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 lawyers 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 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 such negligence was the cause of our client’s injuries and resulting damages.
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.
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 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., 305-416-2901 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.