Each year, there are dozens of serious and fatal accidents on cruise ships, and far more less-serious accidents go unreported. But, even these less-serious accidents often leave passengers dealing with painful and expensive injuries, and many passengers find themselves in need of an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer.

So, why are accidents on cruise ships so common?

The simple answer is that cruise lines don’t always do what they need to in order to protect their passengers. Negligence and business decisions that put profits before safety are responsible for many passengers’ injuries. When the cruise lines are to blame for accidents onboard (or even off of the ship), they can—and should—be held legally accountable, and there are laws, rules and processes in place that lawyers can use to help injured passengers recover just compensation.

5 Common Reasons for Cruise Ship Accidents

While there are several issues that can (and do) lead to cruise ship accidents, some issues are more common than others. Here are five of the most common reasons for accidents on deck, below deck, during embarkation and disembarkation, and during shore excursions:

1. Inadequate Cruise Ship Maintenance

Inadequate maintenance is a leading cause of many types of cruise ship accidents. Cruise ships require constant maintenance, and this applies to all areas and components of the vessel. From failure to repair loose handrails to failure to clean up spills and replace worn carpeting, numerous maintenance-related issues can put passengers at risk for injuries.

While cruise lines typically post photos of the newest and shiniest ships on their websites, many cruise ships are old, outdated and poorly maintained. If a cruise ship does not receive the maintenance it needs, not only can this lead to an unpleasant passenger experience, but it can also put passengers at risk for injuries from falls and other accidents.

2. Understaffing, Inadequate Training, and Hiring Inexperienced or Unqualified Crew

Safely operating, maintaining and cleaning a cruise ship requires a large and experienced crew. When cruise lines understaff their ships in order to save money, this can increase passengers’ risk of getting injured onboard. Hiring inexperienced and unqualified crew members is an issue as well, and crew members must also receive adequate training on the safe operation of rollercoasters, FlowRiders and other onboard amenities. If they don’t, they might not know how to avoid accidents, and they also might not know what to do in the event of a serious passenger injury.

3. Inadequate Supervision or Security

Swimming pool accidents are a common cause of cruise ship injuries. Cruise lines have a duty to provide adequate supervision, not only to ensure that passengers in distress get the help they need but also to prevent overcrowding and other safety hazards. Cruise lines must provide adequate supervision in children’s playrooms and various other areas of their ships as well.

Inadequate security on cruise ships is also a very real concern. Sadly, many passengers fall victim to rapes and sexual assaults each year. Physical assaults by drunk and aggressive passengers can also lead to serious—and in some cases life-threatening—injuries. When a cruise line’s failure to provide adequate security is to blame for a passenger’s victimization, the cruise line may be fully liable for the passenger’s financial costs and physical and emotional trauma.

4. Failure to Observe Safety Rules, Regulations and Precautions

Cruise lines must observe several safety rules and regulations, and they must take several precautions in order to protect passengers from the moment they step on the gangway to the moment they arrive back at their home port. But, prioritizing safety can be expensive, and, as a result, cruise lines often don’t do everything they should.

Simply put, there is no excuse for putting passengers’ safety at risk unnecessarily. Whether at port or at sea, cruise lines need to put their passengers’ safety first. When they don’t, and when passengers get injured as a result, they deserve to be held fully accountable for the consequences of their mistakes.

5. Other Forms of Negligence

Along with the issues discussed above, various other forms of negligence frequently lead to cruise accidents as well. This includes everything from serving unsafe foods to failing to properly balance pool chemicals and from improperly installing gangways to recommending unsafe shore excursions.

As a result, regardless of what happened, if you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise, you should speak with a cruise ship accident lawyer about your legal rights. Cruise lines can be held liable for passenger injuries under numerous circumstances, and injured passengers and their families will be entitled to significant financial compensation in many cases.

Did You Waive Your Legal Rights When You Purchased a Cruise Ticket?

Many passengers who get injured while cruising have questions about whether they waived their legal rights when they purchased a ticket. When you purchase a cruise ticket, you agree to a contract, and that contract contains extensive language that protects the cruise line from liability.

But, it doesn’t protect the cruise line from liability in all cases. Not only don’t cruise ticket contracts cover all accident scenarios, but they are also subject to various exceptions under maritime law. So, no matter what your cruise ticket contract says, you should still discuss your legal rights with a cruise ship accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation, but you may also need to act quickly in order to preserve your ability to recover the financial compensation you deserve. As a result, even if you are still onboard, we recommend that you try to speak with a lawyer today.

Speak with a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer for Free

We represent injured cruise passengers and their families in claims against all major cruise lines. If you need to know more about filing a claim, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 800-499-0551 or contact us online now to speak with a cruise ship accident lawyer in confidence as soon as possible.

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