Do Cruise Ships Have Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents?
By: Jeffrey Shaw, Esq.
Published: August 29, 2019
A great vacation can go awry when a cruise ship slip and fall accident occurs. A person who is hurt on a cruise ship, which is likely out in the open water or many miles away from their home country, could present unique challenges in terms of a premises liability lawsuit.
Understanding Your Rights as a Cruise Ship Passenger
Most visitors to a cruise ship don’t understand their legal rights or their responsibilities when it comes to a cruise ship accident. Most people choose to go on a cruise for the purpose of a relaxing vacation. However, there are many different opportunities aboard cruise ships for someone to be seriously hurt, and in fact, slip and fall accidents are some of the most common incidents aboard cruise ships.
Crowded areas, slippery decks, obstacles like cleaning carts and more, in conjunction with the motion of the seas, can all increase the chances of a slip and fall accident. These accidents may leave cruise ship passengers with a broad range of injuries from sprains all the way to muscle tears and broken bones.
Cruise Line Negligence
Accidents that are caused by the negligence of the cruise line or its employees and agents can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. The cruise line becomes liable for a passenger’s injury, when that person suffers an injury due to the negligence of the cruise line. That company then becomes accountable for the passenger’s pain and suffering, medical bills, future earning capacity, future medical treatment and lost wages from missed work.
What Laws Apply to Cruise Ship Slip and Falls?
General maritime law governs the type of damages awarded to victims in a premises liability lawsuit tied to a cruise ship. These accidents can happen anywhere on the ship, from your initial steps on the embarkation gate all the way to leaving the ship once you get back to port.
Accidents can happen in public walkways, on the decks near the pool, dining rooms, and any other area in which a passenger has access. Crowded hallways, luggage left in hallways, ripped carpeting, defective equipment, food dropped on the floor, recently waxed or mopped areas, slippery decks, cleaning supplies in the hallways or food trays in the hallways, all present serious risks for patients.
Cruise lines can mandate that legal claims against them for premises liability lawsuits must be brought in a timely fashion and a person who has been hurt in a cruise ship slip and fall accident needs to schedule a consultation with a premises liability attorney as soon as possible to verify that they have the right information about filing a legal claim. Waiting too long could make it impossible for the person who has been seriously injured by someone else’s fault to get the support that they need and to recover compensation in an injury lawsuit. If you have questions about your rights, sitting down during your first conversation with a lawyer is essential.
Jeff Shaw knows what it’s like for victims trying to come home after an accident- overwhelming and stressful. Build in extra support with an attorney Indiana residents count on.