf of our clients. Headquartered in Houston, the largest port city in Texas and on the Gulf Coast, we represent Jones Act claims and other maritime cases for our community. Our maritime law attorneys fight aggressively for the compensation injured workers deserve due to the negligence or liability of others.

We believe everyone should have a safe workplace. If you have been hurt on the job, it’s time to take action. Our container ship accident attorneys can help you recover damages and get your life back on course. 

Contact Pierce Skrabanek to discuss the details of your case. Schedule a free consultation by clicking here or calling (832) 690-7000—it’s the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve.

Container Ship Accident FAQs

 

There are an estimated 250 persons injured on cargo ships each year. Victims injured in container ship accidents are mostly crew members. Marine transportation workers are six times more likely to be injured on the job than all U.S. workers combined.

The master of the ship must report accidents in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations. The master of the ship is required to notify the nearest Sector Office, Coast Guard Group Office, or Marine Inspection Office if the container vessel accident involves:

  • An intended grounding
  • An unintentional grounding
  • Loss of life
  • Injury that required professional medical attention
  • Loss of main propulsion or primary steering
  • An accident that adversely affects the ship’s seaworthiness
  • An occurrence not listed above that causes property damage in excess of $25,000

The purpose of reporting accidents is to assist the Coast Guard’s response to marine casualties and to conduct timely investigations. Contact an attorney if you feel that an incident was not properly reported.

Workers’ compensation covers employees who are injured on U.S. land. The jurisdiction does not extend to the ocean. If you are a maritime worker and injured in a container ship accident, you are protected by The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act. The Jones Act protects the rights of seamen to recover damages for their injuries.

You may file a shipping container injury claim within three years. Under the Jones Act, the statute of limitations begins with the date of the injury or death. If you have been injured in a shipping container accident, you need an experienced attorney knowledgeable in maritime law.
Contact Pierce Skrabanek for a free initial consultation by clicking here or calling (832) 690-7000 and secure the compensation you deserve.