Serving the Gulf Coast Including Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas
More Americans than ever are taking cruises in the Gulf of Mexico for vacation. Cruise ships act as floating hotels, and many offer a variety of restaurants, pools, a spa, and more. Taking a vacation on a cruise ship does come with a unique set of risks. When a cruise ship accident happens, the consequences can be severe. Cruise ship accidents can cause severe, long-lasting injuries, and even death.
Contact Our Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers
At Koch & Schmidt, our Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana admiral and maritime lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in cruise ship accidents. Our legal team has helped people who’ve suffered personal injuries from cruise ship accidents that happen off the coast of the United States. We also represent the surviving family members of those who have died as a result of cruise ship accidents.
Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries
Cruise ship accidents can vary significantly. The most common cruise ship accidents often result in personal injuries. Standard cruise ship injuries include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents on cruise ships
- Food poisoning caused by negligently prepared food
- Traumatic brain injuries caused by slip and fall accidents on cruise ships
- Violent crimes that occur due to a lack of proper security on the cruise ship
- Infections caused by unsanitary conditions
- Personal injuries that happen during participation in cruise ship activities
- Personal injuries suffered by individuals during cruise ship emergencies
Personal Injuries Sustained During Cruise Ship Emergencies
Millions of people from around the world go on cruise ships every year in the United States. While most cruise ship trips are safe and go on without incident, cruise ship emergencies are frequently in the news. The following emergencies do happen on cruise ships every year:
- Cruise ship mechanical breakdowns
- Cruise ship fires
- Cruise ship collisions
- Sicknesses or viruses that spread among people on a cruise ship
When a cruise ship emergency happens, the operators of the cruise ship must adhere to emergency procedures. They must also abide by the mandatory rules set forth by the International Maritime Organization. The cruise line must have sufficient adequately trained medical staff on board the cruise in the case of an emergency. When there is an outbreak of illness on cruise ships, or when a passenger becomes hurt in a cruise ship accident, the cruise trip must make sure that the passenger receives adequate medical treatment.
Cruise Ship Owners Owe Passengers a Reasonable Duty of Care
Personal injuries are often the result of negligence on the part of cruise line companies. According to the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of maritime laws, cruise ship companies owe their passengers a duty to act with reasonable care under the circumstances. When the negligence of cruise ship employees causes a passenger’s injury, the passenger may have a legal right to compensation.
What happens when a deckhand, quartermaster, safety officer, housekeeping staff, or even the captain of the ship acts negligently and causes a passenger’s injury? The cruise line operator is often vicariously liable for the negligence of cruise staff members. Indeed, the cruise line operator has a duty to compensate injured passengers for the negligence of their staff when the negligence causes injuries.
Cruise Ships Have a Duty to Maintain Adequate Security
When emergencies happen on a cruise ship, the cruise ship company must have enough trained staff to manage the crisis safely. On many large cruise ships, there are as many as 10,000 passengers and staff members on the cruise ship. Cruise lines have a legal responsibility to hire and keep enough security personnel on the ship at all times. Security officers maintain order during a crisis and keep dangerous passengers from injuring other passengers.
During fires or ship breakdowns, security personnel maintain order among passengers to prevent more passengers from suffering personal injuries. If you suffered a personal injury in a cruise ship accident due to a lack of security personnel or staff, you might legally be able to file a claim to compensation for your damages.
Understanding the Fine Print
Many cruise ship passengers do carefully read the fine print on their ticket contracts. Today, many cruise lines do not even give a physical copy of the terms of the agreement to cruise ship passengers. Many tickets only reference an online posting of the terms and conditions to which the cruise passengers agree.
Every cruise line company has a unique contract, but most contracts shorten the statute of limitations to one year. In other words, cruise ship passengers may only have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit against the cruise ship company. The shortened statute of limitations is essential.
When cruise ship passengers who suffer an injury fail to file a lawsuit before the deadline, they may lose their chance to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, some cruise ship contracts require that the injured passenger give written notice of their intent to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Some contracts even require that passengers provide legal advice within six months of the injury taking place on the cruise ship.
Speak with a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Today
Due to these short notice requirements, those who’ve suffered a personal injury in a cruise ship accident must seek experienced legal help as soon as possible. Personal injury victims must act as quickly as possible when it comes to hiring experienced lawyers. Many cruise ship contracts require that an injured cruise ship member give notice within six months. These shortened time restrictions make it challenging to gather the necessary evidence. If you’ve experienced a personal injury on a cruise ship, it is essential to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
At Koch & Schmidt, we will thoroughly investigate your legal claim. We will act quickly to gather all relevant evidence in your case. After analyzing the facts of your case, we will develop a compelling legal strategy. If you’ve suffered an injury in a cruise ship accident, don’t wait too long to start the process of seeking compensation. Contact our law firm to schedule your initial consultation today.