Injuries on cruises are alarmingly common. While fatal cruise accidents occasionally make headlines, accidents that result in serious but non-life-threatening injuries rarely get reported. So, if you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise, you are not alone.
In this scenario, it is important to know your legal rights. Unfortunately, you can’t trust the cruise line to tell you what you need to know. The cruise line has its own best interests in mind, and right now, its only goal is to try to pay you and your family as little as possible.
This is one of several reasons why you need an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer on your side. Your lawyer can explain your legal rights, and your lawyer can deal with the cruise line for you. When you hire a lawyer, you can feel confident knowing that you are making the right decisions for you and your family.
Common Grounds for Lawsuits Against Cruise Lines
Once you engage a cruise ship accident lawyer, one of the first things your lawyer will do is investigate the accident. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if you have grounds to sue. Some of the most common grounds for filing a lawsuit against a cruise line include:
Negligent Cruise Ship Maintenance
Negligent cruise ship maintenance is a leading cause of slips-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents on cruises. It is a common cause of injuries from harmful exposure (i.e., exposure to asbestos), swimming pool accidents and various other health and safety risks as well. Cruise lines have a legal duty to maintain their ships in safe condition for their passengers and crew members, and when they fail to do so, they can—and should—be held accountable.
Improper Gangway Installation or Maintenance
Gangway accidents are common as well. These accidents can result from a variety of issues, including issues with both gangway installation and gangway maintenance. Failure to replace non-skid surfacing, loose struts, unreasonably steep inclines, and other easily preventable issues are frequently to blame for passengers’ and crew members’ injuries during embarkation and disembarkation.
Inadequate Supervision or Negligent Operation
Inadequate supervision is another leading cause of cruise ship swimming pool accidents, and it is a common factor in accidents involving FlowRiders, ice skating rinks and other onboard amenities as well. Without adequate supervision, passengers who suddenly find themselves in dangerous situations might not be able to get the help they need to avoid serious (or even fatal) injuries.
Negligent operation is also a common factor in accidents involving FlowRiders, ice skating rinks, climbing walls, roller coasters, and other onboard amenities. If cruise crew members have not received adequate training on how to operate these amenities safely (or if they simply ignore the cruise line’s safety protocols), this can also lead to accidents that could—and should—have been avoided.
Sadly, the risk of being raped or sexually assaulted is a very real concern for many cruise ship passengers. While cruise lines should have adequate security onboard to prevent these types of attacks, many do not. If you or a loved one has been raped or sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, you should contact a cruise ship accident lawyer promptly to discuss your next steps. Regardless of who committed the assault—whether a crew member or another passenger—the cruise line may be legally accountable.
Food poisoning is another risk cruise passengers can face on all cruise lines. Improper food handling techniques, serving undercooked foods, serving expired foods and cross-contamination are just some of the issues that can leave passengers and crew members dealing with a severe bout of foodborne illness. Unfortunately, many passengers and crew members who suffer from food poisoning have no choice but to go to the ship’s infirmary—and while the infirmary might provide the treatment you need, medical malpractice on cruise ships is a very real concern as well.
Medical Malpractice Onboard a Cruise Ship
Failure to properly diagnose food poisoning is just one of several forms of medical malpractice that cruise passengers and crew members can experience onboard. Whether you are feeling sick or you suffer an injury onboard or during a shore excursion, you should get the treatment you need when you visit the infirmary. If you receive the wrong diagnosis, if you don’t receive a diagnosis at all, or if you receive treatment that does more harm than good, a cruise ship accident lawyer may be able to help you file a medical malpractice claim against the cruise line.
Failure to Quarantine Sick Passengers or Crew Members
Failure to properly quarantine sick passengers or crew members can also justify a lawsuit against a cruise line. We saw this recently with COVID-19, but all types of communicable infections on cruise ships can present serious health risks for everyone onboard. All cruise lines should have policies and procedures in place to deal with communicable infections—especially in the post-pandemic era—and those that fail to do what is necessary to protect their passengers and crew deserve to be held fully accountable for the consequences of their inaction.
Negligent Selection of a Shore Excursion Company
Along with accidents onboard, passengers can also sue cruise lines for injuries suffered in accidents during shore excursions as well. If the cruise line was negligent in selecting a shore excursion company that did not have adequate hiring, training and safety practice in place, the cruise line could be liable for injuries caused by the shore excursion company’s carelessness or incompetence.
Request a Free Consultation with a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer at Brais Law Firm
If you need to know more about filing a lawsuit for an injury suffered on a cruise, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To speak with an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer at Brais Law Firm in confidence as soon as possible, please call 800-499-0551 or contact us online now.