No good deed goes unpunished. That’s what a Virginia dinner cruise line must be thinking, after it was hit by a lawsuit from one of it’s passengers for, ironically, a no-slip-and-fall. While playing cornhole on an area of the ship with no-slip flooring, a passenger fell. He claimed the special flooring made it impossible for him to properly shift his weight while stepping to throw a beanbag.
Interestingly, one of the most common Maritime lawsuits arising from incidents on a cruise ship is a slip-and-fall claim. So what is a responsible cruise line to do? The honest answer is: do all you can do avoid slip and fall injuries. According to a 2010 survey, usually there are over 100 on-board slip and fall injuries reported per ship per year, and some lead to judgments in the millions of dollars.
Examples of Liability
Cruise ship operators are liable for injuries that happen on their ship, regardless of whether their actions were intentional or negligent, if a “reasonably careful ship operator” should have known something on their ship would cause an injury. You may wonder what sort of actions have created liability in the past. Though every situation is unique, historically, liability has been found when, on a ship, a passenger:
- Slips on a wet floor or a slippery surface
- Trips over a threshold
- Stumbles down a staircase
- Falls overboard
Determining Judgment Amount
If a passenger is successful in proving that a cruise ship operator is liable, he or she can be awarded a sizeable amount. The court will aggregate a wide range of bills, fees, and damages in order to come up with a money judgment, which can range from thousands to millions of dollars. Items to consider include:
- Loss of earnings
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, mental anguish, disfigurement and disability
- Interest that could have been earned during the time span from the injury to the judgment
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident on a cruise ship, contact a local Maritime Law attorney today. Sometimes lawsuits must be filed within 12 months of the injury, so delaying could hurt your case. These legal specialists will be able to tell you your rights, and many will offer a free consultation to determine if your injury could result in a successful claim against the cruise line.
- Find a Maritime Lawyer in Your Area (FindLaw Lawyer Directory)
- Princess Cruises Sued for Gross Sewage Slip and Fall Injury (FindLaw Injured Blog)
- Can I Sue a Cruise Line for an Injury (FindLaw Injured Blog)