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Two years ago, a New York senior filed a claim against Spirit Cruises. He alleged that the anti-skid coating applied to the top deck during a million-dollar renovation aboard the Spirit of Norfolk the year before caused him serious injury when he sustained a fall during a game of corn-hole.

Anytime we take a spill – slip-and-falls are one of the most common cruise ship injuries – it can be shocking, painful, and downright embarrassing. This can be especially so when it happens in such a public setting.

With so much going on at once, it probably feels most comfortable to chalk it up to a freak accident. You try and recover quickly and hope that no one noticed what happened. However, this might not be the smartest course of action, because there’s a decent chance that the slip-and-fall was not your fault.

In fact, it could be a case of cruise ship negligence.

If you or someone you love has suffered a similar experience, it is important to seek the advice of a Florida cruise injury attorney sooner rather than later to ensure you meet the statute of limitations, and that your needs are met in a timely manner.

The Costs of Cruise Ship Negligence

Were you aware the average cost of a slip-and-fall is $30,000-$40,000? Certainly not an expense you budgeted when you booked that pleasure cruise.

Although our New York slip-and-fall victim felt his story compelling enough to take to trial, it will be one which he never gets to tell – he passed away before he could take his suit to trial.

However, even with these bizarre twists – a safety measure gone awry and the victim’s unrelated subsequent death – the suit against Spirit Cruises remains a classic example for how slip-and-fall cases typically work.

In this case, the victim sought close to $375k in damages, citing “severe and permanent injuries” due to the cruise ship’s breaching duty of care by having too much furniture in the area and encouraging its elderly guests to play a game requiring a shift of balance where the anti-skid coating was.

Let’s take a closer look at what would have been needed to prove his case.

Proving a Cruise Ship Slip-and-Fall Suit

This type of maritime claim usually requires that a cruise ship company or staff member has acted in a negligent manner in order to hold them responsible for a personal injury sustained by one of their passengers. Certain elements must be proven in order to seek damages.

  1. The duty owed to the passenger is standard for all passengers to prevent harm and protect from various forms of accident. Prosecution must prove that duty was breached.
  2. There must also be proof of actual injury, and costs associated with the injury.
  3. Most importantly, the attorney will have to show the link between the injury and breach of duty such that the alleged negligence was the direct cause of the subsequent injury.

Another important element of determining fault: the actions of the passenger.

If it is discovered that the victim was in some way partially responsible for the accident, it may negate some or all grounds for seeking compensation. The victim has to show he or she was acting within normal boundaries for the activity taking place at the time of the fall.

Slip and Fall Cruise Lawyer

Upon proving these elements in a slip-and-fall case, you may be awarded multiple types of damages, including costs for medical treatment, loss of income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.


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 countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. 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.