Gangways – the large ramps that connect people from a dock or pier to a ship – can be especially large for cruise ships and other large ships. These ramps connect hundreds of people and thousands of pounds of luggage and cargo to the vessel, and the wait time in line on a gangway can often be long, leading to people standing on the gangway waiting to board the ship.
The conditions on these gangways are often less than ideal, sometimes leading to serious injuries for passengers. If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a fall or other accident on a gangway to a cruise ship, contact our attorneys today. The attorneys for injuries and accidents on cruise ship gangways at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. may be able to take your case and work to get you compensation for the injuries you suffered. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (866) 386-1762 to learn more about your potential case.
Common Causes of Accidents on Cruise Ship Gangways
The gangway is the ramp that leads onto a boat or ship. On large cruise ships, these gangways are often quite large and can hold the weight of a large group of people and their luggage. On smaller cruise ships and cruise yachts, these gangways might not be up to the task of holding many people for a long time. Although gangway collapses are quite rare, injuries from this kind of accident are possible. Instead, injuries sustained on gangways usually involve injuries from falling or being pushed.
Slip and fall and trip and fall injuries can occur anywhere, and cruise ship gangways are no exception. If the gangway is a bit wet or slippery and there are no warning signs to tell you that, you could be seriously injured slipping in a spill or a puddle that should have been cleaned up. Additionally, debris or personal items left in the way could be a tripping or slipping hazard, and the ship’s staff and crew should make an effort to clear these obstacles to help keep people safe.
If there are no handrails, handrails and walls were not properly set up, or one of these supports collapses, you could be seriously injured. In some cases, you could fall and hit your head, injure your back, or suffer a serious injury to the spine or neck. In other cases, you could fall off the gangway altogether.
Elderly passengers and passengers with disabilities are more prone to being injured this way. Cruise ship staff and crew should take special care to ensure that these passengers get the help they need with boarding and leaving the ship, and if they do not pay special attention to the needs of these passengers, within reason, they could be responsible for the injuries they suffer from falls or other accidents.
Cruise ship staff and crew also need to work to maintain order on a gangway. If passengers become irritated or unruly, they may try to push or run ahead onto the ship. If they do, they could be putting themselves at higher risk for injuries, but they might also bump or push other passengers, increasing the risk that they could suffer injuries. The crew should prevent this kind of behavior by providing proper security and safety.
On smaller ships, especially ones used for “booze cruises” or other parties, getting on and off the vessel can be more dangerous. Smaller gangways often do not have handles or secure ropes to use as handholds. Especially if passengers are intoxicated, they could need additional help to ensure their safety. If the ship’s crew fails to provide this assistance or was responsible for overserving the passenger, people could be injured.
What to Do if You Are Injured While Boarding a Ship
If you were injured on a gangway or gangplank while boarding or leaving a ship, you might be entitled to sue the ship operators for your injuries. It is usually the responsibility of the ship owner and the crew to make sure that passengers are safe on the ship – including on the gangplank when they are boarding or leaving the ship. If the crew fails to take reasonable steps to keep them safe, injury victims may be entitled to sue them for their injuries.
A lawsuit like this is usually based on a claim of negligence. This claim says that the ship’s crew and staff failed to use the proper care or skill that they owed the injury victim and that those mistakes and missteps caused the victim’s injuries. As long as you can prove that the ship’s crew did something that they should not have reasonably done – or that they failed to take reasonable steps that they should have taken – you can receive compensation for any damages those mistakes caused.
If your injury involved a fall, you could have suffered surprisingly harmful injuries. Injuries from falling into the water could be severe and could involve serious brain trauma, drowning injuries, and other pain and suffering. A fall on the gangway itself could also involve back or neck injuries, head injuries, or broken bones. Especially if you are an older adult, you may have suffered serious injuries that required hospital treatment.
All costs related to this injury may be claimed in a lawsuit. Talk to a cruise ship accident lawyer for more information about filing a lawsuit against the cruise ship for the injuries you sustained on a gangway.
Call Our Cruise Ship Gangway and Gangplank Injury Attorneys Today
Injuries while boarding or exiting a ship can be surprisingly severe, especially if you injured your head or back or fell from the gangplank into the water. For a free legal consultation on your injuries and more information about filing an injury lawsuit against the responsible cruise line or other responsible parties, call (866) 386-1762. The attorneys for injuries and accidents on cruise ship gangways at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. may be able to take your case and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.