Injuries in Rough Seas

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Injuries In Rough Seas

During the operation of most any offshore ship, supply boat, fishing boat or vessel there will be many times that the ship encounters bad weather with associated high waves, high wind and rough seas. Those maritime workers required to work outside in the elements are especially vulnerable to injuries from the rough seas. Workers in engine rooms and down below including those in sleeping in bunkrooms may also be injured when the ship is being pounded by rough seas and waves. A worker can be thrown to the floor, fall down stairs, hit themselves on the hallway ceiling be thrown into walls and even thrown against bedrails or fall out of their bunk by the bad weather.

Injuries to Cruise Ship Passengers and Crew

Workers on ships at sea are not alone when it comes to being injured in bad weather. Cruise ship passengers can also be subjected to rough seas and injured on cruise ships even though the ships are 700-1000+ ft long. When the cruise liner starts listing from side to side or gets hit by a rogue wave, the injuries to the passengers can range from broken bones, to broken hips and back injuries from falls onto the floors or down the stairs. Many times unsecured bottles, tables, merchandise or dining room chairs can be like missiles as they fly around inside the ship during severe listing and rough waves. Though rare, some cruise ship passengers have even suffered from hyperthermia when they are forced to jump into the frigid cold waters when in they believe the ship is sinking and other have sadly drowned in the ocean while trying to escape an actual sinking ship.

Cruise ship Passenger Injuries Filing Deadlines

Although most maritime injuries to crew members are governed by the three year statute of limitations under the Jones Act, passenger’s right to file a personal injury claim are usually limited and governed by the small wording on the cruise ticket and associated documents for passage. On some cruise lines, the tickets limits the filing deadline to one year. After that one year, then the claim is barred. Further, cruise lines can require that passengers put them on written notice within 6 months from the date of the injury. Many tickets and contracts require or limit any claim or lawsuit to be file in limited jurisdictions such as in Florida. If in doubt, a passenger injured on a cruise ship should talk to a maritime injury attorney to be sure.

Negligence from Operation of Ships in Rough Seas

Often the ship captain or others may be at fault for injuries to crew and passengers in rough seas. Whether it be requiring workers to work outside in rough seas or not warning passengers to hunker-down in their cabins for safety, to not ordering loose objects to be stowed away, the ship’s captain and officers may share some blame. Captains may also be found at fault or negligent for not postponing the voyage due to bad seas or going around the bad weather conditions. Often the schedule of passengers, other cruise ships or cargo take precedence over safety and when that happens a Jones Act claim or lawsuit under the General Maritime laws may be available to the injured.

If you have been injured while on a boat or ship due to high seas, call and let’s discuss the facts and see if any act of negligence contributed or caused your injuries. Talk to a maritime personal injury lawyer today. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 or fill out the injury form on this page

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