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Here's what you need to know if you are injured on a cruise

Every year, thousands of people depart for their dream vacations on cruise ships around the country. Most of them have the experience they looked forward to, with perhaps a little seasickness or the occasional uninvited hangover, but every once in a while a more serious injury occurs. When that happens to you, it is important to understand your rights so that you know how to protect yourself, including how to receive the compensation you need to cover the cost of any lost wages or medical expenses related to your injury.

Cruise ships' liability

Generally speaking, the captain and crew of cruise ships are charged with the safety and well-being of their passengers. That means if you are injured, they are generally held accountable if their actions were in any way negligent. If there was a reasonable enough likelihood of the outcome for it to have been foreseeable to professionals in those positions, then the ship and its crew are generally viewed as responsible. What "foreseeable" means can be up to interpretation by the court, but generally it means:

  • Negligence through inaction, such as leaving maintenance concerns unattended after they come to light, or failing to inspect mechanical components in the first place
  • Failure to warn others of dangers that are unavoidable
  • Actions that attempt to cover up or conceal danger rather than provide warning

How common are cruise ship accidents?

The NIH has information on cruise ship accidents from as recently as 2014, and the data they have collected reveals a few important facts for you:

  • Over the three years of the study, 663 injuries were reported
  • 62.7 percent of the victims were women
  • One in eight injuries was classified as "serious"
  • The most common location for injuries is the cabin
  • Slips and falls are the most common type of injury

While this information does point to injuries being relatively rare, it also points to the likelihood that a large number of injuries require potentially expensive medical attention.

If you are injured on a cruise

If you have been injured and you believe that it was due to foreseeable circumstances you should have been warned about, it is time to talk to an attorney. Even if you are unsure, an experienced accident attorney will be able to hear out the facts of your case and give you advice, so it is worthwhile to go in for a consultation any time you are facing medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages due to an accident.

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