Common Types of Maritime Collisions

Offshore Injuries Oct 1, 2021

While it might seem like maritime collisions should never happen, these accidents are alarmingly common. In fact, our maritime collision lawyers routinely hear from seamen and other maritime workers who need to seek compensation for accidents involving the following.


An allision involves a collision between a vessel and a stationary object. Collisions with bridges, seawalls, jetties, navigation markers, docks, and other objects can cause both serious damage and serious injuries. Allisions can also involve collisions with reefs, rocks and land caused by high seas.

Bow-On Collisions

A bow-on collision involves two vessels colliding bow-to-bow or head-to-head. These accidents frequently occur when captains are distracted, though rudder failures and other mechanical issues can also cause captains to lose control and strike another vessel’s bow.

Side-Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions occur under a wide range of scenarios. They can occur while one vessel is docked or moored (which is also a type of allision) or while both vessels are in navigation. Side impacts while large ships are attempting to dock at ports, marinas and offshore platforms can cause injuries as well.

Stern Collisions

A stern collision occurs when one vessel rear-ends another. Similar to the other types of accidents discussed above, these collisions can result from various factors, and they can result in injuries to crew members and passengers onboard both vessels.

How is Fault Determined in a Maritime Collision?

Determining fault in a maritime collision requires an in-depth investigation of the circumstances involved. This investigation can take hours, weeks or months. When you contact us, we will begin our investigative efforts immediately, and we will also seek to determine if other factors (i.e., unseaworthiness) played a role in causing your injuries.  

What if Weather is a Factor in a Maritime Collision?

Ship captains must still operate their vessels safely in bad weather. If you were injured in a maritime collision in which weather was a factor, you are entitled to just compensation, and you should speak with a maritime collision attorney about your legal rights.

How Much Can Seamen Recover for Injuries from Maritime Collisions?

Seamen who suffer serious injuries in maritime collisions will often be entitled to significant compensation. When negligence or unseaworthiness is a factor, seamen can seek compensation beyond maintenance and cure benefits. In these cases, the amount seamen can recover depends on the financial (i.e., medical bills and lost wages) and non-financial (i.e., pain and suffering) costs of their injuries. If you’ve been injured, you will need to hire a maritime collision lawyer to determine how much you are entitled to recover.

When Should I Hire a Maritime Collision Attorney?

If you have been injured in a maritime collision, you should hire an attorney right away. You will need your attorney to investigate the cause of the collision, and you will need to rely on your attorney’s advice to avoid costly mistakes. We provide free consultations to injured seamen nationwide, and you can contact us to discuss your case in confidence 24/7.

Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056

By Appointment Only
Willis Law Firm Portway Plaza
1717 Turning Basin Dr.
Suite #232

Houston, Texas 77029

Back to Top


Protect Your Rights.

"Willis battled the chemical companies
and won our case." - MELISSA C.