Who can I recover damages from after an accident on a cruise ship?
Accidents happen everywhere, even on a cruise ship. Vacation destinations their risk for accidents, and can leave you with injuries as or more severe than an injury at the workplace. “Who pays for the injuries?” is often a difficult question. Most people agree that the individual who is responsible for the accident should also be responsible for paying the damages of the victim. Unfortunately, who is responsible is not always clear, but must be answered before the legal process can move forward because the victim must know whom they need to file the claim. An accident could have multiple people who are at least somewhat responsible. In those cases, an experienced cruise ship injury attorney would file against multiple defendants.
What is negligence and how does it relate to an accident?
Negligence is a legal term used for someone’s carelessness or recklessness that directly lead to an accident. In court, proving someone to be negligent is the imperative for a successful accident claim, as anyone proven negligent for an accident will also be held liable for the injuries. After an accident, your lawyer will investigate the accident in an attempt to learn who caused it.
How can a cruise ship company be negligent?
Often, an accident that occurs because of an employee’s negligence is considered to be the negligence of the company that has hired the employee. So the company that owns and operates the cruise ship would be liable for the damages. Cruise ships are also responsible for keeping their ship in a proper and safe condition. So if the accident was caused by a cruise employee or because of poor conditions on the ship, then the company that runs the cruises is the obvious answer as to who should pay for the damages.
A few examples of accidents that could occur on a cruise ship from either negligent or poorly trained employees or hazardous conditions are:
- An employee cleaned the bathroom floor but forgot to dry a section of the floor and your trip because the employee did not leave a wet floor sign.
- A board on the deck was elevated and caused you to trip.
- A foodborne illness infects the passengers.
If another company that is associated with the cruise company, like an onshore excursion company, causes you to have an accident, the cruise company may still be liable. Cruise companies have an obligation to ensure the safety of their passengers, and it would be negligent is they advertised for an unsafe onshore excursion event. It may be that both the cruise company and the on shore excursion company are both found negligent and are liable for the damages.
Cruise ship workers can be hurt too.
Passengers are not the only people who can be victims of an accident on a cruise ship. It is more likely that a worker on the ship receives an injury than it is for a passenger. A company has the responsibility to ensure that there are no hazards that threaten the passengers of the ship, as well as properly training their workers and providing them with a safe working environment. If a cruise employee becomes injured because they were unfamiliar or unprepared when operating a piece of equipment on the boat or because a piece of equipment on the ship was faulty, the cruise ship will be liable for the worker’s damages.