Time spent on a cruise ship should be about fun and relaxation, so sustaining an injury is never a planned event. However, each year, a number of people experience injuries while enjoying their vacation. Given the unfortunate circumstances, it is critical that any party who is at fault for the injury be held liable. Learn about some of the nuisances that involve cruise ships and personal injury claims.
Cruise ships are not governed by state or federal law. Instead, they fall under maritime law. However, to be clear, this exemption does not mean that the cruise ship is not held to any obligation in terms of liability. Cruise ship companies are required to operate with a duty of care as it pertains to passengers.
Therefore, any behavior on the cruise line's part that undermines passenger safety can leave them liable for a personal injury claim. To assess the specifics of your scenario and determine if the cruise line is liable, speak with an attorney.
Cruise ships are large vessels, and at any given time, thousands of passengers could easily be on board. Consequently, you should never assume that a staff member will witness your injury. Immediately after the incident, contact a staff member to file an incident report.
This report documents that you were, in fact, injured while aboard the ship. If you do not document the injury, it will be harder to file a claim. Large ships have medical professionals who will likely perform an examination to assess your condition. It is good to undergo this process but keep in mind that you can also visit your primary provider once you return home for a more detailed assessment to establish the basis of your claim.
Sometimes, more than one party could be to blame for an injury onboard. A slip and fall on a freshly mopped floor that did not have a wet sign would likely be the sole responsibility of the cruise ship, for instance.
On the other hand, a slip and fall on a floor with a wet sign caused by an intoxicated passenger bumping into you might be the fault of the cruise ship and the passenger. On the part of the cruise ship, they have a duty to moderate alcohol to passengers, and the passenger is responsible for their behavior.
If you were injured while on a cruise ship, speak with a personal injury attorney to assess your situation and help you explore your legal options.