Nearly 30 million people board cruises each year. No one anticipates being injured on their vacation, but accidents can happen to anyone. Undoubtedly, slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of accidents that occur aboard cruise ships. This kind of accident seems inevitable with slippery surfaces, crowded common areas and the motion of the sea. So, what should you do if you’ve been injured on a cruise ship?
First, it is important to understand the difference between an accident and negligence of the cruise ship. As we know, sometimes accidents happen. You may trip over your own feet or not pay attention to what you are doing. In that case, no one is to blame; however, other accidents are due to the negligence of the cruise line and its employees. If this is the case, the cruise line will be liable for the injured passenger’s injuries. This includes medical bills, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, etc. This is because shipowners owe a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of its passengers Kermarec v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 358 U.S. 625 (1959).
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere on the ship. This includes near the pool, public walkways, dining room, bathrooms, hallways, etc. The most common areas to be cautious of are:
- Food or beverage on floors of dining area;
- Slippery pool decks;
- Luggage and food trays in the cabin hallways;
- Stray cords and wires;
- Cracked or brokens steps;
- Overcrowded common areas;
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors;
- Damaged or ripped carpet and/ or flooring; and
- Loose handrails.
If you have been injured on the cruise ship, follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention. Even if your injury may seem small, seeking medical treatment allows a licensed professional to evaluate you and corroborate your injuries. Failure to seek medical attention may be used to devalue your case.
- File an incident report. Contact cruise ship authority and file a report on the accident facts. Request a copy of any written reports if possible.
- Gather evidence. Take videos and photographs of the surrounding area where your incident happened. Look around the accident scene to see if there are any visible surveillance cameras that may have captured the fall. Also remember to get names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek legal representation. Once you have done all of the above, contact an attorney. Since navigating your own claim can be difficult and confusing, an experienced attorney will be there to help you through the process.
WGNO (ABC affiliate) Legal Analyst, Cliff Cardone, has helped clients throughout all of Louisiana with their personal injury claims for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, and need help navigating your claim, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office), 1-888-892-2736 (toll free) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.