For many, this past New Year’s Eve was a way of saying, “good riddance” to 2016 and hello to a (hopefully) better year. If part of your New Year involves a cruise vacation, congratulations! Cruise ships can be a great way to see the world in comfort and luxury – without breaking the bank.
One thing to pay attention to before heading out on your cruise is safety. Generally speaking, cruises are a very safe way to travel. They aren’t without incident, though, and it’s worth paying attention to the news so you understand what you could be getting yourself into. One such incident from the end of 2016 appears to have resulted from possible negligence by the staff of the cruise ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines Hit With Slip and Fall Lawsuit
On October 12, Melissa Nini was on a Carnival Cruise Ship when she slipped and fell on a puddle of water. She filed a claim against Carnival in early December and requested a trial by jury, suing for damages as well as interest and legal fees. Nini claims that Carnival failed to keep the vessel free of foreign substances that would cause harm to passengers, and that they did not warn passengers of potential hazardous conditions.
While failing to spot a puddle of water may seem like an innocent mistake by staff, a slip and fall can cause serious injuries, like broken bones or even traumatic brain injuries. For now, the case is still open, but if Nini can prove that the Carnival staff neglected to address the puddle of water on the ship, then she may win her case and receive thousands of dollars in compensation.
Dangers of Cruise Ships, and How You Can Stay Safe
When you board a cruise ship, you put yourself at risk for both types of incident to occur, but these are often preventable, and the risk of a bad experience should not deter you from booking a cruise vacation. Keep yourself safe and unharmed on your 2017 cruise by following these tips:
Watch Your Alcohol Intake – Sure, you’re on vacation and deserve to let loose, but don’t let too much alcohol ruin your relaxing vacation. Drinking too much will impair your judgment and may lead you to unsafe behaviors. If you are hurt and want to file a claim against the cruise ship, you may not be able to receive the compensation you ask for due to the amount of alcohol you consumed before the incident.
Walk, Don’t Run – As we mentioned earlier, slips and falls can result in serious injuries. Don’t let your excitement get the best of you and lead you to run down stairs or near swimming pools: these areas are especially dangerous.
Stay with a Buddy – Whether you are enjoying drinks at the bar or lounging by the pool, it is important to have a buddy with you at all times. An extra person can be on the lookout in case someone attempts to steal your belongings, there are hazardous conditions around the ship, or you begin to consume too much alcohol.
Wash Your Hands – Germs spread fast when hundreds or even thousands of passengers are all squeezed onto the same vessel. If one person enters the ship with an illness, it won’t be long until other passengers start experiencing symptoms. One of the most common cruise ship illnesses is norovirus, a bacteria that causes extreme stomach discomfort. Keep yourself clean and germ-free by washing your hands before and after meals, and keeping hand sanitizer with you in your carry-on bag.
Communicate with Stewards – Get to know the staff by name and make sure they know yours. Far more than passengers, staff members tend to know what’s going on around the ship. They can alert you easily if there is an illness going around the crew, if they have seen any incidents related to theft, and more. Gain a good rapport and they’re more likely to share information with you. A good relationship with the crew will also help you hold the staff accountable for any negligence or inappropriate actions that happen onboard.
Of course, even after you take precautions, you are still at risk for injury on a cruise ship. Sometimes these injuries are not your fault. When your injuries are a direct result of the negligence of others, you have the option of filing a lawsuit and receiving compensation for the damages or losses from your injury.
Want more information? Contact a Florida cruise injury lawyer today.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”