While taking a cruise is a life-long dream for many people, the risk of serious injury or illness is always present. Anything from food poisoning to a slip and fall can ruin a vacation and have lasting health consequences.
Serious injuries are unfortunately common on cruise ships. Whether these injuries occur on board or during a cruise-sponsored excursion, you might be entitled to financial compensation. A Florida cruise ship lawyer can help you explore your options.
Common Causes of Accidents Aboard Cruise Ships
There are many ways a person could suffer an injury or become ill on a cruise ship, and many of those factors are related to negligence. While cruise ships are designed to protect passengers from a wide range of risks—including severe weather or capsizing—it is impossible to entirely eliminate these risks at sea. Some of the factors that can result in accidental injuries include:
Slips and Falls
Falls are a common cause of injury on a cruise ship. Environmental factors like water are common onboard these ships, and wet floors are a frequent hazard. This can include water caused by rain, swimming pools, or even spilled beverages.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Cruise ships typically have a number of swimming pools, slides, and other water features. While these make for great recreational options, they also pose a serious risk, including diving injuries and even drowning.
Because cruise ships are self-contained, proper refrigeration, sanitary cooking and prep areas, and overall food safety are crucial. When something goes wrong, food contamination can quickly result in illness across the entire ship.
A worst-case scenario for cruise ship captains is learning that a passenger fell overboard. This is a serious issue, especially when the crew doesn’t immediately notice that a passenger is missing. While there are security features like high railings and safety nets, these accidents can still happen.
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The Cruise Ship’s Crew Plays an Important Part in Passenger Safety
The crew aboard a cruise ship plays a vital role in keeping passengers entertained while keeping them safe. These individuals are tasked with a wide range of jobs designed to protect passengers from illness or injury. When they fail to perform those tasks, accidents can happen. The owners and operators of the cruise ship must ensure the crew is appropriately trained. Some of the tasks the crew take on in order to protect the passengers include:
Cleaning the Ship
The way cruise ships are cleaned was a major issue for the media during the coronavirus pandemic. However, cleanliness has always been a key aspect of any cruise, and human errors abound. When the crew of these vessels fails to maintain clean cooking or living conditions, illness can spread. There are cleaning protocols for every area of the ship, from guest rooms to kitchens and even air ducts.
Not all of the injuries that occur on a cruise ship are accidental. The crew of a cruise ship is also responsible for the personal safety of the passengers. This includes watching for suspicious behavior or intervening when a passenger or crew member poses a threat. Inadequate supervision could lead to a host of avoidable injuries.
One of the key tasks required of cruise ship staff is emergency preparedness and adequate safety training. Each crew member is given professional training on what to do in case of an emergency, whether it is a fire or mandatory evacuation, and must follow all current rules. These crew members are also drilled in standard procedures like managing passengers and acting as security during a crisis as decision errors can be costly.
Because these maritime industry vessels are isolated on the open ocean, cruise ships are required to have medical facilities and staff suitable for addressing emergency medical events. If the doctors or nurses tasked with providing this care are negligent, it could be possible to pursue legal action against the cruise line.
Ultimately, it’s up to the crew to make sure the ship is in proper working order as factors in the physical environment can drastically affect the safety of everyone aboard. This includes everything from repairing stairs to cleaning spills and making sure that refrigeration equipment is working. The failure to properly inspect and maintain the conditions aboard a cruise ship could result in serious injuries or illnesses.
Who is Liable for a Cruise Ship Injury?
If you were hurt in an accident on a cruise ship, you likely have questions about who you can sue. The cruise line and the people they employ are responsible for your safety while on board the ship, and they can face civil liability if they fail to uphold their obligations.
The key question on whether you have a case for compensation is whether negligence played a part in your injury. For example, a lack of adequate training and safety knowledge for staff or a lack of organizational factors such as appropriate signage could point to negligence. Some accidents on cruise ships are unavoidable, while still others could result from your own actions. In order to hold the cruise ship accountable, you will need to show that the company or its agents failed to take reasonable steps to prevent your injury.
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Talk to an Attorney Following a Cruise Ship Injury
There are serious threats to be aware of when it comes to cruise ships. While there’s always some risk of injury or illness, those risks are made worse through negligence. At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we hold negligent cruise ship companies accountable and pride ourselves on personalized, honest legal care for our clients.
If you are considering legal action following an injury or illness aboard a cruise ship, let us help you and your family seek justice. We can serve as your advocate while aggressively pursuing a fair outcome to your case. Contact the Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.
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