A cruise can be a unique way to celebrate the holidays with your family. Most cruise ships go all-out for the holidays, offering special meals and unique themed festivities to cruisers. This means that you can enjoy a first-class celebration without the hassle of hosting it yourself.
If you have a cruise coming up this holiday season, preparing ahead of time can help you plan the best possible cruise for your family, and make the most out of your experience. Part of that preparation involves making yourself aware of common cruise ship injuries so that you and your family can take precautions to ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable time.
A cruise ship is a complex operation with many variables. Moreover, passengers are kept in close quarters, and their inhibitions may be lowered by alcohol consumption. Despite the fact that cruise ships are required to meet certain safety standards and crewmembers are trained to keep passengers safe, sometimes these safeguards fail, and serious injury or death can result.
Some of the most common accidents and injuries include:
Passengers may fall overboard, or drown in pools, hot tubs, or other water features on board. This is compounded by the fact that cruise ships are often not staffed by lifeguards, although some cruise lines have recently added lifeguards to their fleets.
Because so many people are eating from the same locations, any contaminated food can very quickly sicken hundreds. Food poisoning may occur due to improper food handling, low-grade ingredients, or malfunction of refrigeration systems.
Slips and Falls
Slips and fall accidents are the most common cruise ship accident, and can result in severe injury. They are often caused by slippery floors, wet decks, or tripping over debris and trash. Moreover, passengers may be unable to seek medical attention for a slip and fall injury while aboard a cruise ship.
Cruise ship passengers travel from all over the world to embark on cruises, and then stay in close proximity to one another. This creates a perfect recipe for the spread of infections on cruises, which has been on the uptick in recent years. Norovirus is the most notable cruise ship infection, and can sicken hundreds or thousands of passengers.
Although death aboard a cruise ship is rare, passenger deaths can and do occur. These deaths are often due to fires, overboard incidents and on-board drownings.
Fires aboard cruise ships are very dangerous, as there are few routes for escape. These fires are often caused by lapses in standard safety procedures or failure to resolve mechanical issues.
Shore excursions often include high-risk activities such as zip-lining, parasailing, and rock-climbing. It is therefore common for passengers to be injured in these activities, although cruise lines are responsible for minimizing injuries by following appropriate safety protocols.
Many cruise lines advertise that medical care is provided on board. However, the medical facilities, staff and resources aboard a cruise ship are often very limited. In fact, staff members may not even be licensed to practice medicine in the US. It is therefore common for medical staff to administer improper medical care that harms passengers, constituting medical malpractice.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.