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Cruise Ship Accident Lawsuit

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Slips, trips and falls are common occurrences aboard cruise ship vacations offered by Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and other popular liners. Some cruise passengers have even reported incidents of physical or sexual assault by crew members during their holiday. It comes as no surprise that the $35 billion-a-year cruise industry has faced its share of litigation, filed by passengers who were seriously harmed through no fault of their own.

The cruise ship accident attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye help injured victims understand their rights to compensation. Our knowledgeable team can help you file a claim involving negligence, shore excursion accidents, and slip and fall incidents that took place at sea. Our firm has extensive maritime law experience and offers expert legal guidance to those who have been involved in cruise ship accidents.

Who can file a cruise ship lawsuit?

There are various types of cruise ship injuries and accidents that may warrant litigation.  Cruise liners and their staff are obliged to keep their passengers safe and protect them from physical harm. When this duty is breached and someone is hurt, passengers may have grounds for filing a cruise line lawsuit.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye handles the following types of cruise accident cases:

  • Food poisoning and contagious illnesses
  • Slip, trips and falls
  • Falling overboard
  • Cruise ship fires
  • Pool related accidents and drownings
  • Injuries caused by unsecured storage
  • Shore excursion injuries
  • Lax maintenance
  • Safety equipment violations
  • Misdiagnosis and medical malpractice, delayed treatment
  • Physical and sexual assaults
  • Tender accidents

Cruise ship accidents statistics

Just how frequent are cruise ship mishaps, accidents and deaths? Unfortunately, there is no single regulatory body that tracks cruise ship incidents including sinkings, fires, groundings, evacuations and personal injuries. The International Maritime Organization and the United States Coast Guard track some data, but neither have a comprehensive reporting system. What has become evident, thanks to worldwide media coverage, is that engine fires, mechanical disasters, viral outbreaks and other dangerous incidents are disturbingly prevalent among major cruise ship liners.

Perhaps one of the most alarming examples in recent years is that of Carnival’s Triumph cruise liner, which in 2013 lost power and propulsion after an engine room fire. The ship was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five agonizing days, as passengers grappled with rotting food, raw sewage and other health hazards.

Causes of cruise line accidents

The most common mishaps and accidents on cruise ships are caused by:

  • Unfavorable weather conditions such as squalls and hurricanes
  • Rogue waves
  • Cruise ship fires
  • Cruise ship crash/collisions with other vessels, rocks, reefs and piers
  • Improper docking or undocking maneuvers
  • Spread of norovirus illness
  • Lack of proper maintenance
  • Wet and slippery decks

Cruise ship death statistics

Some figures suggest that U.S.-based commercial airlines enjoy a better safety record than the cruise industry. Casualty reports are spotty at best, since liners are not required to report overseas deaths to any one regulatory agency. According to 2013 cruise ship accident death statistics gathered by the National Transportation Safety Board, 18 people died aboard ferries, cruise liners and other commercial passenger vessels. When looking at reports from liners like the Costa Concordia, figures point to a clear uptick in passenger injuries, deaths and mysterious disappearances.

Types of cruise ship injury

Cruise ship accidents frequently happen inside cabins or bathrooms, or on slippery decks. Others take place during shore excursions. Whether caused by lax maintenance, defective equipment or general negligence on the part of the crew, many of these mishaps can result in serious injury, including:

  • Herniated discs
  • Broken bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Knee and ankle fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Head injuries
  • Drowning
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Cruise accidents: who is liable for your injuries?

Cruise line companies, generally speaking, may be held legally responsible for the negligent or irresponsible actions of their staff. They are also charged with keeping their premises safely maintained and free from potentially dangerous conditions. If a crew member directly contributed to your injury, or a hazardous condition (like a wet floor) caused you to slip and fall, the cruise line company may be named defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.

Even if the accident occurred during an onshore excursion, the cruise line may share partial liability. Cruise passengers have an expectation that shore excursions during ports of call will be reasonably safe. The cruise company may attempt to deny any legal responsibility, which is why it is so important to partner with a knowledgeable attorney.

Cruise ship lawsuit settlements

The following are some examples of verdicts and settlements reached in various cruise ship accident claims:

  • $1.2 million settlement for a woman who slipped and injured her back on a poorly maintained cruise ship liner stairway
  • $2 million recovery for a passenger who was misdiagnosed and subject to unnecessary medical treatment while taking a cruise
  • $700,000 award for a passenger who almost drowned while participating in a scuba diving excursion offered by the cruise liner

Each and every cruise ship injury claim is different. Here at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye, our attorneys are well-versed in the types of tactics used by insurance companies to deny or lower payouts, and we work tirelessly to ensure victims recover maximum compensation for injuries, pain and suffering.

Below are some factors that will influence the amount of a cruise ship lawsuit settlement:

  • Severity and type of harm suffered
  • The need for ongoing medical care
  • The amount of lost income
  • Diminished capacity to earn
  • Physical pain and emotional trauma suffered
  • Whether the plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident

Why call a cruise ship injury lawyer?

Without the benefit of expert legal representation, passengers who have been injured have little chance of financial recovery through the courts. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a cruise ship accident, Edelman, Krasin and Jaye have the resources and skill to protect your rights. Our legal team leverages more than 25 years of litigation experience, and has procured more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements. Contact our New York-based law offices for a free and confidential legal consultation. Call 1-800-469-7429 Toll free.

Cruise ship accidents resources

  1. Cruisejunkie.com, Maritime accident reports http://cruisejunkie.com/#Marine_Accident
  2. Transportation.gov, Passenger Cruise Ship Information https://www.transportation.gov/mission/safety/passenger-cruise-ship-information
  3. New York Times, How Normal Are Cruise Mishaps? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/travel/cruise-mishaps-how-normal-are-they.html