A dancer or ice skater might not be the first person you think of when you think of seamen who are covered by the federal Jones Act, but as cruise ship employees, entertainers are covered the same way deckhands, watchkeepers, and engineers are. If you were injured or became ill while working on a cruise ship as an entertainer, you would be eligible to file for compensation to cover your medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, you might also have cause to pursue a negligence claim against your employer or a third party if your injuries were caused by a breach of safety protocols.
The Jones Act process can be complicated, and you will not get much help from your employer, their insurance company, or even the ship’s doctors when it comes to filing a claim. Fortunately, you have a right to hire a maritime lawyer to help ensure that you are treated fairly and get the compensation to which you are entitled. Trust the experienced team at Hofmann & Schweitzer to make sure you get full compensation in your case.
How Cruise Ship Entertainers Get Injured on the Job
If you are a performer working on a cruise ship out of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Cape Liberty Cruise Port, or Manhattan Cruise Terminal, you will want to talk to a Jones Act lawyer based in New York or New Jersey if you are injured on duty and struggling to get the compensation you deserve.
Cruise ship entertainers can be injured in a variety of ways, and their injuries could be severe enough to prevent them from being able to work and earn a living. Common injuries hard-working performers suffer on cruise ships include:
- Slip and falls. Entertainers may slip and fall on slippery surfaces, such as wet stages, dance floors, or decks, especially during rough sea conditions.
- Stage equipment accidents. Mishaps can occur while setting up or using stage equipment, such as lighting fixtures, sound systems, props, or rigging, leading to injuries from falls, electrical shocks, or falling objects.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Performers who engage in repetitive movements, such as dancers or musicians, may develop conditions like tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or strains from the repetitive nature of their performances.
- Accidents during rehearsals. Injuries can happen during intense rehearsals due to collisions, falls, or mishandling of props or equipment.
- Accidents during performances. While performing, entertainers may sustain injuries from missteps, falls, or collisions with other performers or equipment.
- Overexertion. The physical demands of performances, such as acrobatics, aerial acts, or stunts, can lead to strains, sprains, or muscle fatigue.
- Lifting and carrying heavy equipment. Entertainers may be required to lift and carry heavy equipment or props, which can result in back strains, hernias, or other musculoskeletal injuries.
- Fire hazards. Entertainers working with pyrotechnics, special effects, or highly flammable costumes or props are at risk of burns or other fire-related injuries.
- Occupational hazards. Depending on the type of act, entertainers may be exposed to specific occupational hazards, such as loud noises, extreme temperatures, exposure to chemicals or toxins, or risks associated with water performances.
- Accidents during disembarkation or shore excursions. Entertainers can be injured when disembarking from the ship or during off-ship activities, such as excursions or rehearsals on land.
- Assault or harassment. Unfortunately, entertainers may face risks of assault, harassment, or misconduct from passengers or crew members, leading to physical or emotional injuries.
All Cruise Ship Workers Can Be Classified as Seamen
Your employer is likely to attempt to dispute your claim, even if it’s completely legitimate, in order to save themselves money. One tactic they may use is to dispute your status as a seaman, especially if your duties are not related to the operation of the vessel. However, under the Jones Act, a seaman is a person who is assigned to a vessel that operates in navigable waters, performs work related to the vessel’s purpose, and spends a significant portion of their time on the vessel. As an entertainer working for Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Disney, Cunard, Viking, or MSC, you meet the criteria of a Jones Act seaman and should not be denied the coverage you deserve.