Hopping on a cruise is a fun way to buy a package deal that covers travel, accommodations, and activities in different countries around the world. One of the most fun parts of any cruise experience is the excursions that are offers.
Onshore excursions (zip lining, tubing, guided tours) are often exciting and unique, but if you are injured while out on one, it can lead to lots of complicated questions about compensation and who can be held liable. In some cases, it may be the cruise line. In others, not so much. So what do you do?
Read the Fine Print
Before you go on a cruise that offers offshore excursions, read the fine print and ask questions about the activities offered. This will give you a clear idea of where to go first after an injury.
Before you book excursions, read the fine print, and the reviews, of the company who is offering the activity or tour. Is this company certified by a third party group that sets safety standards for this activity? Have passengers been injured on this tour before? Is there an alternative company that passengers recommend or like better?
Connect the Dots
If you have been injured, gather information about the cruise’s relationship to the activity. In 2015, nine people were killed in a plane crash on a Holland America cruise’s onshore excursion in Alaska. The plane trip was sold through the cruise line’s website. By not properly warning passengers about the risk of taking the plane trip, the cruise line was negligent and could be found liable for the death of the passengers in the plane.
If shore excursions are in any way connected to the cruise line, they may be held liable. Ask yourself about any connections between the relationships between the two companies. Did the cruise line sponsor or offer the excursion? Does the cruise line hire the tour operators? Is the activity advertised on the cruise’s website? Cruise lines will try to distance themselves from tours and excursions if a passenger suffers an injury, so don’t just take their word for it. Consult with a lawyer before you give up on the cruise line.
Talk to Your Travel Insurance
If you purchased travel insurance before your trip, you may be able to receive compensation this way. Again, though, you will have to read the fine print to see what your insurance covers.
When Is the Cruise Ship Not Liable?
In some cases, there just is no connection to the ship and the place where you were injured. If you have eliminated the possibility of asking the cruise for compensation, you may have to go straight to the source.
For example, if you are having dinner in a restaurant that was not chosen by the cruise line, and a slip in the restaurant results in serious injuries, you will have a very hard time putting liability on the cruise ship. Instead, you may have to treat the case like any other premise liability case that you would go through at home.
Of course, if the incident occurs in a foreign country, then there may be complications depending on the laws of the land there.
What it boils down to is that whether you are seeking compensation from a cruise line or an independent company, you want to have an experienced cruise injury lawyer by your side. A lawyer can catch the fine print (or lack thereof) that can point you in the right direction and hold the appropriate party liable for your injuries.
Need compensation for your injuries? Get on the phone with a cruise 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 to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.