Cruises offer popular vacation packages that make it possible for people to take the trip of their dreams. Since travelers only need to unpack once, it’s an attractive option for visiting many different ports of call with less hassle than flying to each destination separately. Once you board the ship, your cares should slip away as you enjoy the vacation you’ve planned.
However, there is a dark side to cruising because there are many potential risks of serious injuries or illnesses. It’s much more common than you may realize to become hurt onboard a ship or while on one of the cruise’s shore excursions. Many unsafe situations can occur during a cruise on the high seas.
However, most cruise ship injuries and illnesses can be prevented by proper ship protocol that should be enacted to protect all guests.
What Causes Unsafe Situations on Cruise Ships?
According to Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., many of the unsafe situations that arise on cruise ships are due to negligence. Cruise ships are designed to protect passengers from a variety of risks, but despite the protections, there are still numerous opportunities to fall ill or become hurt while on your cruise vacation.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Wet decks can lead to a greater risk of slip and fall accidents. Rain, someone spilling a beverage, or water splashing out of the swimming pools, creates hazards for every guest.
Swimming Pool Accidents
While on vacation, you may look forward to swimming in one of the many pools on your ship along with slides and other water features. However, they can lead to head injuries from diving or drowning incidents.
Cruise ships are designed to be self-contained and must stock all food prior to setting sail. All food must be properly refrigerated and sanitary measures for cooking and prep must be followed. With endless buffets, there are many opportunities for food to spoil, making it possible for a food-related illness to ruin your vacation.
You’ll occasionally see news stories of passengers who fell overboard on a cruise ship. Even though cruise ships feature high railings and safety nets to prevent these occurrences, they sometimes still happen.
How Do the Captain and Crew Keep Cruise Passengers Safe?
The crew on every cruise ship serves a purpose beyond providing entertainment and impeccable service. They must keep passengers safe and should be trained to handle any dangerous circumstances that arise.
When the ship’s crew fails to perform these duties, accidents are more likely to happen. The crew is responsible for many tasks designed to protect all passengers.
Keeping the Ship Clean
Cleanliness is an important part of crew duties, but errors are sometimes made. When the crew fails to keep cooking areas or living conditions clean for all aboard the vessel, illness can spread. The crew must follow proper cleaning protocols for each part of the ship.
Following Security Measures
The ship’s crew is also responsible for keeping all passengers safe. They should be well-trained to watch for all suspicious behavior from guests and their fellow crew members. A lack of proper supervision could lead to serious injuries.
Since safety is paramount when out at sea, cruise ship staff must be ready for an emergency at any time. They need to undergo proper safety training on what to do in different types of emergencies from fires to evacuations. There are rules they must follow, and in a crisis, they could make an error in judgment that could put a guest’s life in jeopardy.
Administering Medical Care
It might be beautiful out on the open water but you’re also far away from land. This isolation means that every cruise ship must have medical facilities and staff who can address an emergency medical event. If the doctors or nurses on the ship are negligent in providing care, a cruise passenger has the right to pursue legal action.
Regular Maintenance to Minimize Hazards
The crew also needs to make sure that the ship is well-maintained and in proper working order in all areas. If the stairs are hazardous, they need to repair them quickly or block off the stairway to keep passengers safe. They must quickly clean up spills and ensure that all equipment is working as it should. Failure to properly maintain these conditions is an act of negligence that could result in passengers becoming ill or injured.
Ultimately, it’s up to the crew to make sure the ship is in proper working order.
Who Is Liable When You Get Hurt on a Cruise?
Ultimately, if you are injured on a cruise ship, the cruise line and the ship’s crew are responsible for your safety while you’re on the ship. They may be liable if they do not fulfill their obligations.
However, the key to holding them liable lies in whether or not negligence was a factor in your injury or illness on the cruise. If the cruise line did not provide adequate training for the staff or safety fell by the wayside, these are indications of negligent behavior. You will need to prove that the cruise company or the agents running the ship failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent your injuries.
What Happens After You Are Injured on a Cruise Ship?
When you take a cruise, there may be serious dangers onboard, but when they are due to negligence, it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney who specializes in cruise ship accidents.
Your dream vacation may have turned into a nightmare due to these events. There is no reason you should be stuck with medical bills and other financial woes because of the negligence of the cruise company or the crew responsible for keeping you safe. An attorney can help determine whether or not negligence was a factor in your injuries and advocate for your legal rights.