Who’s Responsible if I’m Hurt on a Cruise Ship?
Taking a cruise is one of the most popular vacation activities, but some vacationers don’t enjoy their time on the high seas. An illness or injury can put a damper on any vacation, but being hurt at sea is handled much differently than being hurt on land. Luckily, maritime law not only covers employees, but also passengers on cruise ships and other common carriers. If you were injured or suffered a sickness due to negligence or willful actions, you can hold the cruise line responsible with help from experienced Louisiana maritime lawyers.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates 27.2 million passengers will take cruises in 2018. Most of these passengers will have an incident-free voyage, but some may not. CLIA says injury-causing operational incidents are low compared to other modes of transport and on a downward trend, but they do occur.
Some of the most common cruise ship dangers can include:
- Negligence by cruise ship staff
- Assault by crew members or other passengers
- Norovirus or other illnesses caused by unsanitary conditions
- Food poisoning
- Legionnaires’ Disease
- Slip and fall accidents
- Elevator/escalator accidents
- Automatic door malfunctions
- Improper maintenance of railings and ladders
- Unsecured objects falling from upper decks
- Drowning or diving accidents around swimming pools or water slides
- Recreational accidents during cruise line sponsored activities
- Burns or smoke inhalation from cruise ship fires
- Toxic chemical injuries
- Dock accidents while boarding or disembarking
- Lastly, medical malpractice
Cruise Ship Liability & Lawsuits
Four major cruise lines set sail from the Port of New Orleans; two ocean cruise lines sailing to the Caribbean and two riverboat cruise lines traveling up the Mississippi River. Whether you are at sea or on the river, any navigable water can fall under maritime law.
In accordance with Maritime Law and the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, cruise ship operators must exercise reasonable care for their passengers’ safety. Therefore, if you can prove the ship’s operator knew or should have known about an unsafe condition, liability for passenger injuries caused by negligence or willful actions can fall to the cruise lines. You may be able file a lawsuit against the:
- cruise ship owner
- company that operated the ship
- party who chartered the ship
- Lastly, entity that sold the ticket
Your cruise ship ticket is a legal contract, which you agree to, by purchasing the ticket and boarding the ship. As a result, this ticket usually contains important legal information printed on the back, which outlines the ship operator’s liability and state in which you must file lawsuits against the cruise line. It also contains a notice-requirement that often shortens the generous three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims that maritime law normally allows. So, deadlines for physical injuries can be as short as 12 months and even shorter for non-physical injuries.
Alert the crew and see a doctor immediately, anytime you suffer injury on your cruise. Request copies of all injury-related incident and medical reports. Promptly submit these, along with your ticket, to experienced Louisiana maritime lawyers to ensure you meet filing deadlines.
For ship employees, they rely on the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) for work-related injuries. These acts are mutually exclusive regulations that provide compensation for two distinct categories of maritime employees. The Jones Act covers the ship’s captain and crew, while employees in traditional maritime occupations, such as dock workers, are under the LHWCA.
Hire Top Louisiana Maritime Lawyers
The experienced Louisiana maritime lawyers at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys understand maritime law. We work to help injured cruise ship passengers and employees the compensation they deserve. We offer free consults and no fee unless we win your case. Visit our office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., use our online LiveChat or call us 24/7 at (504) 345-1111.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.