Can I Sue for a Cruise Injury?
Cruise ships are responsible for the safety of their passengers. If a passenger suffers a cruise injury or is hurt on a shore excursion, the cruise ship may be legally responsible for paying financial compensation. The cruise line may also be responsible if the cruise injury happened due to an accident or assault that the cruise line could have prevented by taking reasonable precautions.
The rest of this page reviews common types of cruise injuries and describes some situations in which the cruise line may have liability for the injuries.Dangerous Conditions Aboard Ship
Slip-and-fall accidents can happen aboard ship just like they can happen anywhere else. If a hazardous substance remains on the floor for an unreasonable period of time without being cleaned up by a crew member, and someone slips, falls and is hurt, the cruise line may be held responsible.
Other dangerous conditions that can lead to serious injury, and for which the cruise ship may be responsible, include:
- Poorly designed and dangerous stairways where a fall could result in broken bones, concussion or traumatic brain injury
- Poorly designed or poorly maintained decks
- Slippery floors in bathrooms
- Cabin doors that shut too quickly and pinch fingers, hands or legs
- Tripping hazards, such as high door sills
- Insufficient lighting
- Dangerous conditions at the pool or waterslide where serious injury or death by drowning is a possibility
If such dangerous conditions remain unrepaired due to lack of inspection, or if the cruise line has knowledge of the dangerous condition and does not make repairs, the cruise ship may be responsible for a resulting injury.Assaults on Cruise Ships
If a cruise ship passenger is assaulted by a crew member or another passenger, the cruise line may have legal liability if its management knew or should have known the assault or attack was likely. For example:
- A cruise ship employee attacks a passenger, and it is discovered that the cruise ship failed to do a background check that would have uncovered a previous criminal conviction for rape.
- One passenger assaults another, and it is discovered that the cruise ship received a report of earlier violence between the same two passengers but took no action to prevent further violence.
- A crime occurs onboard ship, and it is discovered that the cruise ship company failed to install security features despite receiving previous reports of criminal acts at the same location.
Alcohol-related accidents and injuries are common aboard cruise ships. Although it is true that a person has responsibility for his or her own actions when intoxicated, the cruise line may have responsibility for alcohol-related accidents and injuries if a cruise ship employee continues to serve alcohol to a clearly intoxicated passenger. Sometimes cruise ships encourage and promote drinking to excess, which creates an environment where serious injury could occur.Catastrophic Cruise Ship Accidents
Cruise liner companies may have legal responsibility to passengers for injuries due to catastrophes such as sinking cruise liners or major fires aboard ship. This is especially true if it is discovered that an employee's negligence or carelessness caused the catastrophe.Accidents and Injuries on Shore Excursions
Cruise lines promote specific shore excursions in the various ports of call. Just because an accident happens on shore during a shore excursion or tour does not mean that the cruise line does not share legal responsibility for the incident.
If a cruise line promotes an excursion, passengers have a reasonable assumption that the tour is safe. If the excursion turns out to be unsafe, the cruise ship may be responsible for injuries if it knew or could have known of the dangers by making a reasonable inspection.Cruise Ship Virus Outbreaks
The question of compensation due to illness aboard ship is such a common one that we have an entire page devoted to the issue:
You can get more information about cruise ship accident lawsuits by reading the rest of our cruise ship accidents FAQ section:
- Who do I sue and who pays me after a cruise ship accident?
- How long do I have to file a cruise ship accident lawsuit?
- Where do I file a personal injury claim against a cruise line?
- Do I need a lawyer if I was injured on a cruise ship?
You may also want to review summaries of past cruise ship accident cases handled by the Florida personal injury law firm of Greenberg, Stone & UrbanoFor More Information Call (888) 499-9700
Greenberg, Stone & Urbano is an AV-rated* personal injury law firm based in Florida with connections to a nationwide network of local law firms. We have the resources to offer protective legal advocacy to injury victims throughout the United States. Our attorneys have more than 100 years' combined experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims.
If our FAQ pages do not have all the answers you are looking for, call toll free (888) 499-9700 to get more information about how to file a lawsuit against a cruise ship company.