A cruise ship may conjure visions of good food, sunny days by the pool, and exciting excursions, but the reality can also include injuries. Passengers may suffer a wide range of conditions on a cruise, such as food poisoning, slips and falls, assault by another passenger or crew member, or falls overboard. Although cruise ships serve customers in the United States, they often travel in international waters or are registered in foreign countries—so maritime law applies when an injury or death occurs on a ship at sea.
What to Do in the Days Following an Accident on a Cruise Ship
Maritime law requires cruise ship operators to take reasonable steps to safeguard their passengers. Safety measures may include hiring adequate staff, installing security cameras and lights in public areas, and making sure the ship and everything on it is up to code. If the owner cut corners or the operator failed to provide a safe ship, these entities may be guilty of negligence.
After a cruise ship injury occurs, victims and their families should:
- Notify authorities. The first thing to do after an injury is to notify the cruise director, an officer or employee, or the ship’s medical doctor. Ask that a complete investigation take place. If you are the victim of an assault, report the incident to the police or U.S. officials at the next port of call.
- Collect evidence. In maritime cases, passengers are required to prove negligence in order to be awarded compensation. You should write down all the details you can remember about the accident, including time, location, witnesses present, and the conditions around you. If there are any security cameras in the area, note the identification numbers on the cameras so that you can request that specific footage be saved.
- Read your ticket. When cruise ship passengers purchase a ticket and board the ship, they are agreeing to abide by the terms included in the fine print. These stipulations may include the state where injury claims must be filed and how long the victim has to file a claim.
- Contact a maritime law attorney. An experienced attorney can explain when cruise ships are liable for injuries caused by crew members, construction defects, over-serving alcohol, inadequate rescue operations, or other forms of negligence.
Our New Jersey and New York cruise injury lawyers can advise you after an injury aboard a cruise ship, an accident at a port of call, or an injury during an excursion. We can examine regulations, collect evidence on your behalf, and pursue compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. Fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with an attorney at Hofmann & Schweitzer as soon as possible.