People from all over the country flock to Florida with the intent of taking a cruise. Cruise ship lines have grown bigger and more luxurious than ever before, and increasing numbers of people have begun taking cruises not just for the sake of traveling to distant ports but also for experiencing the many amenities available on board. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of passengers taking cruises has resulted in an increase in cruise ship injuries. Accidental injuries can happen anywhere, and cruise ships are no exception. If you or someone you love is considering taking a cruise, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers that can occur onboard as well as in port.
Common Types Of Cruise Ship Injuries
According to a November 2015 Florida Trend article on the state of the cruise industry, close to 24 million passengers are expected to take a cruise in 2016. Cruises offer a chance to visit exotic ports of call in relative safety and comfort, while their all-inclusive nature makes them a great value. At the same time, it is important for prospective passengers to be alert to the dangers that can be present on a cruise ship. While shipwrecks or incidents of people falling overboard are not common, accidents on deck and in port are something to be aware of. A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that cruise ship slip and fall accidents account for nearly half of all onboard injuries, and close to two thirds of all port injuries. Slip and fall accidents can occur due to wet ship decks, uneven floor surfaces, and crowded pathways, and the unsteadying effect of being at sea for days can aggravate this problem. Injuries associated with slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Bruising and contusions;
- Muscle and ligament strains, sprains, and tears,
- Broken bones;
- Neck and spinal cord injuries; and
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
Injuries on cruise ships can also result from faulty maintenance and generally unsafe conditions on board the ship, such as loose railings, falling objects, and poor lighting on stairways and passages. A man who filed a lawsuit against Holland America cruise line was awarded millions of dollars in November 2015 for injuries he suffered while on an around-the-world cruise out of Seattle. The man suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by sliding glass doors on the ship. With the help of his attorney, he was able to prove that other passengers in the past had been injured due to the same problem, and that the doors had been improperly set on a timer by the cruise line to close too quickly, allegedly to save money on heating and air conditioning costs. The judge in the case found that the cruise line had acted in a reckless and wanton fashion, and awarded the man over $21 million in punitive damages.
We Can Provide You With Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship or while in port, contact our experienced Florida personal injury and accident attorneys. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys can help you hold responsible parties accountable for the injuries they have caused, and assist in getting you the compensation you deserve.