Slip and Fall Accidents on Cruise Ships
Cruise ship slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere. On deck, by the pool, in a restaurant or on a gangway. They can happen for a variety of reasons and on different floor surfaces. Unfortunately, we have seen slip and falls on cruise ships in a number of different settings. Slip and falls on cruises are also one of the most ways passengers and crew members are seriously injured. Slippery deck surfaces, wear and tear, wet and foreign substances, cleaning and poor routine ship maintenance are all reasons why they can happen. Spilled drinks, loose flooring, even water tracked in by guests using swimming pools are also common reasons passenger can sustain serious injuries.
At Gerson & Schwartz PA, our law firm specializes in cruise ship slip and fall injury claims. Our Florida cruise ship slip and fall attorneys routinely represent injured passengers against all the major cruise line operators. We have the experience and expertise to combat the cruise line companies for their negligence and hold them accountable in the court. The cruise line will fight you, but we will also fight back to protect your legal rights.
The ship and its crew owe a duty of reasonable care to its passengers. This includes providing verbal or visual warnings, to correct a dangerous area, or marking off areas where foreign substances and hazards may be. Visual and verbal warnings are important to ensure passenger safety. Foreign substances often make their way on cruise ships and their decks. If the dangerous condition existed long enough, regardless of who created it the dangerous condition, cruise line has a legal obligation to correct it and to warn passengers. If it does not and you are injured as a result, the cruise line is responsible for the injuries that result.
Cruise Ship Slip And Fall Accidents Are Common
A cruise ship has the same type slip and fall hazards that people encounter on shore or other land based environments. But, they also have a number of potential other safety hazards that are inherent to a marine environment. This includes corrosion from salt water, sea spray, and water tracked into high traffic areas from pool areas. Spilled drinks, wet or foreign substances, food in restaurants, loose flooring to water tracked in by guests using the swimming pools, even dim lighting in stairwells and hallways are all common causes. Cruise ship slips & falls can also be due to negligent design, negligent maintenance or due dangerous surfaces available due to the limited selection of deck and flooring materials that appear to be wood and other surfaces used on land. Other cruise ship and maritime related slip, trip and fall accidents specific to cruise ships may be due to foreign objects that are blown over due to wind, or ship equipment that is not properly maintained or properly secured.Did the Cruise Line Negligence Cause Your Slip And Fall Accident?
Under federal maritime law, cruise line operators owe a legal duty of reasonable care. Like businesses ashore, cruise line operators and employees are legally responsible for keeping their decks, floor surfaces and other common areas on the vessel in a safe condition. The legal standard of reasonable care under the circumstances is not always not easy to delineate. How and what constitutes reasonable care is dependent on a number of factors. Knowledge of a risk other dangerous condition is usually required under maritime law. Other factors we will analyze is the number of prior slip and fall incidents that have occurred. If hired to represent you, we will also analyze whether the cruise line had reason to know of a particular dangerous condition such as a slippery floor surface and what if anything they did or failed to about in light of that knowledge.
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Cruise liners also owe a legal duty to warn customers about known dangers. The legal duty to warn does not just apply to wet or foreign substances but to any danger that the cruise line knew or should have known. Examples of inadequate warnings on a ship may include the negligent failure to use a caution or wet floors sign, negligence while performing routine cleaning or maintenance, or simply failing to mark off an area that has just been cleaned.
If the cruise line creates a dangerous condition or fails to take reasonable safety and security measures they are responsible for all injuries and harms they have caused. If an accident was a result of the negligence of the cruise ship or its employees, such as creating dangerous condition or fail to take adequate safety measures, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries.In some cases, our Florida cruise ship lawyers have uncovered the existence of dozens upon dozens of prior slip and fall accidents giving rise to claims for punitive damages. High traffic areas must be free of dangers and safety hazards. Cruise line companies may also be responsible for slip, trip and fall accidents due to potential hazards they create. Dangerous conditions can be due to negligent cleaning practices by cruise ship employees or simply a failure by them to warn of about it or other failing to undertake other reasonable safety precautions.
The average age of a cruise ship passenger is over 50 years old, and because of this, even what seems like a minor accident can cause serious injuries with long term medical complications and financial repercussions. Some of the common injuries resulting from these types of accidents that our law firm handles include:
- Orthopedic Injuries
- Fractures Requiring Surgical Cair
- Ligament Injury
- Tendon Injuries
- Injuries to hands, wrists, and knees
- Concussions and Head Injuries
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Lacerations and Contusions
Litigating against cruise ship companies is a difficult process that requires an experienced cruise ship attorney. Most cruise line passenger ticket contracts exclusively require litigation against the company be brought in certain courts, predominantly in Florida federal courts. Over time, various judicial rulings have created an environment that is very favorable to the defending companies. Cruise line operators also typically put clauses in their ticketing contracts that limit the time people have to notify of the company of their intent to file a legal claim and the time in which they may sue over a personal injury claim in order to potentially bar injury victim's rights to recover against them for their negligence.
We also conduct regular vessel inspections and retain leading experts as part of our commitment to our clients in order to check for defective and dangerous conditions that may result in a cruise ship slip and fall. Cruise ship operators and other marine going vessel surfaces must provide adequate slip resistance on deck surfaces both in wet and dry conditions. In order to assist injury victims, we retain leading experts in engineering, biomechanical experts, ship design, structural engineering, and other leading experts in the marine industry to evaluate floors, decks, and other walkway surfaces.If you or a loved one sustain a serious injury on a cruise ship, our firm may even conduct a vessel inspection so we can evaluate test and inspect the area where the accident occurred.
In a cruise ship slip and fall or any other serious accident involving personal injury it is important to document the condition. Take photographs, get the names of witnesses, an crew personnel who may have observed the condition. The cruise lines will fight to keep any information they can away from you if you are injured. Once passengers or crew members leave the ship they know witnesses and crew members with knowledge may be difficult to locate.
If you are seriously injured on a cruise ship you need experienced lawyers. What many cruise ship slip and fall victims don't realize are the great lengths that ship operators have undertaken to shield themselves from legal claims. Forum selection clauses, requiring injury victims to file legal claims in certain jurisdictions, choice of law provisions, waivers, requiring passengers to sign a passenger injury statement, and many other nuances in the cruise ship investigative policies and procedures are all aimed to make it more difficult for injury victims obtain fair compensation. Contact a cruise ship slip and fall attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA.