There’s a certain thrill in being amongst the first few to enjoy a new experience, so it’s no surprise that many vacationers jump at the opportunity to be on a new cruise
Crew Member Injuries – Silence Only Makes Things Worse
You will find a great deal of information out there for passengers who get injured or ill while on a cruise due to negligence of the cruise line and feel like the company should compensate them for what they suffered. It’s rarer, however, to see people talking about injuries sustained by crew members and what their options are.
Just like passengers, crew members have to live with the sometimes-questionable decisions that are made by the cruise line itself. The difference is that many crew members don’t feel comfortable speaking out about problems that they’ve experienced due to their employer’s negligence because they fear losing their jobs or receiving unfair treatment if they complain and “make waves.”
Unfortunately, those fears aren’t unfounded. Cruise lines have persecuted and fired crew members in the past for complaining about bad overall work conditions or arguing that their employer needs to change a particular policy due to a specific incident. Such behavior, though, is not legal, and if you do speak out and experience retribution, that’s something that your attorney can use to help your case in court.
The other option, though, is to continue to suffer in silence until something worse happens and you end up with exorbitant medical bills that keep piling up and lost wages due to an inability to work. Silence doesn’t help; at best it means that you’ll have to keep suffering from the same issues, and at worst it will lead to life-changing consequences.
If you are going to present a claim, though, you should give yourself a better chance at success, and that means going with The Law Office of Andrew Winston. Not only do they have a successful track record in their 70+ collective years of working as maritime lawyers, they regularly handle cruise ship cases just like yours. Their goal is to get you the compensation you deserve – even if it means going to trial against your employers – and to make sure that justice is served.
Maintenance and Cure – Or Lack Thereof
The first thing that you need to know if you’re injured while working on a cruise ship is that you are entitled to “Maintenance” and “Cure” benefits. What exactly are they?
Maintenance benefits are wages that your employer has to keep paying you if you can’t do your job. They have to continue to pay you 100 percent of your wages not just for the rest of the voyage, but until you’re healed and able to return to work. If your injury is something that will prevent you from coming back to work, they then may have to provide you with disability benefits. Cure benefits entitle you to receive all necessary and related medical care promptly and to have it paid for by your employer. This can include hospitalization, physical therapy, and more.
If your employer doesn’t provide you with these benefits and violates their duty, you can then sue them not just for the cost of your medical treatment, but also compensation above and beyond this for the pain and suffering that their negligence has forced you to endure. For those who have “seaman status,” these aren’t the only reasons that you can sue your employer.
Other Reasons That Seamen Can Sue
Most cruise ship crew members aren’t aware of this, but there are all kinds of things that you can potentially sue your employer for, provided you have “seaman status.” If this is the case for you, the Jones Act protects you and you are able to fight them in court over things like:
Have you noticed a dangerous condition that isn’t being taken care of by your employers? You can sue them about it even if it hasn’t yet led to an injury or they weren’t aware of the issue.
Earned, unearned, and sick wages. This is money that they owe you, and they can’t just take it away.
Breach of contract. Cruise lines must honor their contract with you or you can go after them in court.
Wrongful discharge. Were you fired after complaining about an issue or suing over your injury? This is illegal and you can add it to your list of charges against your employers.
How Crew Members Typically Get Injured
Wondering if your injury is something that even qualifies you to receive compensation? Crew members on cruise ships can get hurt in all kinds of ways, and almost all of them are something that your employer can be held liable for – many of which you may not even realize you’ve been experiencing. The most common include:
- Slipping and falling
- Pushing, pulling, or lifting heavy objects (either repeatedly or even just once)
- Working in a dangerous environment
- Defective or inappropriate conditions on the ship
- Inadequate sanitation methods
- Labor policies that are abusive
- Lack of equipment
- An insufficient crew, leading to longer hours and more or harder work
Just as there are many different ways to crew members to get injured, there are also a vast array of injuries that they can experience, including things such as:
- Injuries to the back, including pulls, strains, and slipped discs
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken arms, legs, and hands
- Eye injuries, including punctures, chemical damage, and problems caused by debris
- Head and ear injuries caused by strong impacts, excessive noise and so on
- Injuries suffered by internal organs
- Illnesses such as norovirus
If any of these things has happened to you or someone that you love while working on a cruise ship, you owe it to yourself and your coworkers to seek the compensation that you deserve and hopefully encourage your employers to make enough significant changes that a similar incident doesn’t occur again. The best way to do this successfully is to contact the Law Office of Andrew Winston as soon as possible so that their attorneys can go over the facts of your case and explain your options to you.
Set up a free consultation now by calling us at 954-606-6606, or toll-free at 866-306-9606 or submitting this short case review form. There’s absolutely nothing to lose and a lot for you to gain, because we work on contingency basis, and you won’t have to pay us anything until we get compensation for you.