My family and I had dinner in a restaurant on a ship and we were sick the next morning and my youngest son was a lot sicker than we were.
Despite the enthusiastic prevailing opinion about luxurious vacations provided by cruise line operators, these floating cities are far from being a safe environment. A large number of individuals only concerned about having fun, the lack of adequate safety personnel, the habit of disregarding standard security measures, as well as the inadequate lighting, and the lack of surveillance cameras create a favorable environment for different criminal activities.
Cruise Ship Personal Injury Types and Causes
The most common types of personal injuries suffered aboard cruise ships are of course slip and fall accidents. They occur because of various reasons, such as:
Harsh weather conditions
Failure to warn about dangerous conditions
No matter what was the cause, slip and fall accidents can sometimes have devastating consequences, such as fractures, spinal cord injuries, severe brain injuries, or even overboard incidents resulting in drowning. However, most slip and fall accidents only lead to minor injuries and often remain unreported, or at least never make it to the media. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act Statistical Compilation provides valuable data about more serious personal injuries occurred aboard luxurious vessels. Between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012, 3 U.S. citizens suffered assault with serious bodily injury while on board cruise ships and 24 others reported sexual assaults.
Passengers traveling alone, as well as crew members, or even officers can become the victims of sexual assault. Having conversations with strangers, consuming alcoholic beverages, or only walking alone on the deck during the night can increase the risks of becoming a victim. Another potential hazard cruise ship passengers are facing is food poisoning due to Norovirus outbreak. Noroviruses are a class of viruses that affect the stomach and intestines causing gastroenteritis. The viruses spread through contaminated water and food and on cruise ships through physical contact. Symptoms involve:
Affected passengers are typically quarantined to their cabins to prevent spreading the illness, and they are expected to recover within two days. However, the experience itself is unpleasant enough to ruin a vacation.
What to Do in Case of a Serious Personal Injury Onboard a Cruise Ship
In case serious personal injuries occur onboard a cruise ship, it is important to know what exactly needs to be done. Passengers are advised to:
Report the incident to the security department of the ship
Visit the doctor onboard, or if the injuries are severe ask to be transferred to a hospital on land
Document the circumstances of the accident, take pictures of the surrounding conditions, write down contact details of potential witnesses
If they were the victim of a crime, ask the crew to report it to the FBI
Carefully read the contract on the back of the cruise ticket and make sure they respect the protocol
File a written incident report to the cruise ship operating company within six months
Contact a maritime attorney as soon as possible
How Can the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help?
Unaware passengers, but also crew members, easily fall victims and suffer various personal injuries. At the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we know how even a minor incident can ruin an otherwise promising vacation. Therefore, we are dedicated to representing cruise ship passengers and crew members who suffered personal injuries while on board and helping them pursue just compensation.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury onboard a cruise ship, do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. Our experienced attorney has handled personal injury cases on behalf of both passengers and crew members. We have the essential experience and skills to negotiate on your behalf effectively. We'll investigate the details of your case, and we'll interview other passengers and crew members to establish whether team members or the ship operating company acted in a negligent manner or failed to provide a reasonably safe environment. If there is evidence for a legal claim, we'll pursue the just compensation and try to reach a settlement with the cruise liner company. However, if negotiations fail, we'll bring your case to court and settle for nothing less than you deserve.
For questions and free legal advice to help individuals please call us