Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries
Millions of people will depart from U.S. ports on a cruise ship this year. The cruise industry is booming and is showing no signs of slowing down. For many, a cruise is an adventure the whole family can enjoy together, for others, a cruise is a great way to see new things, or escape on a romantic getaway.
What people don’t expect is crime, injuries, deaths, drownings, theft, or assaults. Yet, cases like these are reported every year. It’s easy to forget that a cruise ship is something like a floating city, populated with possibly thousands of passengers and hundreds of crewmembers. The crimes that happen on land happen on the high seas also.
When an accident happens, passengers may be surprised at how the situation is handled. They should be aware that they are “in” in the country of whatever flag is flying on the vessel, so if it’s an Icelandic flag, then they are “in” the Iceland, not the United States. While vessel operators are required by U.S. law to preserve the crime scene and evidence, foreign laws may be very different.
Common accidents include:
- Cargo Damage
- Crewmember Injuries
- Excursion Injuries
- Food Poisonings
- Gangway Injuries
- Overboard Accidents
- Slip/trip/fall injuries
- Tender boat accidents
- Wrongful Death
While most of these injuries and accidents are caused by negligence, some may be intended. No matter the cause, passengers and crewmembers have a right to safe passage, and legal options if this right is not fulfilled. Cruise lines often try to shirk this responsibility by adding a large amount of fine print on the passenger’s ticket or in the employee’s contract, including limiting how long a person has to file an accident or injury claim and where a claim can be filed. This fine print may also limit how much compensation a person can receive. An attorney deeply experienced in maritime and cruise ship law will know how to protect your rights and help you get the maximum compensation available under the law.
If you or a family member suffered an accident or injury aboard a ship, speak to us as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in fighting for the rights of passengers and employees in the commercial maritime industry, and we stand ready to fight for you. Fill out the form to learn more about your rights and legal options.