Fight Cruise Ship Accidents with an Experienced Maritime LawyerLearn More
What kind of injuries can you suffer on a cruise? Essentially all the same injuries you can suffer on land, but with added risks because passengers and crew members are exposed to risk factors that they would not face at home. Accidents that have occurred on cruises include:
Slip and falls. Wet decks and tripping hazards in high-traffic areas can cause passengers to fall and injure themselves. The narrow staircases on some cruise ships can also pose a risk, and those who fall may suffer brain trauma, a back or neck injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, or internal bleeding.
Drowning. Going overboard is obviously one way that someone could drown on a cruise, and this has happened when cruise ships have lacked the technology to locate and rescue someone in the water. However, in the recent years, there have also been several tragic stories about children drowning in the unsupervised pools on cruises.
Shore excursion accidents. Cruise lines often claim that there are inherent risks to shore excursions and that passengers must assume responsibility for accidents, but there are situations where the cruise line itself may be at fault. If crew members fail to inspect equipment, follow activity regulations, or warn passengers about the potential risks of cruise-sponsored shore excursions, like ziplining or parasailing, the cruise line may be liable for any accident that occurs.
Gangway accidents. Cruise ships don’t even have to be at sea for accidents to occur—if a gangway has not been properly secured, it can collapse and cause crew members or passengers to fall a long distance to the water or a dock.
Medical negligence. The medical attention you receive on a cruise ship is not going to be the same you receive in a hospital, and some cruise lines don’t even require that their doctors be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Furthermore, cruise line infirmaries often lack the staff and resources to give all sick or injured passengers the attention they need.It’s all too easy for a harried ship doctor to misdiagnose a problem, which can lead to serious complications for you.
Norovirus. This virus that causes gastrointestinal distress spreads easily from person-to-person, can survive outside of a host for three weeks or more, and is increasingly becoming a problem for cruise ships. Norovirus outbreaks in early 2014 infected hundreds of people aboard at least three different ships, forcing the ships to return to port early after sick passengers overwhelmed the infirmary and made each ship an unsanitary environment.
When serious accidents or virus outbreaks do occur, victims may not be able to get adequate attention onboard the ship and may need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. This can take time that the injured party simply does not have.
Cruise lines know that accidents can happen on their ships, and they create carefully worded passenger contracts in an attempt to relieve themselves of responsibility. If they are sued for negligence, they have the money and resources necessary to hire top lawyers to defend them. This does not mean that injured passengers and crew members should not fight for compensation—it just means that they need to hire the best possible maritime lawyer to give themselves the best chance to win.
The law firm of Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey has gone toe-to-toe with many large cruise lines and proved that our clients were entitled to compensation. We will certainly settle out of court if we are able to get the compensation our clients deserve, but we are unafraid to go to trial if that is the best course of action.
We know that cruise lines have a duty of care to both their passengers and crew, and if they fail to live up to that standard, they need to be held accountable. We have experience in cases against popular cruise lines like:
Don’t let a cruise line intimidate you. By taking them to task for any harm that they have caused, you can not only get the monetary compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life, you can also send a message to the cruise industry and hopefully prevent this same type of accident from happening to anyone else.
Nearly every cruise ticket is also a contract, that contains a strict statute of limitations on cruise ship accident cases. That means that if you don’t file suit against the cruise line within one (1) year of the accident, you will be forever time-barred from doing so. Additionally, ticket contracts for Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL and others have “venue” provisions, which require you to file suit, if at all, in Federal District Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, don’t wait any longer to contact Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey. You have nothing to lose by reaching out to us—we work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t owe us anything unless and until you win monetary compensation.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by calling us at 954-525-2345 (South Florida), 239-280-1267 (SW Florida), or toll-free at 855-347-5475, or fill out our quick and easy online case review form and one of our attorneys will get back to you promptly.