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April 17, 2019

What if I Fell Overboard While on a Cruise Ship Vacation?

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

Personal Injury Lawyer in Milwaukee, WI

Falling overboard while on a cruise ship can be a painful and terrifying experience. Not every person who tumbles overboard may survive either, as the drop may be a hundred feet down into the ocean. Anyone who takes this fall may only hope someone nearby notices and can alert the cruise ship to halt in order to be saved. In some instances, the cruise line may be responsible for that passenger being thrown overboard. The injuries a passenger may suffer from, if they live to tell the tale, can be critical and costly. Hospitalization and emergency medical attention may have been necessary after the rescue was complete.

A passenger may have the right to pursue legal action against the cruise ship, if he or she can prove the fall overboard occurred as a result of negligence or carelessness. Here we have described the most common ways that such incidents can occur while onboard a cruise line:

#1 Failing to Notify Passengers of Storms

Cruise ships often have state-of-the-art radars, that help them determine whether storms may be brewing in the area they are traveling. If the staff failed to inform passengers of an impending and dangerous storm, the ship may be held responsible for anyone who falls overboard. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so the cruise line must monitor the weather with unyielding attention. Cruise lines are obligated to warn passengers of storms so they can retreat away from the deck to a safer area of the ship promptly.

#2 Violent Crew Members and Other Passengers

Cruise lines may be held accountable if a passenger is tossed overboard due to violent actions from crew members or other passengers. The company may be strictly liable if a staff member was to get into a physical altercation with a passenger that resulted in the guest falling overboard. For instances where two passengers were in a fight, the ship may only be liable if it could have predicted or prevented the violent activity from happening in the first place.

#3 Duty to Perform Rescue Operation

If a passenger was reported missing and/or fell off the ship, the cruise line must perform a reasonably thorough search and rescue operation. If the cruise line fails to do a search in an adequate manner, the company may have to pay the surviving family financial compensation for the passenger’s death. If the passenger survived but sustained worsened injury due to a flawed or delayed rescue process, the cruise line may be held liable for that as well.

#4 Poorly Built Handrails

A passenger can quite easily tumble into the ocean if they were to lean on a handrail that was broken or not secured properly. Handrails must be evaluated regularly and any reports that a handrail needs fixing is to be attended to with a sense of urgency. A cruise line may be responsible for passenger injury if they failed to maintain strong and protective handrails at all times. You can discuss your legal options with a personal injury lawyer in Milwaukee, WI.

Contact Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into personal injury law and cruise ship injuries.

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