Gangway Slip-and-Falls

Our cruise ship gangway accident attorneys have represented numerous cruise passengers who were injured due to accidents occuring on gangways over nearly three decades.

Gangways are unique to maritime travel as the stage of the tide governs the height between the cruise ship and the pier. To bridge this gap, a gangway is deployed to accommodate passengers, as well as crew, entering and exiting the vessel.

Gangway accidents many times occur because of:

  • Missing non-skid adhesive strips;
  • Smooth or worn out diamond plate;
  • Spilled grease or petroleum products;
  • Pried up metal flaps;
  • Slippery handrails;
  • Loose struts;
  • Improper lashing; and
  • Unreasonably steep inclines and declines.

Injured due to a Cruise Ship Gangway Fall?

Maritime law considers the gangway part of the cruise ship. The law also requires cruise lines to provide their passengers and guests with a reasonably safe method of ingress and egress to and from their ships. Sometimes cruise lines breach their legal duty and people get hurt. Often times, our cruise ship gangway accident attorneys discover the cause of the injury is simply because cruise lines fail to maintain their equipment. These gangways are often carried on the ship and used day in and day out enduring tens of thousands of people walking on and off the ship each week. This heavy-traffic wears down the protective non-skid adhesive tape and diamond plate embedded in the surface causing a slipping hazard. Also, tripping hazards occur when the metal flaps at the ends of the gangways many times become bent or pried up and the struts fastened throughout the length of the gangways become loosened due to the constant deployment.

Proving a Cruise Gangway Injury Claim

Establishing the state of the gangway at the time of the injury is paramount. Oftentimes cruise lines have CCTV video cameras positioned to capture people walking on and off the gangways. Sometimes the injured passenger or travel companion take photographs of the gangway for use in a potential claim. These images are very useful to establish an unreasonably dangerous condition. Sometimes there is no visual evidence, and we must rely upon testimony and records. In those cases, our cruise ship gangway accident lawyers identify the relevant crew members stationed at the gangways and the other passengers who were near our client when the accident occurred. We take their depositions to establish the gangway’s state. We also compel the cruise line to provide maintenance records concerning the subject gangway.

In addition to the evidence we gather from the witnesses and the cruise line, there are global agencies founded to oversee safe marine travel, such as the International Maritime Organization. These agencies set guidelines for the construction, installation, maintenance, and proper use of gangways. In addition to internationally recognized guidelines, cruise operators develop their own procedures regarding the proper deployment of gangways which are many times not followed by the crewmembers either due to lack of training or being rushed. From this evidence, our cruise ship gangway accident attorneys are able to prove that the cruise line is negligent and that such negligence was the cause of our client’s injuries and resulting damages.

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Your Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Can Schedule Follow-Up Appointments for Evidence

Providing proof that the cruise ship or one of their employees was responsible for the condition that led to your gangway slip-and-fall is only the first step to recovering your injuries. You’ll also need to identify the cause of your injuries, the extent of your symptoms, and the costs that will they will result. How do you know how much in medications, surgeries, treatments, rehabilitation, and other costs your injury will entail for the remainder of your life? By collecting opinions from medical experts concerning your injuries and what kind of treatments they will require in the future. When your injuries impact your ability to work, you will also be entitled to lost wages and work benefits in the short term, in addition to lost earnings potential in the long term.

Common Cruise Gangway Injuries

Injuries resulting from gangway accidents are vast and include:

  • Fractured wrists, arms, elbows, knee caps and hips;
  • Shoulder rotator cuff tears;
  • Deep cuts resulting in scaring;
  • Knee meniscus tears;
  • Closed head injuries; and,
  • Neck and back fractures and herniated discs.

These injuries can be very serious and often require surgery. Above and beyond the trauma associated with an accident, an injury could have lasting physical and economical implications. Should you or a loved one become injured due to a cruise gangway accident, it is important to seek appropriate medical care and treatment. Failure in receiving proper medical care not only prolongs one’s injury but could have a negative impact on a legal claim.

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Common Injuries from Gangway Slip-and-Falls

Immediately after your cruise ship gangway injury, you might have a cut on your head, a minor headache, and some minor throbbing in your neck. These conditions may be treated with an ice pack and some aspirin in the medical center of the cruise ship, and the cruise ship will then hope that you do not pursue any additional compensation from them for your injuries. The fact of the matter is the shock of a slip-and-fall or other gangway-related injury can lead to you overlooking the symptoms of more serious injuries. It is essential to seek out additional feedback concerning the full extent of your injuries, as what seem like minor symptoms can lead to more severe injuries from your cruise ship gangway injury, including the following:

Traumatic Brain Injury

The CDC notes that one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls. A traumatic brain injury happens when you experience a bump, blow, or penetrating wound to your head. Some of the immediate symptoms of a brain injury can include a ringing in the ears or a headache. Even a minor brain injury, often referred to as a concussion, can lead to long-term and life-altering consequences, including changes in your ability to concentrate and even your personality.

Spinal Cord Injury

Your spinal cord is the communication network that your brain uses to send signals to your body, and damage to your spinal cord can result in partial or total paralysis. Gangway accidents lead to falls, and falls are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. In fact, the percentage of spinal cord injury cases caused by falls increased from 17% to 31% during 2010-2013 according to the National Institute of Health.

If you have injured your back during a slip-and-fall in a gangway accident, you may have experienced damage to your spinal cord that is not apparent upon superficial examination. That said, it is essential to seek follow-up opinions after emergency medical care to ensure that your injuries are not more serious and long-term than initially suspected.

Experienced Cruise Gangway Accident Lawyers

Cruise lines often have whole departments staffed with multiple lawyers defending them should they be sued due to their negligence. Brais Law Firm litigates against these cruise line lawyers daily and our Florida Board Certified maritime attorneys have the necessary experience to successfully represent cruise passengers and guests who were seriously injured due to a gangway accident. Our firm’s motto is “Protecting Rights” and “Restoring Lives,” words we take very seriously. With this mindset, we endeavor to obtain the full amount of compensation for our clients.

We are Here to Help

Contact our Florida cruise ship gangway accident attorneys today by calling 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., 305-709-4117 from within the State of Florida, or click Contact Us to complete a no-obligation form for a free evaluation of your case. We are happy to discuss your case and answer any questions.

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