What do you picture when you think about going on a cruise? Perhaps endless buffet lines, reading a good book in the sun, gambling in onboard casinos, swimming in one of the several pools, watching your kids go down a waterslide, or participating in activities both on and off the ship. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of going on a vacation where your every need is supposed to be met day and night, however, it’s important to remember that accidents on cruise ships do happen – and often.
A Breakdown of “The Daily Bulletin”
Most cruise lines provide their passengers with an updated list of activities that they can participate in. This typically includes movies that will be playing, live show schedules, the hours that a spa will be open, the times that passengers are allowed to be in the pool or hot tubs, kid-friendly activities, and off ship excursions. What isn’t in the bulletin are the dangers that are associated with each option.
Common Cruise Ship Activities That Frequently Result In Injuries
When taking a cruise with your loved ones, being aware of possible safety issues can help prevent a serious accident from occurring. The most common accidents involve:
Pool accidents typically involve:
- Lack of lifeguard supervision and/or safety equipment.
- Defective pool equipment.
- Slip and fall accidents from a lack of slip resistant surfaces.
You might think that because passengers should be aware of possible wet spots around the pool that they aren’t able to obtain compensation for injuries, but the designers and owners of the ship are responsible for making sure the surrounding environment is as safe as possible.
Who doesn’t love going down a waterslide? As time goes on, designers and engineers are creating slides that are longer, faster, and provide rides with a greater thrill than ever before. But just like with pools, if the design isn’t safe or if the slide isn’t properly maintained, accidents happen and people become seriously injured.
Parents are thrilled when they learn about all of the activities available for their children on board of a cruise. Dances, games, movies, rock climbing, and even cooking classes are often part of the daily offerings, promising kids a great time and parents some alone time. But leaving your child alone isn’t as good of an idea as it may seem.
Although no parent wants to think about it, they don’t know the other people on board. There typically aren’t enough supervisors to keep track of the children and sexual predators know this and take advantage of it.
In addition to this, just like with every other part of the ship, children are at risk for being injured in slip and fall accidents, they could crawl under or over poorly designed railings and fall overboard, or become injured on one of the many playground-like structures available.
Depending on the areas that the cruise ship is docking in, hundreds of on-shore excursions may be offered. Snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding, hiking, tours, you name it, you’ll likely have the chance to experience it. But these excursions are always dangerous in their own way and are usually run by locals who are not held to certain safety standards.
Once injured while on a cruise, the next concern should be where to obtain medical attention. While the cruise ship does have a medical staff on board, medical malpractice lawsuits are common because of their failure to properly treat or diagnose patients.
Passengers often return home hurt, stressed out, and confused about what their options are. That’s where we come in.
Don’t Be Afraid To Pursue Legal Action
It’s not uncommon for clients to reach out to us long after they’ve been hurt on a cruise ship, wondering if there is some way to obtain compensation for their physical, emotional, and monetary losses. Sadly, unlike many other personal injury accidents, the statute of limitations for cruise ships is quite short, typically just a year. If a claim is pursued after that time, it will likely be dismissed by the courts.
This is why it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as you can. We understand that this may feel stressful but keep in mind, your financial security may be at risk.
The damages obtained through a lawsuit for the plaintiff can provide them with:
- Full coverage of medical expenses. This can include estimated future expenses if the injury is severe enough that the plaintiff will need ongoing medical care.
- Compensation for lost wages. This can also include the past and expected future losses if the plaintiff will be unable to work.
- Monetary compensation for non-monetary losses. This means if the plaintiff is was disfigured, scarred, or left with a body part that isn’t fully functioning, they may recover additional payments. This can also provide coverage for emotional trauma.