Cruise ships can be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, injuries on cruise ships are historically very common.
Whether your family and you are enjoying your vacation by cruising or working and living as an employee on a cruise ship, it is important to know your rights in relation to the perils of sea travel. Importantly, you must know that if you are injured in an accident on the boat you may have the right to claim compensation.
All cruise lines must ensure that their passengers and employees are protected from careless injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their ships.
Our personal injury attorneys provide legal assistance to all those injured due to the negligence of another passenger, crew member or the cruise line.
Lawsuits are also important for encouraging development and enforcement of better safety measures on cruise ships.
If a passenger disappears at sea or if you or a loved one were injured on a shore excursion, consult a lawyer and find out about your rights and options.
Common Causes of Cruise Ship Accidents
Cruise lines that:
- neglect the maintenance of their ships
- use defective equipment
- or do not properly train their crew
can be liable for death and serious personal injury.
Cruise ships must comply with the laws of the sea, such as the Death on the High Seas Act, the Jones Act, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (‘SOLAS’).
Maritime regulations set strict guidelines for cruise lines on how to manage lifeboats, regulate their crews, and navigate and control ships.
When they fail to comply with this obligation, the 1984 Sailing Act could protect passengers, while the Jones Act could protect crew members and enable them to claim compensation for their medical expenses and other costs incurred as a result of their injuries.
Cruise Lines We Can Help With
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- Celebrity Cruises
- Commodore Cruise Line
- Costa Cruise
- Cunard Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Oceania Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Renaissance Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
- Yachts of Seabourn
- Silversea Cruises
- Port Canaveral Cruises
Common Injuries Related To Cruise Ship Accidents
Our firm has taken care of all types of injuries that might occur in cruise vacations:
- Accidents due to slips or falls on wet or uneven surfaces or due to boat maneuvers.
- Accidents on water slides, wave pool or pool.
- Accidents in excursions to ports approved by the cruise line.
- Sexual or physical aggression on the cruise by members of the crew or passengers.
- Contaminated food that causes serious illness.
- Medical negligence: Persons receiving medical care on the cruise and being placed in ports in other countries without adequate arrangements for medical care. It is also possible that the treating doctors are not qualified or do not have the appropriate medical equipment, which would lead to a misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment.
Liability in Cruise Ship Accidents
The general principles of negligence apply in claims for maritime grievances.
A victim must demonstrate that the defendant had an obligation of diligence to avoid creating unnecessary risk of harm, but violated that obligation with his negligent conduct and caused injury and damages to the plaintiff.
The operator of a cruise ship is required to take reasonable precautions when interacting with anyone legally on the boat.
If you violate this obligation and cause injury, you could be held liable.
For example, a passenger could suffer a slip and fall aboard a cruise ship.
The ship and its crew are obliged to take reasonable precautions to ensure the security of their passengers.
They must take the necessary steps to protect passengers against dangerous conditions in areas where passengers are expected to be or that are reasonably expected to be visited.
The obligation includes advising passengers of any hazardous areas and taking steps to correct the damage.
If a crew member attacks or otherwise commits an offense against a passenger, the victim may hold the cruise operator responsible.
The ships are considered common carriers, and as such may be strictly liable for the willful conduct of their employees, even if the action occurred outside the context of working hours.
Victims of sexual assault, for example, have been able to point out responsibility to cruise companies if a crew member committed the attack and the principal was knowledgeable.
Medical Negligence on a Cruise Ship
A cruise operator may be responsible for the negligent hiring of their medical personnel, but the companies generally are not responsible for the negligence of their doctors.
A passenger injured by a ship’s doctor would have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him.
However, a passenger could also file a lawsuit against the cruise operator for his failure to take precautions when hiring a competent physician.
Legal Advice For Victims After Cruise Accidents
Surviving members of the family of passengers or crew members who suffered negligent death while aboard a cruise ship have the legal possibility of recovering compensation.
The Death on the High Seas Act offers recovery of monetary damages for all negligent deaths that occurred more than 3 nautical miles away from the coast.
A lawsuit based on the Death on the High Seas Act may be filed by the descendants of the deceased in the event that death occurred as a result of negligence, unseaworthiness, intentional conduct and strict liability by defective products.
The Act allows for the recovery of monetary damages, such as burial expenses and lost wages, but non-monetary damages cannot be recovered.
A lawsuit may be filed by the legal representative of the deceased on behalf of surviving relatives.
However, plaintiffs must act quickly because all claims against cruise lines have short-term status.
The cruise ticket works as a valid contract, stating that the company has to be notified of any incident within six months and any claim must be filed within one year.
If the victims miss this period, they will lose their rights to compensation.
Why Hire a Lawyer In Cruise Ship Accidents?
As we previously stated, in many cases the cruise ticket provides a one-year limitation period for claims for injuries against the cruise company.
While most cruise claims cases are resolved out of court, it is vital to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Due to the tight deadlines, Avrek Law Firm will help fight for your legal rights.
In addition, contacting an attorney quickly allows us to document unsafe conditions on the ship and interview witnesses or crew members while on shore or while returning to shore at their subsequent departures.
With over 35 years experience, Avrek Law Firm is the best choice.
The congress has taken leaps and bounds to protect cruise passengers in terms of their safety through the passing of The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010.
As a result of this law, cruisers or ships must:
- Install windows in the cabins.
- Keep the ship’s or cruiser’s lanes at least 42 inches high.
- Installation of security cameras to monitor the safety of the passengers.
- Installation of emergency devices that can be heard throughout the boat.
- Report any crime committed on the boat.
Contact the experienced cruise ship attorneys at Avrek Law Firm for a free consultation.
We will investigate your injury case and fight for your legal rights.
How Can Avrek Law Firm help Me
If you were injured while traveling as a passenger on a cruise ship aboard a cruise ship vessel, a small boat, or even off the cruise ship during a shore excursion.
Make the decision to hire a law firm experienced in the maritime sector.
Our law firm is experienced in handling cases from a wide range of claims related to injuries and accidents occurring on and off cruises, including:
- Physical or sexual assault (“rape”) by a crew member or other passengers.
- Slips and falls on wet or uneven decks.
- Accidents due to uneven decks, raised thresholds or strange objects.
- Accidents caused by drunk passengers or crew members.
- Accidents occurring in small boats transporting cruise passengers between a cruise ship and a port.
- Accidents during the cruise line approved shore excursions.
- Consumption of contaminated food resulting in a serious illness.
A passenger on a cruise ship who has suffered serious injuries may be eligible for compensation for past and future medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, past and future lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Avrek Law Firm lawyers have the expertise to protect your rights, recover the adequate compensation to serve your needs, and the ability to get the justice you and your loved ones deserve.