Cruise ships offer families an opportunity to relax at sea for an extended period, enjoy delicious food, and travel to other countries at an affordable price. It’s easy to see why cruises are such popular vacation choices for American families. However, anyone who is planning to take a cruise should be aware of the potential dangers they could face during their trip.
Potential Injury Hazards On Cruise Ships
While some cruise ship accidents may be unavoidable, many could have been prevented if the cruise line had kept the vessel free of potential hazards.
Common hazards and accidents which could lead to injury or illness on a cruise ship include:
- Cruise ship disasters (e.g. sinking, groundings)
- Collisions with other water vessels
- Slip and fall hazards
- Mechanical and technical accidents
- Air and sea pollution
- Norovirus and other illness
- Infectious diseases
- Sexual assault and other crimes
If you’ve been injured or became ill while on a cruise ship, you should consider how the accident may have been prevented. Determining liability in cruise ship incidents is complex, and it often takes a careful investigation before identifying a liable party.
Victims Of Cruise Ship Sexual Assaults Receive Too Little Help
Sexual assault is an extremely serious problem in the cruise ship industry, but cruise companies frequently fail to provide the support victims need. In many cases, sexual crimes could be prevented if the cruise ship had properly vetted staff members and had adequate security personnel on board.
In 2016, sexual assaults accounted for 62 of the 92 crimes reported by cruise lines. According to an investigate report by a Texas news station, some of these assaults were hardly investigated at all, and most alleged offenders were never prosecuted.
It’s common for families in this situation to turn to the civil court system in order to seek justice and hold cruise lines accountable.
Filing A Lawsuit After A Cruise Ship Injury
When you buy a cruise ship ticket, you agree to a contract which may affect your ability to file an injury claim. This contract outlines limitations against the cruise line company and includes terms for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the event of an injury. However, in cases of extreme negligence, terms of this contract may not apply. This contract also may determine where you’d be eligible to file a lawsuit. For most cruise lines, you must file a claim in the state in which the line is based.
This system is why cruise ship liability is so complex, but speaking with a lawyer soon after your accident can help you make sense of the process and determine if you have a valid claim. It’s important to find a lawyer with knowledge of maritime and cruise ship law, who has experience handling similar claims.
At Lipsig Queens, we have cruise ship law specialists who can help you explore your options in a free consultation.