Cruise ships are a great option for your next vacation. Your family can get an all-inclusive package, and you don’t have to worry about paying for food or your kids running off while you’re at sea. Even better, cruises can take you anywhere in the world – and if you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, you don’t have to drive too far to get on board.
Alongside the worry-free elements of a cruise ship, however, are risks that you should be aware of before you book. Vacationers should know about these dangers before cruising in order to have the safest, most fun holiday possible.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases seen in civil courts. When you have a cruise ship and tons of water splashing about, the chances of slip and fall accidents only increase.
Kids running by the pool and elderly passengers walking down a flight of stairs all face the risk of slipping and falling. Slip and fall accidents are nothing to sneeze at, either. A slip and fall could result in injuries like concussions, broken bones, and even paralysis.
Dangerous Conditions for Crew Members
Ship safety isn’t just important to make sure paying passengers have a memorable trip. Crew members also need safe conditions to make sure they can perform their job and make the ship safe for passengers. Managers and manufacturers who neglect to make “backstage” areas safe could potentially injure crew members.
Dangerous Crew Members
Crew members aren’t always the victims. Dangerous crew members can cause serious harm to passengers, and not just by forgetting to clean up spills. In recent years, several crew members across numerous difference cruise lines have been charged with sexually assaulting passengers. The emotional, physical, and financial damages related to sexual assault (or any other type of assault) can be extremely taxing.
Shore Excursion Injuries
Injuries don’t just happen on the boat. Cruises often come with packages that include onshore excursions: jungle treks, skydiving, meals at local restaurants, etc. Injuries can happen here, too, and the cruise line may end up having to take the blame if these injuries are brought to a courtroom.
Norovirus and Other Illnesses
Cruise ships are contained, and contaminated food doesn’t ever just affect one person. Cases of norovirus and other food-borne illnesses are notorious on cruise ships.
Norovirus is an especially extreme food-borne illness, causing passengers to have diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches, among other symptoms. None of these symptoms make for a great vacation.
If ship chefs and staff do not follow proper procedures for cooking or storing meals, these illnesses can easily spread throughout the ship.
If you do get sick on board, you should be able to report to a medical professional. Doctors and nurses are on hand to make sure passengers get the care they need to continue having a positive cruise experience. (Norovirus-related treatments often come without a bill.)
Unfortunately, if these medical professionals neglect to take care of issues correctly, they can become worse – and cost you more in the long run.
Remember These Risks When You Book and Board
Don’t let the risks of cruise ships ruin your overall experience or prevent you from having a good vacation. Just keep these risks in mind as you are making a booking (what terms and conditions could prevent you from pursuing legal action in case of an injury?) and boarding your ship (what are crew members doing – or not doing – to ensure that you stay safe?).
If you do get injured on board, address the issue immediately with staff or by reaching out to a Florida cruise ship lawyer.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.