For one passenger aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship Disney Magic, a leisurely cruise vacation quickly transformed into a nightmare. Just a few weeks ago, the 29-year-old man had to be airlifted off of the Disney Magic and brought to the coast of South Carolina after suffering multiple injuries while on the cruise.
According to reports, the passenger sustained leg and hip injuries while aboard the cruise ship. The Coast Guard was informed of the emergency around 5 AM on a Saturday morning, when the ship was 45 miles off the coast.
The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter to lift the victim from the ship and take him to the Medical University of South Carolina for treatment. The most recent reports on the situation say that the man’s condition has stabilized, but the causes of his injuries remain a mystery.
As seasoned cruise ship injury attorneys, we have seen our fair share of leg and hip injuries sustained on cruise ships. Because of this, we know that there are a variety of ways the unfortunate passenger could have realistically sustained his injuries, including:
Slipping and falling. These types of accidents are some of the most frequent reasons that people suffer injuries on cruise ships. Slip and falls often occur because of wet floors or decks, spills, debris, trash, or other misplaced objects. These types of accidents have been known to cause leg and hip injuries, as well as other serious bodily harm such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage.
Alcohol-related incident. Cruise ships are known for their festive parties and colorful onboard bars, and it is not uncommon for passengers to indulge in a few drinks while on a cruise vacation. However, cruise bartenders have a responsibility to avoid over-serving passengers, and when they fail to uphold this standard, the risk of serious injuries increases. Irresponsible alcohol serving can result in overboard incidents, drowning, unruly behavior, and fights. If a bartender aboard the Disney ship overserved the man or any of his fellow passengers, this could have directly caused or contributed to his leg and hip injuries.
Onshore excursion accidents. From zip-lining to parasailing, there’s plenty of high-risk activities that occur during onshore excursions that can cause serious injuries and—in extreme cases—fatalities. When cruise line staff members fail to provide proper equipment, or if they are not adequately trained for these excursions, participants are far more likely to suffer harm. If the Magic’s onshore staff was unequipped or neglected to follow certain safety regulations, it is possible that their negligence may have contributed to the man’s hip and leg injury.
Negligent security. Though cruise ships often claim to be one of the safest ways to travel, incidents of onboard assault and other crimes are not unheard of. Oftentimes, attacks occur on cruise ships due to the cruise line’s failure to screen an employee with a previous criminal record, or neglecting to take adequate passenger safety measures onboard. It is possible that the victim suffered leg and hip injuries after an onboard attack, either from a disgruntled crew member or fellow passenger.
Medical malpractice. If the man suffered a minor injury due to a trip and fall incident, alcohol-related accident, or onshore excursion, medical malpractice could have aggravated the injury to the point where an emergency airlift became necessary. Medical malpractice is common aboard cruise ships, where medical staff, facilities, and resources are often severely limited. In some cases, cruise ship medical staff members are not licensed to practice medicine in the US. If the man received inadequate treatment aboard the ship, this could have contributed to his leg and hip injuries becoming much worse.
Disney Cruise Line has worked hard to establish itself as one of the leading family-friendly cruise lines today, and thousands of passengers travel on Disney cruises each year without incident.
But accidents do happen aboard Disney cruise ships—whether due to staff negligence, unsafe conditions, or unpreventable factors—as the passenger aboard the Disney Magic learned. When Disney passengers are injured onboard due to reasons such as medical malpractice, assault, and alcohol-related incidents, they may suffer long-term pain and suffering along with staggering medical bills.
If you or someone you care about suffered illness or injury aboard a cruise ship, you should consult with an experienced cruise ship injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can help you stand up to the major cruise lines and work to get you the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to recovery.
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.