After suffering a slip and fall accident injury on a cruise ship vacation, people often wonder if they have legal rights to sue. This is especially true if the cruise lines’ negligence clearly caused the injury. Well, just like any injury caused by a third party, you have the legal right to sue a cruise ship line if you fall. However, the process of claiming legal rights may be more complex and tedious than with conventional cases. This is why you need an experienced lawyer by your side.
To get started, you can visit https://www.aronfeld.com/practice-areas/cruise-ship-injuries/ to receive a free consultation from experienced cruise ship lawyers.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, continue reading to learn about your legal rights.
Causes of Cruise Ship Injuries
Lack of Adequate Security
Cruise ships are known for their huge sizes. The average cruise ship is three times longer than a football field. It typically has over 2800 staterooms with a total of over 6000 individuals, including the crew. With that number of people in a single place, it’s essential to have a high level of security and safety measures in place. Although there are safety personnel, security officers, and cameras to monitor every area, negligent security officers often ignore certain areas, which may lead to security-related injuries.
The major duty of cruise staff is to maintain the ship and ensure that passengers are safe. However, many cruise employees neglect this duty, and passengers can be injured due to their negligence. If you notice the employee wasn’t careful enough and there was an accident, you have the legal right to sue such an employee or the entire cruise line.
Cruise Ship Fire Accidents
Although cruise ship fire accidents are rare, they still happen and can be very hard on victims. Fire accidents on cruise ships don’t just happen; they usually have a link with other incidents like groundings or collisions. Therefore, every cruise ship must have standby firefighting teams. If there’s a fire outbreak due to the lack of appropriate safety measures on the cruise ship, then you may be able to sue.
Contaminated Food and Water
Contaminated food and water are usually a result of a contagious gastrointestinal virus called norovirus. The virus has become a common occurrence on cruise ships. It’s also difficult to eliminate once it finds its way to a closed water system like a cruise ship. To make it worse, the virus can be easily spread through contact. However, if it’s detected and combated quickly, it can be avoided.
Proving Liability in a Lawsuit Against a Cruise Line and Its Employees
Before you can sue a cruise line or its employees, you must be able to gather enough evidence to prove that they were liable for your injuries. This evidence varies depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury. Sometimes, you may not have access to physical evidence because the employees have already cleaned up the scene. Below are steps you should take to prove liability against a cruise line or its employees:
- Report the incident immediately: After seeking medical help, the next thing to do is report the case to the appropriate channel. This could be the security officers or the cruise ship operator.
- Document the incident: It’s essential to gather as much information as you can about the accident. Take videos and photos of the accident scene. You’ll also have the upper hand if the cruise ship has a security camera.
- Get witnesses: In cases where taking videos and photos are not possible, witnesses can help you backup your case. Collect the names and contact addresses of everyone on the cruise which saw the accident. If your case eventually gets to the court, your witnesses can testify for you in court.
- Hire an experienced cruise ship attorney: The cruise line doesn’t want to be held liable for your accident, and they will do anything to ensure that. Hence, you need a reliable legal representation who knows the in and out of the system and can help you ease the process.
Although you can sue a cruise line and its employees after an accident, your ticket may be a limitation. Sometimes, your ticket may state that you can’t sue the cruise line for certain injuries. Therefore, it’s essential to always review your ticket before you file a lawsuit against the cruise line. A cruise ship accident lawyer can also help you review your ticket, listen to your case, and weigh your options.