Every year, millions of people take cruises, making them one of the most popular types of vacations worldwide. Unfortunately, passenger injuries, crimes, and catastrophic events are far too common and can result in life-altering injuries, lifelong medical conditions, and death.
Cruising takes place worldwide, and there are laws in place to help U.S. citizens and residents as well as citizens and residents of other countries. Oftentimes, these claims can be filed in the United States regardless of where the event took place or the nationality of the injured person.
These laws are complex, and it is important to hire an experienced attorney who knows how to handle these types of claims for financial compensation.
Common Cruise Ship Injuries & Events
The types of potential injuries and events on a cruise ship are similar to those on land, however, there is a higher risk of occurrence in certain situations due to the circumstances and environment of being on a ship.
Some of the most common include:
- Slips and falls
- Physical and sexual assault
- Medical negligence and malpractice
- Violent crime
- Infectious diseases
- Food-related illnesses
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slips and falls are estimated to be the cause of approximately 45% of all injuries on cruise ships. The outcome may be catastrophic, resulting in permanent disability, brain injury, and even death.
Slip and fall injuries on cruise ships can be caused by many forms of negligence, such as:
- Slippery floors, decks, and gangways
- Poor routine maintenance and cleaning of the ship
- Poor lighting in public areas
- Overflowing pools and hot tubs
- Lack of maintenance of elevators, escalators, and handrails
- Badly designed public areas
Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Injuries
Cruise lines are responsible for having policies, procedures, and practices to protect passengers from injury and harm. This requirement often extends beyond the ship to cruise-sponsored shore excursions and activities.
Passengers often leave the boat to go on shore excursions and participate in other land activities arranged and sponsored by the cruise line. Participation often requires signing a document or contract which covers a variety of items, including waiver language which may lead passengers to believe the cruise line can not be held responsible for injuries that occur.
It is very important for passengers to know this waiver does not always prohibit them from filing a legal claim in the United States or another country. The cruise line may try and tell passengers otherwise, so it is important to get help from an experienced attorney familiar with laws involving injuries associated with cruise events.
Even if an activity is booked independently by a passenger and they suffer an injury due to the negligence of the business running the excursion or activity, the injured individual and their family may still have a claim and be able to recover financial compensation.
Cruise lines also have a responsibility to warn passengers about potential and known dangers at ports the ship visits. If there is a failure to warn and someone gets injured, passengers may be able to hold the cruise line accountable.
If you, someone you were traveling with, or a family member was injured as a result of an event on an excursion, it is important to consult an attorney to assess the particular circumstances of what happened and where potential responsibility lies.
Onboard Medical Malpractice
Cruise ships must have trained medical staff, proper facilities, and the necessary equipment to handle the medical needs of their passengers. Cruise lines have the responsibility to make sure passengers get the care they need. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Onboard medical malpractice can result in life-altering catastrophic injuries, disability, brain damage, and death. Some of the more frequent medical negligence situations include:
- Failure to quickly respond to life-threatening situations like heart attack, stroke, or internal injuries
- Misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis of illness or injury
- Prescription of the wrong or dangerous medication
- Failure or refusal to provide treatment
- Improper treatment
- Failure to monitor or follow up with a patient
- Aggravation of a known medical condition
Maritime law even requires cruise ships to change course if a passenger requires advanced medical care beyond what can be provided on the ship.
The average cruise ship passenger is an American over 50 years old. This age factor, the circumstances of being at sea, and sailing in areas with limited access to good land-based medical care, require that ships be prepared to handle medical situations that arise.
Criminal Acts on Ships
The law holds cruise lines liable for criminal acts committed by crew members and, in some situations, by third-party excursion operators and other passengers.
Criminal acts and events include:
- Violent crimes
- Sexual assault
- Physical assault
- Child molestation
- Missing persons
- Crimes due to alcohol consumption
- Service of alcohol to minors
Security is a serious matter that is oftentimes neglected. Cruise lines’ duties involve having trained security staff, proper hiring, supervision, and training of crew, security cameras and surveillance, proper protocols for investigation and handling of criminal events, and crime prevention.
Financial Compensation for Cruise Ship Injuries
If you or your loved one suffered an injury, illness, or death, caused by the negligence of the cruise line, one of its service providers, a third-party excursion operator, or others, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Compensation for these types of claims may include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Long-term care or rehabilitation
- Loss of current and future wages because of inability to work
- For permanent disability
- Other expenses associated with the injury event
It is important to act quickly and contact an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer. There are particular laws that apply to these types of cases, and these laws are very different from those for similar injuries that occur on land.
There are time limitations and deadlines with these types of claims. If you do not take action, hire an attorney, and get your claim filed timely, you could lose your right to file a legal claim for compensation.
Get Legal Help from Maritime Injury Guide Attorneys
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or a victim of violent crime as a result of events that took place on a cruise, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.
At Maritime Injury Guide we are here to help and offer FREE legal consultations. To learn more about your legal rights and options, complete the form on this page or call 866-871-8422 now.