Going on a cruise vacation can be very relaxing and fun at the same. This is especially true if you take a holiday with loved ones or friends. The hours spent on board and on the ground are worth it knowing that you are able to visit several places in a single trip with the people who matter to you.
But accidents can happen anytime and passengers can get hurt in various ways. If one does not take the necessary safety precautions, you can end up with a nightmare vacation instead of a memorable one.
Here are some of the most common passenger injuries that took place on cruise ships you need to be aware of. Various factors can cause them but it pays to be in the know before you proceed with your holiday on board.
Slips, Trips and Falls
A three-year study done by the Institute of Medicine of Norway’s University of bergen showed that the most common injuries suffered by cruise ship passengers were slips/trips/falls both on board and on the ground. Injuries on board accounted for 44.8 percent while 69.4 percent occurred on ashore.
The research also noted that these types of injury mostly take place in cabins (20.1 percent) while on board and on the streets (29.6 percent) when on land. Other locations include bathrooms (13.4 percent) and buses (16.1 percent).
The lower extremity is the body part commonly affected (43 percent) while open wounds are the most common injury type. More wounds as well as fractures and dislocations occurred ashore than abroad.
Michael Ehline, a practising lawyer, said that things can go wrong in many different ways on cruise ships. “Passengers have to keep in mind that they are traveling on a vessel that’s considered a display of wealth and luxury. Many women have been raped by crew members and sometimes by people onboard under the influence of alcohol. Wet floors, harmful food, bad sanitation, poorly built thresholds and overall architecture etc. can cause many different types of accidents.”
Slips, trips or falls can be due to various factors. These include falling down a staircase, slipping and falling on a deck or tripping over a threshold.
Staircases that are wet or have some foreign substance can contribute to slipping or falling down. Other factors that can lead to falling are the lack of handrails, poorly designed handrails, shallow steps or the varying heights of risers.
On the deck, the presence of water can also cause slips and falls notably for surfaces that get very slippery when wet.
Thresholds, on the other hand, are usually tripping hazards. But they could not be removed as they are important parts of a vessel’s design. Federal and international shipping law also requires them to be placed in certain locations to ensure the ship’s interior is watertight.
What You Can Do
Should you get injured while on a cruise holiday, immediately report to or call the ship’s medical staff to attend to your needs. Cruise ships normally have medical clinics similar to ambulatory care centers. These facilities are tasked provide emergency medical care for passengers and crew, stabilize patients and initiate appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions as well as facilitate the evacuation of injured and seriously ill patients.
If you feel the ship was responsible for your injury, the primary step to take is to find out the cause. Before you decide on filing a lawsuit against the cruise line, you need to prove the ship’s negligence in order to recover damages.
Just because you got hurt or encountered an accident does not follow that it was the cruise ship’s fault or it was negligent. It’s best to consult a lawyer and determine if the cruise line failed to act with reasonable care leading to your injury.