The Luxury of a Cruise Ship Does Not Guarantee Safety From Accidents While Enjoying the Sea. If You Have Been Injured on a Cruise Ship, You May Have an Injury Claim.
Months of planning and thousands of dollars later, the last thing you expect from your long-awaited cruise trip is to bring home an injury as a souvenir. New Jersey is a popular departure port for cruises to Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Europe. Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey is a popular departure port for cruises to these destinations for passengers from around the Tri-State area and beyond. Cruise ship injuries, however, are more common than most people think. With a multitude of passengers, a high potential for wet floors and other hazards, and alcohol consumption widespread, there are a plethora of potential dangers that unsuspecting cruise ship passengers may encounter.
Due to the often remote and confined nature of a ship at sea, responding to, reporting, and treating injuries suffered on a cruise ship is different from other types of accidents that may occur on dry land. If you or a loved one were injured as a passenger on a cruise ship, you may also be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury and its cause. Contact our New Jersey personal injury lawyers for immediate assistance and to discuss your potential grounds for a claim. Simply call (609) 528-2596 for a free consultation.
Types of Injuries Happening in Cruise Ship Accidents
Sprained ankles, sprained wrists, broken bones, head injuries, lacerations, and spinal injuries are some of the most common injuries passengers suffer due to cruise ship accidents. Norovirus, a viral infection that is typically food-borne, is a very common illness that can spread quickly through the passengers of a cruise ship.
Severe injuries like drowning, brain injury, and even death are possible injuries from cruise ship accidents. While these more severe injuries are rare, they are possible and do occur. Each year, several cruise ship passengers drown and experience a near-drowning incident in pools or by falling overboard.
Top Causes of Cruise Ship Accidents
With wet floors being a frequent hazard on cruise ships caused by weather, pools, other water activities, and even spilled drinks, slip and fall injuries are common for passengers. In order to maintain a safe ship, the cruise ship crew is responsible for making sure that wet floors are cleaned up and made safe, and passengers are provided with adequate warnings through signs and blockades around a wet floor before it is completely cleaned up.
Other dangers aboard a ship may include areas of the ship that are under construction, not properly lit, lack proper hand rails, or contain items that are not properly secured and could slide and hit a passenger. Passengers may also encounter hazards in their room like an unsecured piece of furniture falling on them, tripping on damaged flooring, or electrocution from a faulty outlet. Failing to make the cruise ship safe may result in the cruise ship’s liability for any resulting injuries due to their negligence in allowing the dangerous condition to remain.
Cruise ship accidents are also possible on day-excursions, while docking, getting on or off the boat, or when engaging in an activity on the cruise ship like zip lining, waterslides, or rock climbing walls.
If a passenger is over-served alcohol on the ship and they become intoxicated, the cruise ship may be liable for injuries that the intoxicated person suffers as a result, like falling on the ship or falling overboard and drowning, as they have a duty of care to not over-serve passengers who are intoxicated and falling injuries onboard the ship are a foreseeable harm when a passenger is intoxicated.
In What Cases Is a Cruise Ship Held Accountable for a Passenger’s Injuries?
There are certainly ways in which a passenger may injure themselves in circumstances where the cruise line would not possess any liability. For example, if a passenger has epilepsy and they fall off their bed, hitting their head on a nightstand, the situation does not present any liability for the cruise line. If a passenger climbs onto a restricted area and voluntarily jumps into the water, the cruise line is also probably not liable, as their injuries did not result from the negligence of the cruise line or its crew members. Similarly, if a passenger is infected by an illness like norovirus and there is no proof that they became infected as a result of any negligence on the part of the cruise line or its crew, then the cruise line cannot be held liable.
However, there are plenty of situations where a cruise line is responsible for a passenger’s injuries, and the passenger is able to recover compensation from the company for their injuries, medical bills, and other damages. In order to recover compensation, the passenger must prove that the cruise line or its crew member’s negligence caused the passenger’s injuries.
To establish negligence, the passenger must show that the cruise line had a duty of care, they breached the duty, this breach was the direct and proximate cause of the accident, and the passenger suffered injuries as a result. The passenger may prove this by presenting evidence that there was a dangerous condition on the ship that the cruise line failed to make safe or provide adequate warnings for, and this dangerous condition resulted in the passenger’s injuries.
Contact Cohen & Riechelson to Determine Liability for Your Cruise Ship Accident
If you or your child were injured on a cruise and you believe that the accident was caused by an unsafe condition on the cruise ship or the negligence of crew members, it is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case against the cruise line. If negligence can be established, then you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, physical therapy bills, time off from work, and property damage.
Contact us today at (609) 528-2596 for a complimentary review of your cruise ship injury case. Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in Lambertville, Woodbridge, Lawrence, Burlington, Hamilton, Princeton, Trenton, Mercer County, and towns in New Jersey and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania as well. Let us assist you today.