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Importance of Mental Wellbeing after Accidents at Sea

By Principal Lawyer, Occupiers and Public Liability

Following an accident at sea, the toll of the traumatic events on passengers can often be of a psychological matter when it comes to personal injuries.

Accidents and emergencies on board ships vary from case to case, as is evident from examples in the headlines. In April this year, a cruise line accident resulted in an emergency of catastrophic proportions when the river cruise boat hit rocks. The boat sank within minutes, leaving the passengers and crew to cling to rocks and swim to safety. A British passenger is tragically feared to have drowned, pulled by the current of rapids in the river in Laos.

There have been several other headline-grabbing stories of disasters at sea. It is often the case when reading through such dramatic, attention-grabbing stories that the language focuses on the devices that will draw readers. Perhaps for those who have not been affected by an accident at sea, it’s easy to read such news stories without sparing a thought for the people that the numbers represent.

Following any traumatic accident at sea, the mental wellbeing of those injured or who witness the accident should be taken into consideration. The psychological effects of a traumatic experience can be as real and as debilitating as sustaining physical injuries. The Mental Health Foundation states that post-traumatic stress disorder is potentially a severe and long-term health problem that can considerably affect a person’s life and ability to work.

It is common for post-traumatic stress disorder to occur following a traumatic experience like an accident or emergency at sea. It is not difficult to imagine that a person would be affected by a highly stressful and traumatising experience such as a panic at sea, especially in the event a person’s guard is down at the height of relaxation on a cruise.

Whilst compensation may not seem important following an accident at sea, a successful claim could help to cover the costs of rehabilitation and any medical costs, along with time taken off work due to any injuries – both physical and mental – following the accident.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have represented people in many different types of accidents on cruise ships. See a recent case study here.

We also help people injured whilst working on cruise ships and boats. Accidents at Sea is a specific area of law because health and safety regulations specifically exclude people who work at sea. However, people who work at sea are covered by Merchant Shipping Regulations which allow our Solicitors to claim compensation on their behalf.

Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free consultation for anyone suffering from the psychological effects of personal injury. Call our expert Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will be happy to help you.

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