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Can You Sue if You Get Sick on a Cruise?

March 24, 2022 Coronavirus COVID-19

Illnesses onboard cruise ships are common. In fact, they are so common that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks statistics on cruise ship illnesses and diseases. If you get sick on a cruise, what do you need to know? Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorney Keith Brais explains:

What are the Most Common Illnesses and Diseases on Cruise Ships?

Several types of illnesses and diseases are common on cruise ships. While COVID-19 remains a significant concern, other sicknesses have long presented risks for passengers sailing from South Florida to the Caribbean and beyond. According to the CDC, some of the most common illnesses and diseases on cruise ships include:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Norovirus and other gastrointestinal (GI) infections
  • Foodborne and waterborne diseases
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Other vaccine-preventable diseases

When is a Cruise Line Liable for a Passenger’s Sickness?

Cruise lines are not automatically liable when their passengers get sick. For a cruise line to be liable, a passenger’s sickness must result from the cruise line’s negligence. This negligence can take many forms, including:

  • Failing to warn passengers of known outbreaks
  • Failing to quarantine sick passengers or crew members
  • Failing to provide adequate treatment to sick passengers or crew members
  • Failing to clean, test or sanitize
  • Failing to maintain food and water at appropriate temperatures and conditions

As the CDC notes, “[o]utbreaks on ships can be sustained for multiple voyages by transmission among crew members who remain onboard or by persistent environmental contamination.” This makes it critically important for cruise lines to perform a thorough cleaning, testing and sanitization. Unfortunately, many cruise lines fail to do what is necessary—and when this is the case, they deserve to be held legally and financially accountable.

How Do You Sue for a Cruise Ship Illness or Disease?

Let’s say you got sick on a cruise ship, and let’s say the cruise line is liable for negligence. How do you sue?

Suing a cruise line involves several steps. First, you need to collect evidence of the cruise line’s negligence. While you may have some of this evidence already (i.e., photos you took with your phone or records from your visit to the ship’s medical center), you will need a lawyer to investigate promptly.

Next, you will need documentation of the costs of your illness—including documentation of your pain and suffering. Your lawyer can assist with this as well. Finally, with all necessary evidence in hand, your lawyer will need to file a claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Talk to a Fort Lauderdale Cruise Ship Accident Attorney for Free

Did you get sick onboard a cruise ship? Do you have reason to believe that the cruise line is responsible? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. To speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorney in confidence, call 800-499-0551 or tell us how we can contact you online now.