Offshore InjuryBlog

When Tankers Collide: Potential Dangers

Maritime accidents involving tanker collisions are some of the most dangerous accidents that can occur at sea. While it is not uncommon for vessels to collide, the collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. With increased vessel speed, the increased ability to carry larger loads of greater tonnage, and increased maritime traffic, the risk of vessel collision accidents has also increased. Tankers and other vessels do not always strike each other; often, they collide with fixed structures such as bridges or even icebergs.

Tankers go by many names, including supertankers, oil tankers, petroleum tankers, crude tankers, product tankers, naval replenishment oiler, LNG tankers, chemical tankers, slurry tankers, hydrogen tankers, juice tankers, and more. Tankers are generally classified by what they are carrying and their size. Outside of using pipelines, tankers remain the most effective way to transport oil, so they are very commonly used to do just that. By the sheer amount of oil that they carry, modern tankers are a huge threat to the environment worldwide.

Tanker collisions and other vessel collisions affect the vessels themselves, the structures they hit, and the safety of the crew. Offshore collisions have negative environmental impacts, cause financial problems for the vessel owner and local communities, and cause infrastructure damage to whatever is hit. Recent tanker collisions have led to some of the largest oil spills in decades.

Common Causes of Tanker Collisions

  • Pilot Fatigue
  • Improper Communication
  • Distracted Boating
  • Failing to Reduce Speed
  • Poor Visibility
  • Severe Weather Issues
  • Propulsion System or Other Mechanical Failure
  • Error by Onshore Personnel Directing the Vessel
  • Acts of Sabotage

Protection under the Jones Act

Introduced by Senator Wesley Jones and enacted in 1920, the Jones Act serves to promote the good state of the maritime industry in the United States, and part of that includes protecting the men and women who work within it. Under the Jones Act, industrial seamen now have the right to hold their employers liable for injuries incurred while at sea due to others’ negligence. This means that if you or someone you loved was injured in a collision because a ship was unseaworthy or supervising parties failed their crew in some way, there is hope for recovering damages for those injuries.

Tanker Collision & Offshore Injury Lawyers

If you were hurt as a result of an offshore tanker collision, you have legal rights under the Jones Act to recover monetary damages. Maritime injury claims are not like other personal injury lawsuits; only an experienced offshore injury lawyer can guide you through the complex laws applicable to your case. Our Jones Act attorneys have helped thousands of injured offshore workers recover compensation. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

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