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Legal Blog

Are Cell Phones a Safety Hazard on Ships?

Water travel plays a critical role in how global commerce operates. With so many businesses transporting goods over water, and the ever-increasing presence of technology, there is a growing concern about how cell phone usage poses a serious safety hazard on ships.

Several shipping accidents have occurred in recent years that were related to cell phone use. While cell phones can provide numerous benefits to the otherwise isolated crew of a ship, there is some debate as to whether those benefits offset the risk of potential injury.

If you suffered an injury in a maritime accident related to someone using a cell phone or other electronic device, you may be confused about what is considered appropriate use and who should be held responsible. In these situations, it’s wise to consult an experienced Houston maritime injury attorney.

For a free, no-risk consultation with The Krist Law Firm, P.C., call (281) 283-8500, or submit a request online. Once we review your situation, we will help you understand how maritime law can aid in your recovery

How Maritime Law Applies

When maritime employees are injured, the laws that apply to
navigable waters are not necessarily the same as the typical employment laws that apply on land. This can influence:

  • Where you can file a claim;
  • The types of injuries you can claim; and
  • The damages you can potentially recover.

So if someone’s negligent use of a cell phone created a safety hazard on a ship and you were injured, by working with a maritime lawyer, you can review your legal options and help plan the best course of action.

Benefits of Cell Phones on Ships

There are many ways cell phones can make life easier for someone working on a ship. For one thing, they are a convenient method for instant communication. This can include keeping in touch with family and friends at home or crewmembers on different parts of the ship. They can also serve as a backup if the ship’s communications malfunction.

Additionally, cell phones provide you with access to a host of useful information. You can find instantaneous updates on weather, air pressure, and water depth in distant locations. To wait for someone to relay this information could take time that the shipping business doesn’t have.

Hazards of Cell Phone Usage On Ships

The main reason cell phones are considered a safety hazard on ships is because they are a distraction. It is well known that cell phones offer many recreational functions in addition to their practical ones. In several boating accidents recently reported, cell phone use by a crew member was involved. There is concern in the maritime industry that workers will neglect their safety duties because of electronic distraction. This could happen even if the worker in question isn’t using their phone for recreation.

A crew member may be checking the upcoming weather and fail to notice an imminent danger because they were looking at their screen. Even though the crew member was performing their duties, the accident would still have been caused by cell phone distraction.

Discuss Your Maritime Accident With The Krist Law Firm, P.C.

You’re not alone if you find yourself overwhelmed by dealing with maritime law. Discussing your case with a maritime lawyer can greatly reduce this feeling an provide some clarity. For advice on how to proceed after a Houston maritime accident, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Various factors influence these cases, and one of our attorneys will be able to advise you about pursuing a recovery for your injury.

Call (281) 283-8500, or fill out the online form, to schedule your free consultation today.