Seeing the sights of the world on a cruise ship is usually fun, relaxing and exciting. However, accidents on cruise ships do sometimes happen and they can really ruin the holiday of a lifetime. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a cruise ship operator’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. This article about cruise ship accident claims will explain your options and review the types of negligence that could lead to a claim.
We’re here to help with any questions you have about cruise ship accident claims. By requesting a free initial consultation, you’ll receive no-obligation legal advice from a specialist advisor. Where your claim appears viable, we could partner you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They’ll work for you on a No Win, No Fee basis if they accept your claim meaning you won’t need to cover any legal fees unless compensation is paid.
Please call us on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your claim right away or read on for more information on cruise ship accident claims.
Can I claim compensation for an accident on a cruise ship?
You might be entitled to claim compensation against a cruise ship or ferry operator if:
- The defendant (the ship’s operator) breached their duty of care towards your well-being; and
- An accident occurred because of the operator’s negligence; and
- You were injured (or became ill) as a result of the accident.
Before one of our solicitors takes on your claim, they’ll assess whether you have any proof for the criteria above or if they’ll be able to obtain it themselves. Later on in this article, we’ll look at the types of proof that could help you to secure compensation for your injuries or illness.
The Athens Convention 1974
Importantly, personal injury claims are possible for accidents in international waters as well as in British seas.
The Athens Convention ensures that all cruise ship operators have insurance in place to cover accidents involving passengers. This insurance policy is what your claim would be made against. For smaller ferries and ships in UK waters, a public liability insurance policy could be claimed against.
Types of cruise ship accidents you could claim compensation for
In theory, the criteria listed above could mean you’re entitled to compensation for any type of injury caused by negligence aboard a cruise ship. Some real-world examples of the types of accidents that could lead to a cruise ship accident claim include:
- Slips, trips and falls. For example, you might be able to claim for injuries caused by missing handrails on steps between decks, slippery surfaces or tripping on luggage in gangways.
- Accidents while boarding or leaving the ship. You might be able to claim if you were injured while embarking or disembarking the ship. For example, if a walkway wasn’t secured properly or if you were asked to leave the ship in unsafe weather conditions.
- Food poisoning and allergic reactions. If you were made ill because of a gastrointestinal illness, such as norovirus from contaminated food or water, or were ill due to poorly cooked food or poor hygiene standards in a cruise ship’s restaurant, you could claim for your suffering. Similarly, you could be entitled to compensation for suffering an allergic reaction because of a lack of allergen information on menus or in restaurants.
- Burns and scalds. If food or drink was spilt on you by the ship’s waiting staff and you suffered burns, a claim might be possible. This might be the case if they were carrying too much, were rushing or trying to serve food or drink in rough waters. This applies to room service as well as food served in the restaurant.
- Items falling on you. While sailing conditions can’t be controlled by the ship’s operator, you could claim for injuries caused by items falling on you because of poor weather. For example, if something hit you after falling from an overhead locker or if debris fell onto you from the upper decks of the cruise ship because it wasn’t put away in turbulent seas.
- Cabin accidents. Claims might be possible for injuries sustained due to faulty, damaged or poorly maintained equipment within your cabin. For example, electric shocks from a faulty hairdryer or cuts caused by damaged furniture.
- Swimming pool accidents. Accidents that happen in cruise ship swimming pools, water slides, or other water facilities, for example, slip and falls near the pool area, or near-drowning incidents may mean you’re entitled to compensation if the operator or their staff were negligent.
- Falling overboard. While this type of accident is rare, passengers on cruise ships do fall overboard occasionally. If this has happened to you or a member of your party because of missing safety features, a claim may be possible.
There are many more ways that accidents on cruise ships can occur. As such, even if we’ve not described your cruise ship accident here, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll explain your options as part of our free consultation.
Common injuries on cruise ships
Any of the following injuries could mean you’re entitled to claim compensation if they resulted from negligence by the cruise ship’s staff:
- Concussions and head injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Allergic reaction and food poisoning.
- Bruises, cuts and lacerations.
- Scalds and burns.
- Back injuries.
- Dislocation injuries.
Whatever injury on a cruise ship you’ve suffered, please speak to a member of our team who will review your options with you for free.
Can I claim compensation if I’ve been injured working on a cruise?
Staff aboard a cruise ship are owed a duty of care by the operator of the ship. As such, compensation might be claimed for preventable accidents caused by the employer’s negligence.
To find out if you could claim for an accident while working on a cruise ship, please contact one of our specialist advisors on 0800 652 1345 today.
How much compensation for a cruise ship accident?
If you do decide to pursue a personal injury claim against a cruise ship operator, you need to justify every pound of compensation you claim. The idea of any settlement will be to try and rectify any physical, psychological or financial problems caused by the cruise ship accident.
If you win your cruise ship accident claim, you could be compensated for:
- The physical discomfort, pain and suffering you’ve endured.
- Medical treatment costs.
- Distress, anxiety, depression or other forms of psychiatric suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of your cruise holiday and other activities you’d normally enjoy.
- Care costs.
- Additional travel expenses.
- Any loss of earnings and also future losses if your injury will affect your ability to work.
- The cost of updating your home to improve your quality of life if you’ve suffered a permanent disability.
To try and avoid missing out on any cruise ship injury compensation you might be due, your solicitor will review everything carefully with you before your claim is filed.
Providing proof for a cruise ship injury claim
A cruise ship operator won’t deal with your claim themselves. Instead, they will send it to their insurance company who’ll assess the proof they’re given by the defendant and any your solicitor sends to work out liability for your injuries or illness. For that reason, it’s important to try and provide as much proof as possible to show how the accident on a cruise ship occurred, the injuries you sustained and who was to blame. This might include:
- Accident report forms. You should always report an accident on a cruise ship so that there is a written record of when and where it happened. A copy of your report will be obtained by your solicitor as supporting evidence.
- Witness statements. In cases where liability for the accident is denied or isn’t clear, your solicitor will try to collect independent witness statements. So, you should ask for the contact details of any passengers on the ship or staff etc present when you were injured.
- Medical records. Even if you’re treated by the cruise ship’s doctor, you should seek medical advice when you’re back on land. Hospital or GP records can be used as further proof of your injuries.
- Photographic proof. If you can do so safely, you should take pictures of the cause of the cruise ship accident. Additionally, any visible injuries should be photographed regularly until your claim is finalised.
- Video recordings. If there is a recording of your accident on a CCTV camera or a mobile phone, you are entitled to ask for a copy. Bear in mind that the ship’s data may be deleted within a month so you should request this as quickly as possible.
While it’s good to have as much of the proof listed here as possible, you can still call us if you don’t have everything already. If your case is taken on, your solicitor will help to obtain any missing information.
No Win, No Fee claims
In our experience, overall claimants will find it better to make a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced solicitor. For many, the thought of paying a solicitor to act on their behalf can seem prohibitive, however. For that reason, ours offer a No Win, No Fee service for all cruise ship compensation claims they accept. This is useful because we believe your chances of being compensated fairly will increase with specialist legal representation.
If your cruise ship accident claim is taken on, it will be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This contract essentially sets out that:
- Legal fees will not need to be paid upfront.
- Your solicitor will not charge you for their work if the claim is lost.
- If you are compensated, a success fee will be deducted to pay your legal fees.
The success fee is capped legally at 25 per cent of any compensation you’re awarded. The amount you’ll pay will be displayed clearly in your CFA.
Once you’ve completed the paperwork, your solicitor will start working on your claim. Their main goals will be to:
- Collate any proof you’ve supplied and collect further information if needed and available.
- Contact the defendant’s insurance company to advise them of the cruise ship accident claim.
- Use their legal skills to try and counter any objections raised by the defendant.
- Keep you up to date throughout the claims process.
- Aim to secure the highest possible settlement figure on your behalf.
To check whether you could claim compensation for a cruise ship accident on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.
Cruise ship accident claim time limits
For accidents on cruise ships, the time limit is set by the Athens Convention rather than the UK’s Limitation Act 1980. As such, you’ll have 2 years to start your claim from the date you got off the ship (the date of disembarkation). This is less than you’d get for a normal personal injury claim in the UK so it’s a good idea to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
As it can take some time for proof relating to your accident and medical records to be collected, we’d suggest you don’t wait too long to begin your claim. If there’s not enough time left when you start, your claim could be refused and you might miss out on any compensation you’re entitled to.
To check how long you’ve got left to begin a cruise ship accident claim, please contact us today.
Start a cruise ship accident claim today
If you have suffered following an accident on a cruise ship and would like free legal advice about your options, please call 0800 652 1345 today. There’s no obligation to make a claim but during your initial consultation, we’ll assess your chances of being compensated and answer any questions that arise.
If there’s a decent chance of being compensated, we’ll connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They’ll advise you further and will work for you on a No Win, No Fee basis if your case is accepted. No Win, No Fee means your solicitor won’t be paid by you unless you are compensated.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions on cruise ship accident claims, or claim your free consultation here.