Slip and Fall Accidents on Cruise Ships Result in Serious Injury

Cruise Injuries

Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous on land, but they can be even worse on cruise ships, where medical staff and resources may be limited. And with wet decks, unsupervised pools, and unsteady surfaces, cruise ships have plenty of risks that may cause someone to trip or slip and fall.

Some cruise ship passengers may have nothing more than their pride harmed if they fall but, in many cases, this kind of accident is much more serious than most people think. People 65 and older are at a much higher risk than any other age demographic to experience serious injuries after falling, but people of any age can break bones or suffer serious brain injuries if they land the wrong way or fall a great distance.

You cannot afford to suffer silently if you are injured in a slip and fall accident on a cruise ship. You may be facing high medical bills, physical therapy expenses, lost wages if you can’t return to work, and a reduced quality of life. There is no way to undo the accident, but cruise ship accident attorneys Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey can help you recover the monetary compensation you need to regain your footing and move forward with your life.

Potential Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents on Cruises

There are any number of ways people can slip and fall on a cruise ship. These include:

Slipping on a wet deck. The great part about being on a cruise is getting to spend time on and in the water, but that also means that you’re staying on a vessel that is prone to have wet surfaces. The decks around ship swimming pools can be particularly hazardous and usually aren’t supervised by lifeguards.

Falling on a gangway. If a gangway is improperly secured while passengers or crew members are boarding or disembarking from a cruise ship, they can fall several stories and hit either the dock or water below. Although this type of accident is relatively rare, it can be fatal.

Falling on a shore excursion. Cruise lines have discovered that offering shore excursions is a great way to make extra money, so they typically give passengers plenty of opportunities to tour the areas where they make port. If passengers are taken to areas with particularly rough terrain and are not warned of the potential hazard, they may suffer a slip and fall accident.

Slipping on a spilled liquid. Enjoying gourmet food and drinks is a highlight of cruises for many people, but restaurants and dining rooms can also become dangerous if there’s a spill in a high traffic area that the crew fails to clean up.

Falling over a railing. Railings are put in place to help protect cruise passengers, but it’s still possible for passengers to fall over them if they sit on them or lean too far forward.

Cruise lines have a duty of care to their passengers, and part of that duty means promptly cleaning up spills or wet surfaces, posting signs to warn passengers about potentially slippery decks, removing tripping hazards from walkways, and supervising potentially hazardous areas. If any cruise line fails to do this, they should be held accountable.

Common Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents on Cruise Ships

Some lucky people may escape a slip and fall accident on board a cruise ship with only some minor scrapes or bruising, but less fortunate accident victims may experience:

  • Hairline bone fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Brain injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Muscle and ligament tears
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

Time is of the essence in treating a serious slip and fall injury, and the trouble with cruise ships is that adequate medical help is not always immediately available. Some people may actually need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital after a slip and fall accident, and if the ship is far from land, getting help may take more time than the injured person has.

Recent Slip and Fall Cases on Cruise Ships

Cruise ship slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone. Here are just a few recent ones:

  • An 87-year-old Utah man died four days after sustaining a serious head injury from falling onboard a cruise ship (January 2014).
  • A crew member on the Celebrity cruise ship Constellation fell overboard near the Yucatan Channel and was not recovered. The Coast Guard is still looking for him (January 2014).
  • A 73-year-old British man fell down a flight of stairs on a cruise to the Canary Islands. He was taken to the ship doctor’s office and later died of a brain injury at the hospital in northwest France that he was transferred to (December 2013).
  • A woman celebrating her 30th birthday was encouraged to get extremely intoxicated by a bartender and then fell over a railing, first hitting a life boat two stories below her and then falling another five stories into the ocean. She says it took the crew 90 minutes to rescue her, and that she was given only painkillers to treat her serious injuries (October 2012).

Cruise Line Slip and Falls Require an Experienced Maritime Attorney

Because cruise ship accidents fall into the unique category of maritime law—and because cruise lines have the money to hire the best defense lawyers—you need to work with a seasoned maritime attorney after suffering a slip and fall accident.

With more than 70 years of maritime law cases under their collective belts, Florida personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Andrew Winston can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more about what The Law Office of Andrew Winston can do for you and to schedule, a free consultation, call 954-606-6606 (South Florida), 866-306-9606 (toll-free) or fill out a convenient online case review form.

The law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston is dedicated to representing people who have been harmed on cruises. They work on a contingency basis, which means that clients won’t pay anything unless they recover the monetary compensation they deserve.