Could Oil Prices Cause More Tanker Accidents?

Are you enjoying the low price of gasoline? While the savings are benefiting drivers, they may end up playing a role in shipping accidents internationally.

Last month, Skuld, a Norwegian insurer, announced that the dip in oil prices could lead to a rise in crude shipping activities and a rise in collisions. The insurer said that it is already seeing an uptick in accidents. “We’re unfortunately seeing a rise in collision claims,” incoming CEO Ståle Hansen said, according to ShipandBunker.com.

While this news comes from a Norwegian insurer, crude shipping activities are expected to increase worldwide. As operational costs for ships have gone down, oil tanker demand has increased, as several countries have begun to stockpile cheap oil. Thus, with more ships operating, there may be more accidents.

Reuters recently reported that some of the world’s largest oil traders have hired companies to store crude at sea in supertankers due to the cheap prices. In fact, some foreign tanker producers have started listing themselves on the New York Stock Exchange as a way to raise capital to pay for increased vessel demand, according to multiple news outlets.

Tanker Accidents Can Lead to Injuries

Remember, oil tanker accidents can lead to seamen injuries. This includes injuries to the captains, deckhands, crew, chiefs and engineers on vessels. When these injuries occur, regardless of fault, many workers are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act and general maritime law.

It should be noted that collisions are not the only cause of injuries when it comes to oil tankers. Workers can also sustain injuries because of pump and pipeline malfunctions, slip and falls, hazardous spills, fires and explosions. It would not be surprising to see an uptick in non-collision injury claims as increased shipping activities take place.

In the video above, attorney Carolyn Latti explains what you should do following a maritime accident.

Remember, if you are injured, you may be entitled to damages from an employer, or the owner and operator of the vessel. It may be in your best interest to have an injury independently investigated by an attorney, who could help you determine the best way to move forward legally.

Latti & Anderson LLPNationwide Maritime Attorneys