The companies and ship crew that operate cruises are responsible for keeping passengers safe during the cruise. Many of those duties happen in the background, with the captain and crew safely navigating and avoiding storms and other vessels, but other safety issues are out in the open. When crew members and staff fail to clear up things that are obviously dangerous like wet patches or debris on the deck, passengers can be seriously injured.
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall on a cruise ship, contact our maritime injury lawyers today. Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind’s attorneys for slip and fall injuries on a cruise ship may be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation for your injuries. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact us today at (866) 386-1762.
Common Types of Slip and Falls or Trip and Falls on Cruise Ships
Cruise ships have a number of potential risks for slipping and tripping hazards. The ship’s crew and maintenance staff should be on top of these dangers, fighting to keep passengers safe from hidden dangers and structural dangers on the ship. If they fail to do so, the injured victim might be entitled to file a lawsuit against the ship and the cruise company to seek damages for the harms the crew’s negligence caused them.
Slip and fall injuries on cruise ships often happen because of spills or puddles on deck. Cruise ship decks can become wet and slippery from sea spray, rain, water tracked out of a pool, or spills from other passengers. It is important that the crew warn passengers when a deck is wet and that they put up the proper signs or quickly clean up these puddles to prevent injuries.
Other slip and fall injuries can occur from debris or objects on the deck. Passengers might already have enough trouble balancing on deck if they are not used to ships, and added risks from trash, litter, or lost objects could increase the risk of stumbling and falling, especially on stairs.
Tripping hazards are also quite common. Wires or cables drawn across a pathway can be hard to see sometimes, and these can be serious tripping hazards. These kinds of cables are common if audiovisual or lighting equipment is set up, but extension cords for electronic devices could also get in the way. If the crew allows people to leave these dangers out in the open, they could be responsible for the dangerous conditions that lead to tripping.
Other tripping risks could come from uneven carpeting, uneven steps, hidden steps, or other obstacles that should be stowed away out of the path of passengers.
Back, Neck and Spinal Injuries that Occur on a Cruise Ship
Back and spine injuries can happen in many types of common accidents. Slip and fall injuries, falls from heights, and sudden shocks or jolts can all cause injuries to the back, neck, and spine. In some cases, these accidents will cause severe spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis or ongoing pain and suffering.
If the deck is not properly cleared or cleaned, it could be slippery or have tripping hazards. The ship operators are often responsible for ensuring decks are clear and free of dangers or at least warning passengers of potential hazards. Other accidents involving falls or serious injuries could happen if railing or handrails are loose or defective, potentially even resulting in a fall overboard.
Other injuries can happen on shore excursions and during physical activities on the ship. Alternatively, boat accidents on scuba trips, bus crashes on tour excursions, rock climbing accidents, and even surfing accidents can all cause serious back and spine injuries. If the accident was caused by a crewmember’s negligence or mistakes on the part of the captain or the cruise line, you might be able to sue for your injuries.
Suing for Injuries from Falling on a Cruise Ship
When you file a lawsuit against a cruise ship, you can usually seek compensation for injuries and expenses you faced because of their negligence. This ultimately means proving four elements to win your case:
- The cruise line owed you a duty. This duty is usually contained in state law, maritime law, or the contract in your passenger ticket. Typically, the duty is a duty to act “reasonably.”
- The cruise line breached that duty. Typically, this duty comes from a lack of care or skill.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- The injuries include damages the court can order compensation for.
If the cruise line failed to repair a known danger or otherwise allowed an injury to happen through unreasonable mistakes, the court can usually use these to supply the duty and breach elements of the case. If the negligence immediately caused the accident, then any injuries you face could be compensated. This compensation is usually available for economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. You can also usually get compensation for noneconomic harms such as the pain and suffering you faced.
When proving your case, your testimony will be a huge part of the evidence. Eyewitness testimony from passengers and crew who witnessed the accident can also be evidence, as can camera footage from security cameras or videos taken of the accident.
Damages Available for a Slip and Fall Injury Aboard a Cruise Ship
To get compensation, you will also need to prove the value of your damages. The medical bills you faced because of the injury, any financial statements showing lost wages or income, and other financial records can supply proof of the economic damages. Damages can also include the cost of ongoing care and future lost wages, which a financial expert can help prove. You can also claim damages based on your testimony about how the injury affected your life. These noneconomic damages can be quite high, especially for permanent injuries. You might also be able to claim punitive damages if the cruise line and its crew were especially negligent.
If you suffered serious injuries, you may have faced expensive medical bills. Severe injuries might also cause you to suffer disabilities or permanent effects that make it difficult to return to work at your full capacity. Lastly, most injury cases will involve some level of pain and suffering. In a lawsuit against the cruise ship and the cruise company, you can typically claim damages for all of these areas of harm.
Damages for medical bills can typically be shown by producing the actual bills or financial records related to your treatment. You can typically claim damages for emergency care, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other care costs.
If you missed work because of your injuries – beyond the normal span of your intended vacation – you may be entitled to claim damages for the lost wages you faced. These lost wages can include wages from the recovery period as well as lost future wages you will miss if you cannot return to work or needed to take a lower-paying position with fewer physical requirements.
If you suffered any level of physical pain, physical discomfort, mental anguish, or emotional distress because of the injury, you may be entitled to damages for these harms as well. Even though these are intangible harms, your testimony is a valuable tool in proving these damages.
Call Our Cruise Ship Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers for a Review of Your Case
If you suffered a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on a cruise ship, contact the attorneys for slip and fall injuries on a cruise ship at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our maritime injury lawyers represent injury victims and their families and work to fight negligent cruise ships and cruise companies to get our clients compensation for the injuries and damages they faced from the accident. For a free legal consultation on your case, call us today at (866) 386-1762.