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What injuries can occur on a cruise ship?

Cruise ships are a popular method of travel for those in Louisiana who seek a vacation on the water. The majority of these getaways occur without incident. However, there are certain instances in which travelers may become ill or injured as a result of actions of the ship operator or staff. Many people may wonder what types of injuries can occur on a cruise ship, and what law governs any ensuing claims?

Any legal actions brought by those injured on a cruise ship are subject to the contractual agreement found on the back of the passenger's ticket, federal laws and maritime law. Maritime law governs events that occur on navigable waters such as oceans and seas, but can also be applied to lakes and rivers. The types of incidents occurring on a cruise ship that may give rise to a legal claim include slip and fall accidents that can result from pools located on board, slippery decks or any restaurants that may be located on the ship.

Food poisoning can occur on a cruise ship and be more impactful than it would be in other locations. This is because of the tight quarters for passengers and inability to go anywhere else while on the ship. Sexual assaults can also occur on cruise ships, and ship operators may be held liable if an employee perpetrated the act. Finally, missing persons and wrongful death claims may arise while on a cruise ship. Any passenger disappearances must be reported so that search and rescue efforts can be commenced. Passengers may fall overboard, accidentally drown or be attacked by another passenger.

Due to the numerous acts that may give rise to a legal claim, cruise ships may be viewed as a mildly dangerous form of travel while on vacation. Keep in mind that the above information is for informational purposes only. Since these claims are subject to maritime law, it is important for those injured to have their claim assesses by an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Cruise Ship Injury Claims," accessed Feb. 1, 2015

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