Over 2000 cruise vessels sail out of Port of Long Beach each year and thousands more worldwide. While many of those cruises are without injury, save for seasickness and hangovers earned by passengers after a night of too much fun, injuries can still and do occur aboard cruise ships. While each case is unique, there are some common cruise ship injuries:
Slips, Trips, and Falls on Board Cruise Ships
Perhaps no surprise to veteran cruisers, when it comes to common cruise ship injuries, slips, trips, and falls are number one. From uneven and wet surfaces to flooded pool areas to improperly functioning escalators and elevators, the ways in which passengers can be injured while going about their regular business on a cruise ship are many. Medical staff aboard the ship may be able to help with smaller injuries, but frequently passengers need to seek medical help for more serious injuries at the next port. Not a convenience when entering a foreign port of call, to be sure. Make sure to ask the chief medical officer on board your ship to contact the best local hospital or health center to make all necessary arrangements, to the extent possible.
Members of American Express and other premium cars may be able to utilize their card services department for assistance. One tip from a veteran cruiser: “Call your card company to be sure of what they can do and that which they cannot. Don’t expect that a local health centre will provide you the same level of services you might get at home. Then again you may be pleasantly surprised by the high level of care some facilities are capable of providing.” Sound advice. Check before you need to use their services. This advice is especially true for travelers with chronic illnesses. Those travelers need to be sure to bring enough medicine and prescription to see them through the trip length and an additional two weeks if some event causes a longer than expected absence from home. Keep prescriptions in their original container for solid evidence of their required use, dosage, and prescribing doctor.
Food Poisoning and Diseases
Improper food preparation, storage, and maintenance from crewmembers can result in cruisers falling ill while on the cruise. Similarly, cruisers may fall ill due to other passengers or crewmembers working while ill and spreading disease. These illnesses might well pass within a few days if you take rest and keep hydrated. Seek the ship medical personnel for assistance at the first sign of any illness. As in most cases: early treatment will possibly avoid a longer term problem.
Injuries resulting from onboard fires Onboard fires are a large concern for cruise lines and one of the ways that passengers can become injured. Burns and injuries resulting from panic can occur. Follow ships crew advice and avoid separation from your group.
Physical Assault and Battery
When it comes to cruise ship injuries, assault isn’t always the first thing that comes to people’s minds. However, physical assault and battery do happen during cruising. Many times, fights begin after a fellow passenger is served too much alcohol by a crew member. Sometimes a cruise line doesn’t have proper procedures in place to prevent assault and battery from occurring or stopping the assault while it is in progress.
In one case we handled at Moss Hovden a crew member was in a patrons stateroom going through her belongings when she returned to her stateroom. The crewman struck out client several times causing serious injuries. We successfully sued the cruise line for her injuries. Also handled have been cases against other passengers for assaulting a client.
Moss Hovden is a personal injury law firm that handles all aspect of injury claims aboard cruise ships and will help you strategize about the best way to handle your concerns.