Did you know some cruise ships have over 1,000 crew members on board? Most passengers never see the extensive number of crew members it takes to make things run smoothly.
The crew members on most cruise ships must work long hours and, sometimes, in unsafe conditions. Because of this, injuries are not unusual since the ships present a dangerous work environment. Even the sleeping quarters for crew members present hazards and risks because of how cramped they are and because most cruise ship crews come from places all over the world. The high number of workers’ combined with close living quarters means that communicable diseases are often an issue, too.
If you work on a cruise ship and develop an illness or suffer an injury, you may be hesitant to report it. Many fear retribution from their supervisor, employer, or the cruise line. This has created a culture of silence, leading to even more injuries and illnesses among workers’.
If you decide to seek damages from a cruise line after experiencing an injury or illness, it means you are getting the compensation you deserve and making the work environment safer for your co-workers’ and future crew members.
After an injury caused by your work environment, you can contact our office at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., for help with your claim and to learn more about the type of compensation you may be entitled to.
The Risks to Crew Members on Cruise Ships
As a cruise ship employee, you work extremely hard. You are also put in potentially hazardous situations almost daily.
You must ensure that the navigational, mechanical, and electronic systems work properly to protect the voyage and passengers. Unfortunately, ship maintenance like this comes with several hazards. Many employees must work close to dangerous machinery for long hours.
Also, if you suffer a serious injury, the only medical treatment is the usual single doctor on board. While there is likely an infirmary and even a medical team available to help with some injuries, your treatment options are limited if you suffer a serious or severe wound or injury.
Because of this type of work environment, you are susceptible to all types of accidents and injuries. Some of the most common that are seen among cruise ship workers’ include the following:
Back Injuries or Soft Tissue Injuries
If your job involves heavy labor, it can cause wear and tear on your body as time passes. Lifting heavy items like laundry and luggage, bending over to clean the deck or other surfaces, and even squatting to repair machinery can lead to several injuries. Some of the most common include spinal disc damage, fractures, strains, and sprains.
Just because you are working on a boat in the middle of a huge body of water, it does not mean that you cannot suffer a burn injury. Kitchen fires, steam injuries, and explosions can all cause burn injuries to you and your fellow crew members.
Exposure to Illnesses Like the Norovirus
Today, food-borne illnesses are extremely common on cruise ships. Unfortunately, it is more than just the passengers who can experience these. Many crew members fall ill, too. The level of sickness you experience can range from mild to moderate to severe. In some situations, it can even be life-threatening.
When Is the Cruise Line Liable?
You will find that a cruise line and employers can fail their workers’ in several ways. If you work on a cruise ship, the company that employs you may be liable for your accident and injuries if you prove they acted negligently. Some types of negligence that may occur on cruise ships that lead to worker accidents and injuries include the following:
- Failure to provide proper staff training (including for you) on safety protocols.
- Not following or enforcing the required safety measures.
- Not providing you with the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) or gear.
- Failing to take proper precautions during adverse weather conditions.
- Not ensuring a safe working environment by putting an unseaworthy vessel in operation.
If you have evidence proving your accident and injuries resulted from your employer’s negligence, it may be possible to recover compensation.
Pursuing a Case After a Cruise Ship Injury
It is paramount that you know and understands your rights. Unfortunately, this can be confusing for some workers’. Due to the complexity of these cases, we recommend contacting our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. for assistance. Our legal team can evaluate your case and create a plan to move forward and pursue compensation on your behalf. We are here to provide you with the aggressive representation you deserve and to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Calling our Miami workers’ compensation lawyers means you have an attorney and an entire team behind you. We will help you understand your rights, secure witness statements, handle all related paperwork and pursue the proper legal action against the cruise line or your employer.
We will offer other services during the duration of your case, too, which include the following:
- Let your employer know what happened. You must inform your supervisor or employer of your accident and injury immediately. Tell the cruise ship doctor you were injured while working.
- Take photos. If you can, go back to where your accident occurred and take photos of any dangerous conditions. Do this as quickly as possible since someone may attempt to fix the hazardous conditions to protect themselves during an investigation.
- Begin building your case. You can speak to an attorney to know the true value of your claim. There is no reason to accept a low settlement offer.
If you work on a cruise ship and you experience an injury while on the job, you may have questions. Some of the most common questions we are asked are answered here.
Can you sue the cruise line if you are injured while working?
You have the legal right to sue a cruise line for an injury or illness sustained while on the ship. The cruise line may be liable for injuries resulting from dangerous conditions, assault, or negligence.
Do you need to hire an attorney if you are hurt while working on a cruise ship?
The law does not require you to hire an attorney to represent your interests; however, this is a smart move. Cruise ship injuries involve maritime law, which is more complex than traditional cases. Our attorneys understand maritime law and your rights as an injured worker. We will ensure they are fully protected.
Let Our Legal Team Help with Your Cruise Ship Injury Case
You have rights if you are injured while working on a cruise ship. At Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., we can help you file a claim against the liable party to recover workers’ compensation benefits or other damages related to your case.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation.