Workers on cruise ships are often put at risk from surprising scenarios. While there is always a chance of catastrophic accidents on cruise ships, such as sinking and capsizing, these kinds of accidents are incredibly rare. Instead, injuries from everyday safety conditions on the deck, food poisoning, and assault or sexual assault are some of the most common injuries that crewmembers and staff face on cruise ships.
Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represent injury victims on cruise ships, including members of the crew and staff aboard a ship. Our attorneys for injured cruise ship crewmembers and staff might be able to help you sue your employer under the Jones Act and other maritime laws and state laws to help you get compensation for injuries you sustained at work. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (866) 386-1762.
Can Injured Crewmembers and Cruise Ship Workers Sue for Injuries?
Many states force workers in various industries to use workers’ compensation policies to get damages paid after an on-the-job injury. Most state laws specifically exclude workers on ships from these rules so that they are allowed to sue instead. Moreover, the Jones Act – the primary act in U.S. maritime law dealing with employee rights – protects a ship worker’s right to sue their employer or the ship owner for injuries.
Types of Injuries to Staff and Crew on a Cruise Ship
To win a case like this, you will need to prove that the cruise line or the owner of the cruise ship did something wrong. In “negligence” lawsuits like this, you typically must prove that the ship operator owed you some legal duty that they breached. Typically, this involves mistakes and errors in judgment on the part of the captain or other crewmembers who failed to keep you safe.
Unseaworthiness or unsafe conditions on the ship can usually qualify as negligence for these kinds of cases. Injuries can be caused by structural issues including unsafe stairs, damaged bulkheads, and broken handrails. Injuries from electrical and fire hazards or falls caused by slippery decks and dangerous cable/wire placement can also lead to serious injuries that might allow for a lawsuit.
Food poisoning is one of the most common causes of widespread injury and illness on a ship. If the kitchen staff serves dangerous or contaminated food, this kind of negligence can make people very sick. Norovirus and transmission of other serious illnesses like coronavirus aboard a ship can also occur if proper quarantine is not set up in time or the ship’s captain makes other negligent decisions about how to proceed in the face of illness.
Cruise workers often face a high rate of injury from assault and sexual assault as well. These acts could be committed by passengers, other workers, temporary workers (such as entertainment staff), or people in positions of authority on the ship. Physical violence and assault often lead to serious injuries that the individual might be responsible for, but the cruise line could also be liable for failing to provide adequate security. Cases with sexual assault work similarly, with both the individual assailant and the cruise ship often sharing liability. Cruise lines are also responsible for failing to properly screen workers for a history of violence or sexual assault that could make them a risk to others aboard the ship.
Damages for Injured Cruise Ship Workers
Injuries sustained on a cruise ship can leave you with expensive medical bills, and they could make it hard to return to work. Additionally, injuries often involve physical pain and mental suffering. Lawsuits against cruise lines and ship owners can help you recover compensation for these damages.
Damages for medical expenses can be quite expensive for injuries sustained on a cruise ship. If you are injured at sea, the cruise ship’s medical staff might not have the proper equipment to treat you. This means they will have to stabilize your injuries and call for medical evacuation by helicopter or boat. This could take hours to get you to a hospital on shore where you can be treated. If at any point there is medical negligence or an unreasonable delay in treatment that causes your condition to worsen, the cruise line could be responsible for the increased damages. You should be able to get all medical care costs covered in a lawsuit, including the cost of medical transportation, emergency treatment, and follow-up care back home.
If your injuries are severe, you might not be able to return to your job right away. Some injuries could also be permanent, preventing you from ever returning to the same work duties. If you have to take a lower-paying job or you cannot return to work at all, you might be entitled to claim your lost wages as damages. These damages can include the money you missed while you recover as well as the difference between the projected wages you would have received at your old job and the lower wages you receive now.
Damages for pain and suffering can be substantial in many cases. Especially if you suffered very visible injuries with scars or burns or if you suffer from ongoing discomfort, disabilities, PTSD, or other long-term effects of the injury, you could be entitled to additional damages. Talk to a lawyer about what these damages are worth and how to prove them in your case.
Call Our Lawyers for Injured Cruise Ship Workers and Crew for a Free Case Consultation
If you were injured in an accident on a cruise ship or you were injured by intentional acts of violence aboard a cruise ship, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our attorneys for injured cruise ship crew members and staff work to help victims receive the compensation they are entitled to by filing lawsuits against their employers and cruise ship companies. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call us today at (866) 386-1762.