Cruise Ship Accidents

personal injury,safety | May 30, 2023

Millions of Americans take cruises each year, and thousands of these individuals sustain injuries or even lose their lives as a result of cruise ship accidents. Before you book your next cruise, it is important to look at some of the most common accidents and injuries that occur on cruise ships as well as whether or not you have any recourse for compensation if the injury was caused by another party’s negligence.

Cruise Ship Accidents

Most Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries

The very nature of a cruise ship and the activities surrounding a cruise means that there are a wide range of injuries that can occur. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Slip and fall injuries – Cruise ships often have wet or slippery surfaces, leading to slip and fall accidents. These accidents can result in fractures, sprains, head injuries, or back and spinal injuries.
  • Pool and water slide injuriesAccidents in swimming pools and water slides can cause injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, concussions, or sprains. These injuries can occur due to overcrowding, improper supervision, or faulty equipment.
  • Foodborne illnesses – Outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses like norovirus or food poisoning can occur on cruise ships due to contaminated food or inadequate sanitation practices. Guests may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
  • Docking accidents – During the process of docking or tendering, passengers may sustain injuries if there is a collision or mishandling of the vessel. These accidents can lead to fractured bones, head injuries, severe bruising, or lacerations.
  • Medical negligence – Inadequate medical care or negligence by onboard medical staff can result in the worsening of existing conditions, misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, or medication errors. Patients may suffer from complications, exacerbation of symptoms, or other adverse effects.
  • Assault or sexual assault – Unfortunately, instances of assault or sexual assault can occur on cruise ships. These incidents can result in physical traumatic injuries, emotional trauma, or long-lasting psychological distress for the victims.
  • Excursion accidents – Guests participating in shore excursions organized by the cruise line may encounter accidents during activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, or zip-lining. Injuries can range from fractures and sprains to more severe incidents like drowning or head trauma.
  • Falling objectsObjects falling from shelves, overhead compartments, or improperly secured equipment can cause injuries onboard. These accidents can result in head injuries, lacerations, or broken bones.
  • Fire or evacuation incidents – In rare cases, cruise ships may experience fires or require emergency evacuations. Passengers may sustain injuries during the evacuation process, such as fractures, sprains, or smoke inhalation.

What Recourse do You Have for Compensation?

Securing compensation after a cruise ship accident can be challenging, particularly due to maritime laws. Under these maritime laws, the cruise ship will only be held liable if the injury victim can show that the operators of the ship knew or should have known about the unsafe condition that led to the injuries. Cruise ship employees who sustain injuries will turn to a law called the Jones Act to recover compensation.

We strongly encourage cruise ship accident victims to reach out to a skilled Sacramento boat accident lawyer who has experience handling maritime injury claims. These cases are hard to investigate, but it is absolutely essential for a skilled attorney to help you through this process. An attorney will have the resources needed to go up against the cruise lines and their legal teams to help you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses.