Cruise ship accidents occur more frequently than travelers would like to think. As an option for an exciting vacation, a cruise is certainly tempting. Most are all-inclusive, offering comfortable accommodations, food almost around the clock, live entertainment, pools and spas and stopovers at exciting ports. However, traveling on a cruise ship also comes with potential risks that are not of concern anywhere else. In the following, we will explore the types of accidents that can occur onboard a cruise ship and what your options are to recover damages if you become injured by negligence.
If you need immediate legal assistance after a cruise ship accident or other incidents, contact the Law Offices of David Azizi today by calling (800) 991-5292 to start your free case review.
Experienced Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles
Cruise ship injury attorney David Azizi has helped those in Los Angeles and the area surrounding it for 23 years in obtaining financial compensation for injuries or losses caused by negligence. Because David is diligent, hard-working and has superior knowledge of the law, he wins 98 percent of his cases. Super Lawyers, the legal ranking firm, calls David one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. You can reach him at (800) 991-5292 to schedule your free, no-obligation case review. He will talk about your case with you, tell you what options might be available and can even estimate how much your case might be worth.
The Most Common Cruise Ship Accidents
Although there are many ways that a passenger could potentially be injured while on a cruise, the following are more common:
- Running into bad weather such as a squall or hurricane happens around 10 times each season.
- Rogue waves are unpredictable and may be as high as 100 feet tall. This increases the risk of injury or being tossed overboard.
- Striking a fixed object such as rocks, another ship or pier commonly happens when the ship is docking or undocking.
- Fires onboard ships do happen at times. Between 1990 and 2010, it is estimated that 72 fires occurred onboard cruise ships.
- Coronavirus, including COVID-19, Norovirus and similar outbreaks are contagions that can cause dramatic illness, nausea, vomiting and even death. These types of outbreaks happen yearly on cruise ships.
How Cruise Ship Accidents and Incidents Occur
There are a number of different ways that a passenger can be injured on a cruise ship. Some of these ways include:
- Weather problems can range from squalls and heavy fog to hurricanes or severe storms. A cruise ship on rough seas can cause items to fall that could injure a passenger. The passenger may also be tossed around by the rocking of the ship. It is the captain’s responsibility to warn passengers of oncoming dangerous weather, so they can prepare themselves and not be injured.
- Illness occurs on cruise ships, which can include influenza, Coronavirus, Norovirus or Legionellosis. Although there is a physician on board the ship, he or she may face serious illness that can’t be handled there, and the ill person has to be picked up by an emergency flight and taken to a hospital.
- Mechanical issues such as a loss of power or propulsion can create serious problems when at sea. A mechanical issue can also result in a fire onboard the ship. Even though fire extinguishers are available, it can result in disaster if the fire gets out of control.
- Contaminated food can cause serious illness in passengers. Whether it is caused by food poisoning or a life-threatening disease, the injured person has to not only prove that it was the fault of the cruise line but that negligence was the cause.
- Crimes such as assaults by drunk passengers, rape, murder or even bomb threats can endanger the lives of those onboard the ship.
- Injuries can occur due to slip and fall accidents. It is the responsibility of the company to keep a cruise ship in good condition to avoid accidents.
- Accidental deaths can occur if someone falls overboard, suffers a trauma or drowns in one of the ship’s pools. In some cases, the company can be held responsible such as in an accidental drowning due to the lack of safeguards or a lifeguard on duty.
Statute of Limitations in Cruise Ship Accidents
Those who opt to take a cruise have to sign papers when they buy their tickets that can limit liability by the cruise line. These contracts can vary, depending on the cruise line; however, many companies set forth a statute of limitations that covers onboard accidents. Of course, this information will appear in small print, and this is why it is important that you read the entire document before signing.
Cruise Lines May Have Different Time Limits to File a Claim
While some cruise lines may operate using a statute of limitations of six months, others may set a limit of one year. This means that any claim that is filed must be within this time period from the date of the injury. Other companies may complicate the matter by saying there is a statute of limitations of one-year but the injured person has to serve an official notice in writing of their intention to place a claim within six months, not one year.
Multiple Laws Governing Injuries Can Complicate Matters
Federal and state laws not only can affect the filing of a claim for personal injury against a company that operates a cruise line, but international or foreign laws may also govern them. This can be further complicated by the contract you signed when you bought your cruise ticket. This is why it is important to obtain help from a personal injury lawyer who can help explain whether you will be able to file a claim and to handle the paperwork before the statute of limitations runs out. A late filing probably means that you will be unable to place a claim for financial compensation to pay for your medical and other bills, as well as your pain and suffering.
Free Case Review with a Los Angeles Cruise Ship Accident Law Firm
David uses his legal acumen, tireless efforts and compassion to obtain fair compensation for his clients. He makes himself available seven days a week, around the clock because he understands that an accident injury doesn’t wait. David’s hard work, diligence and legal acumen help him obtain the compensation you deserve. Call him at (800) 991-5292 to schedule your free case evaluation. He can also be reached by messaging him on the online form on his website, and he will call you as soon as he can.