Cruise ships, like all other businesses, have a duty to keep their passengers safe during the voyage.
Passenger cruise ship companies and their employees owe a reasonable duty of care to ensure that their vessels are in good working order and no hazards exist that would endanger passengers. Of course, negligence and unfortunate accidents do happen.
Common Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents
Depending on the ship and what amenities it offers, the types of hazards can vary widely. Cruise ships offer many activities that people enjoy on land, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, swimming pools, restaurants, etc.
All the hazards that normally exist in those premises also exist on the ships. However, some incidents happen commonly just because of the nature of being on a ship on the ocean, including:
- Slip and falls—the most common accident on cruise ships from wet and slippery floors, inconspicuous changes in floor levels, etc.;
- Food poisoning;
- Legionnaires’ disease—a pneumonia-like lung sickness caused by bacteria in poorly maintained water systems;
- Assault or sexual assault;
- Drownings—in swimming pools or if a passenger falls off the cruise ship; or
- Injuries suffered while participating in recreational activities.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the possible passenger cruise ship accidents. The list of injuries suffered in cruise ship passenger accidents is also extensive and includes:
- Spinal cord or neck injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Burns and disfigurements,
- Illnesses, or
Pretty much any type of injury that can happen on land can happen on a passenger cruise ship as well.
Legal Difficulties of Passenger Cruise Ship Claims
Dealing with a personal injury claim where a cruise ship company is involved is much different than pursuing a normal personal injury matter. Cruise contracts generally try to limit the ways in which passengers can bring claims against the company.
Most of them insert a clause restricting passengers to arbitration with the company or to force passengers to bring claims only in certain jurisdictions that are convenient for the company.
By purchasing their tickets, passengers are implicitly agreeing to be governed by the terms of the contract. Federal admiralty and maritime laws generally govern cruise ship companies and operators.
There are also state laws that may apply to your contract and the duties of any company offering public transit and their liability for negligence.
Litigating within these parameters and rules takes specialized legal knowledge. It is not so simple as proving negligence and settling the case.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured on a Passenger Cruise Ship?
Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We will zealously and aggressively litigate your case and help you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.