Cruise Ship Injuries

Passengers and crew members on a cruise ship often may be injured during the operation of the ship, especially when injured during bad weather. If the crew member gets injured then they have legal rights under the Jones Act for their injuries. The federal law is designed to protect injured seaman. A seaman is defined as a crew member of a vessel or someone who is assigned to a fleet of vessels for his employer. Most cruise ship employees are considered seamen per this definition.

The Jones Act regulates the maritime industry and ensures that injured seamen receive adequate compensation for their injuries. As a cruise ship worker, you are also eligible to receive “maintenance” to cover your living expenses and “cure” to assist with your medical bills. You are entitled to this compensation no matter who was at fault. Maintenance is generally anywhere from $15 to $30 per day and is paid during the time it takes for you to recover. In addition, reasonable medical care must be given to you until you reach the maximum medical cure, meaning your injury cannot improve any further.

There are many events that can lead up to an accident or injury on a cruise ship. A poorly maintained ship, slippery surfaces or a falling object can result in serious injuries. Some of the other common causes of cruise ship injuries to crew and passengers alike may include:

  • Falls
  • Assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Food poisoning
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Operation during bad weather or rough seas

Additional compensation may be available if negligence on behalf of the employer, vessel owner or crew member caused the injury. An unseaworthy vessel can also constitute a Jones Act lawsuit. Under the Jones Act, an injured worker may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, both past and present, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement and mental anguish. The amount of money you can be awarded for a Jones Act lawsuit is substantial.

As an injured cruise ship worker, you may be unsure of your legal rights. Occasionally, employees are misled about what they are entitled to and their rights. It is not uncommon for an employee to be encouraged to file a workers’ compensation claim, which could hurt their ability to pursue a Jones Act lawsuit. If you are unsure of your legal rights following a cruise ship injury, contact the Willis Law Firm. We are experienced maritime attorneys who will review your case, free of charge.

Do not wait to pursue legal advice. For workers there are deadlines as to when you can file a Jones Act claim and for passengers under the cruise ship passenger ticket / contract, there are often strict 6 month written notice requirements and ONE YEAR lawsuit filing deadlines that must be observed. If you were a passenger on a cruise ship and were injured, you are protected under general maritime law. Contact our law firm at 1-800-883-9858 for a free case review to discuss your legal options.