There’s something liberating about standing on the deck of a giant cruise ship, pina colada in hand, watching the waves crash as you sail by.
And it’s a common feeling. 20 million people travel on cruises every single year, especially when they want to escape the Canadian winter.
But with that many people coming in and out, there are so many chances that cruise ship injuries could happen.
We don’t want to scare you out of your vacation. However, you can enjoy your vacation a lot more if you’re prepared for accidents and injuries with the right information.
Dealing With Cruise Ship Injuries
Cruises can be a little scary for some of us. We hear stories on the news, like the Somalian pirates that attacked a Seabourn Cruise Line in 2005, or the Costa Concordia that tragically sunk off the coast of Italy in 2012.
While these cases are extreme, they serve as warnings that, like anything in life, something could go wrong.
That’s how personal injury works. One minute, you could be enjoying your vacation, and the next minute, you could be in the hospital with a spinal cord injury and a lot of missed work.
But we want you to enjoy your vacation. The best thing you can do is make sure you’re prepared incase you suffer an accident.
Get the right information to make the most out of your cruise here.
Types of Cruise Ship Injuries
There are many different ways you could suffer an injury during your cruise.
One of the most common types of cruise ship injury claims are for slip and fall incidents. You could slip on the pool deck, trip over equipment, or fall down the stairs.
You could also be subject to food poisoning, medical malpractice, or certain illnesses. On a cruise ship, you only have limited space to escape contact with others, and viruses can spread easily this way.
Here’s a disastrous example: In 2013, the Carnival Triumph left Texas carrying 4,000 passengers on their way to what was supposed to be a 4 day Caribbean cruise.
En route, an engine fire broke out and the ship’s air conditioning, sewage system, power, and propulsion were destroyed. The ship was stranded 150 miles off the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of the ocean. Passengers were stuck at sea for over twice as long as they had planned to be on vacation, with minimal food and medicine, and no washroom facilities.
Carnival, the cruise line that operated the ship, offered compensation for the passengers. However, the company also admitted they had mechanical problems in the past with the same ship.
Therefore, they were liable for neglecting to make sure the ship was in perfect condition before it left port.
In some more criminal cases, you could suffer assault or sexual assault or become the victim of another crime.
Cruise Ship Negligence
If you’re hurt during your cruise, you have to be able to prove that it was the line or staff’s fault.
There are some situations when this could happen. For example, if you slip and fall on the stairs because a railing was broken, and there was no warning sign, the cruise line is liable under premises liability.
Abuse or assault is also an issue for cruises. It can happen between crew members, between passengers, or between a crew member and a passenger.
Some people believe that because they are on a cruise, the repercussions won’t be as significant. While it’s not extremely common, it does happen, and it’s a risk all passengers should be looking out for.
Now, we’re not trying to deter you from taking your dream cruise, but make sure you’re being cautious and safe during your vacation. And if you are the victim of a cruise assault, you can hold them liable.
The Fine Print of Suing Cruise Lines
Can you sue a cruise line? The answer isn’t black and white. It depends on the type of injury you have and who was responsible for it.
Some cruises outline the legal conditions of your ticket when you pay for it. Most of the time, this comes in the form of a contract called a forum selection clause.
However, these ticket contracts don’t always cover every situation, and yours might be eligible for a lawsuit. The forum selection clause will actually tell you what you’ll be able to file a lawsuit for.
Then there’s the tricky business of geography.
When you attend a cruise, it’s often in another country, which means that your injury happens outside of Canada’s borders.
For some cruises, you’ll have to file your claim within the jurisdiction chosen by the cruise line. This is outlined in the forum selection clause as well. However, other cruises don’t specify this.
Don’t Navigate Your Claim Without an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Sometimes, the statute of limitations for cruise ship accidents and injuries is less than the statute of limitations in Ontario for most accidents. Make sure you’ve read the terms of your ticket contract, and file your claim as soon as possible so you don’t waste any time.
The success of your lawsuit will also depend on the personal injury lawyer representing you.
Work with someone you trust to make sure that you understand everything that’s outlined in your ticket. They will go through everything in the contract and fine print, and help you find a way to start your claim.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer to help you get through your case is essential for getting the settlement you deserve.
Reclaim Your Life With Conte & Associates
Our team at Conte & Associates is made up of aggressive, experienced personal injury lawyers in Toronto.
We know how important your vacation is to you, but one vacation injury can cause you a lifetime of pain and suffering. While we can’t physically heal you, we can help you get the compensation you deserve to get through your life.
Never try to do it alone. Insurance companies don’t put you first and they don’t fight for you like we will. And we won’t ask for payment up front- we only collect payment when you get your settlement.
Contact us today for a free consultation or legal advice.