Traveling on a cruise ship is one of the most popular vacation choices. Sadly, the more people go on cruises the more cruise ship injuries happen every year.
Because most cruise ship injuries happen in international waters or in the waters off of a foreign country, it can be difficult to know how to bring an injury claim against a cruise line.
If you have suffered a cruise ship injury do not try and tackle the claim by yourself. Instead of getting the runaround from the cruise line, find a lawyer who knows how to get you the compensation you deserve for your cruise ship injuries.
Who is at Fault for Cruise Ship Injuries?
The first step in dealing with cruise ship injuries is to understand who is at fault for the injury. Cruise ships have a duty to keep their passengers safe. But, just because you get hurt on a cruise doesn’t mean the cruise line automatically will pay you. You will need to show that the cruise line or its employees was negligent and that the negligence caused your injury.
The crew of a cruise ship are all employees of the cruise line. Employees may be negligent and cause injuries to passengers in several ways:
- Failure to clean up a spill
- Careless actions that create hazards
- Not maintaining equipment properly
- Failing to observe safety rules and regulations
- Failing to stop a passenger from doing something the employee knows is dangerous
These are just some of the common ways employees of a cruise line may be negligent and become the cause of cruise ship injuries.
If you are injured on a cruise ship because of an employee, you will be able to make a claim against the cruise line.
Contractors at Shore Excursions
One common way people are hurt while on cruises is on shore excursions. Most shore excursions are not managed or overseen by the cruise line employees. If you are hurt on a shore excursion, you will most likely not be able to successfully file a claim against the cruise line. You will have to deal with the business operating the shore excursion directly.
One exception to this might be if you can prove that the cruise line knew or should have known that the shore excursion company was reckless and the cruise line was negligent for giving the option of that particular shore excursion vendor. But, these are hard cases to win.
Other Passengers and Yourself
If you are the cause of your own injury, or another passenger caused your injury, you probably will not be able to win a clam against the cruise line.
American personal injury law requires that you prove that the person you are suing had a duty to you, that the duty was breached, that the breach caused you injuries, and that you were actually damaged. If another passenger punches you, it may be tough to explain how that is the fault of the cruise line.
But for the most part, if someone who is not an employee of the cruise line causes your injury, you cannot come back against the cruise line.
Types of Injuries in cruise ship accident
There are any number of ways to get hurt on a cruise ship. Here are some of the most common types of injuries:
- Slip and fall
- Falling overboard
- Food poisoning
- Injured because of low overhang
- Injured because of ledge
A cruise ship is like a floating hotel. Most cruise ship injuries are similar to those found in any hospitality business. The vast majority of injures come from people tripping or slipping on food, beverages, or other items, that are not properly cleaned up.
A simple slip or trip and result in significant injuries. Even something like a twisted knee could require major surgery. The type of injury is not an indication of how serious the injury may be.
Where to Bring Claims
Cruise ships are in the entertainment business you are supposed to have a good time. But, when you have been hurt, it can feel like the cruise ship doesn’t want to help you. There is no claims office on board a cruise ship. It can be difficult to know what to do.
Attorneys who are experienced in dealing with cruise ship injuries will know how to get you the compensation you deserve. They understand that most cruise ships set sail under what are called flags of convenience. This means the ship is flagged not as American vessel, but under the flag of a small developing country.
But, even if the ship claims not to be an American vessel, and even if a cruise line based in another country operates it, most cruise ship injuries can be dealt with in American courts.
If a cruise ship company has major operations in the United States, they can be sued in the United States. Sometimes you may have agreed when you bought your cruise ticket to file any claims in a particular place.
If you have suffered a cruise ship injury do not try and tackle the claim by yourself.
Instead of getting the runaround from the cruise line, find a lawyer who knows how to get you the compensation you deserve for your cruise ship injuries.