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Cruise ship excursions are meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing experience, however when an unexpected accident occurs on a cruise ship, the consequences can be devastating. Some of the most dangerous accidents that can occur regarding cruise ships are dock accidents. If the cruise ship is not properly secured while at port, any sudden and unexpected movement can cause passengers to sustain serious injuries. The dock accident attorneys at Louis A. Vucci, P.A., make injury victims a priority, using our legal experience to help them fight for the justice that they deserve.
In addition to serious physical injuries and the related medical expenses, people involved in dock accidents could face an array of emotional difficulties in the aftermath of the incident. Those who have been injured in dock accidents may not know how to go about seeking compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. As such, our lawyers want to guide you through the process to see that your legal needs are met and your rights are protected.
Injuries Caused by Dock Accidents
When dock accidents occur, people can experience serious physical and emotional trauma. Some potential physical injuries related to such accidents can include:
Spinal cord injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these injuries as a result of a dock accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the liable cruise ship company. To learn more about your legal options, do not hesitate to get in touch with an attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions
Determining liability with cruise-related injuries is difficult enough before you stop to consider accidents that occur when the ship is docked and you may not even be on the boat. If you are in this unique position, figuring out just who you should hold responsible is a nearly impossible task to take on alone. The attorneys with Louis A. Vucci, P.A. have taken several of their more frequently asked questions to give you some peace of mind during this time.
Is the cruise ship responsible for my injuries if I was not actually on the ship at the time of the accident, but was on or near the cruise liner property?
Often, cruise lines are involved with some of the shore activities that are arranged at certain times when ships are docked at a port. If the cruise ship was overseeing, for example, a shopping area that was arranged and set up at a port, it is very likely that they are responsible, especially if the area had any level of disrepair. It is best to check with an attorney to discuss the details as to whether the cruise line was in charge of operating any property on shore or during an excursion at the port city and, therefore, may be liable for your injury.
I was pushed from a dock by another passenger on the cruise. Is this injury solely the responsibility of the other passenger, or could I hold the cruise liner liable as well?
A cruise line can be liable for many passenger injuries that occur at the hands of other passengers. A couple of these ways can include overcrowding certain parts of the ship—such as a lack of organization while leaving the ship—leading to pushing and shoving, or assault from another passenger or crew member—such as being actively pushed off the dock—wherein the ship’s lack of security led to your injury. Of course, in any case you were injured, you should speak to an attorney to find out where the responsibility lies. Finding this liability is one of the most difficult parts of an injury case, and an experienced attorney can help to streamline the process.
While I was on an on-shore excursion, I was asked to sign a waiver/release form, and I complied, as I don’t have any medical issues or injuries. During the excursion, I was injured by faulty gear given to me by the excursion director. Does the waiver mean I can’t sue?
If the cruise line actively sponsors or provided the excursion equipment, then it was absolutely their responsibility to ensure that the staff was trained to help you use it and the equipment itself was in top shape. You should request a copy of the waiver or bring the one you have to a consultation with a Louis A. Vucci, P.A. attorney so we can discuss your options with you. Depending on the wording of the waiver, you may or may not be able to press charges against the cruise liner. If the cruise liner cannot be held responsible, then the manufacturer of the equipment or the excursion staff may be.
During an excursion, a cruiseliner-sponsored bus carrying myself and other passengers crashed, injuring me. Who is responsible for this accident?
A cruise line or tour operator can be held liable for engaging in misleading advertising or making misrepresentations to the public if they claimed their drivers were well-trained and this ended up not being the case. It is extremely important to seek legal advice, as the cruise line may be liable for misleading passengers regarding their safety. An attorney can assist in determining whether the cruise liner, the excursion company, or even the bus driver themself can be held liable for the crash. However, the cruise line typically has some liability for the safety of passengers with any excursion company that works directly with the cruise line.
Cruise Line Dock Accidents
Cruise ship docking accidents happen more often than you would expect. Although some accidents are caused by unforeseen circumstances, some are the result of negligence on the part of the cruise ships that overlook safety procedures or fail to train workers properly. Docks and piers usually have their own safety issues due to the wide array of activities that take place around them, yet cruise ships have the responsibility to be sure that passengers are safe when ships are embarking and disembarking from dock, or when they are fully docked. Also, the risk of slips, trips, and falls is evident when passengers are getting off cruise ships after docking at ports. In addition, the risk of collisions between other vessels and piers is also possible when cruise ships are docking at their next port.
Some Unfortunate Accidents:
In October 2017, the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Glory docked at Port Miami. An 8-year-old passenger fell several floors, sustaining fatal injuries, while the ship was docked. This incident raised safety concerns for potential travelers with children.
In January 2017, a passenger stated that she was injured on a cruise ship in February 2016 because of a ramp. The passenger stated that she sustained physical injuries, including a right shoulder dislocation and a knee injury, after tripping on a ramp. The passenger believed Celebrity Cruises Inc. to be negligent because the cruise line allowed the ramp to exist in an unsafe and hazardous condition.
In September 2017, the cruise ship Disney Dream failed to maneuver properly into a dock, leading to significant hull damage. There were no injuries, but this kind of accident is likely to lead to injuries in many cases.
In December 2016, a Carnival Cruise Lines passenger injured himself when he fell into a hole at port, tearing his MCL among other injuries. He claimed that the cruise ship company was responsible for reporting this hole and in not doing that, he obtained his injuries.
In June 2016, the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship crashed into the Ketchikan Dock in Alaska. Some news reports stated that there was damage to the hull of the Infinity, including a hole in the ship above its waterline. There were no reported injuries, but this is the type of incident that could cause many injuries.
In April 2016, a whale-watching adventure cruise ship careened out of control and forced tourists on the promenade at a San Diego pier to run for cover. The ship slammed into the concrete seawall. Seven people were injured in the crash, but there were no reports of life-threatening injuries.
These are just a few examples of the types of injuries and fatalities that relate to cruise ship dock passenger safety. It is recommended that passengers be proactive in familiarizing themselves with the ship’s safety procedures, including how to wear life jackets or how to get to designated emergency locations. Passengers need to report any injuries that happen on cruise ship excursions immediately.
Consult a Dock Accident Attorney
Oftentimes, dock accident injuries occur when cruise ship companies do not take the proper precautions to secure the vessel. When accidents occur because of a cruise line’s negligence, the company in question should be held accountable. At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., our lawyers want to put their years of experience to work helping victims secure the compensation that they need. Call (786) 375-0344 today to speak with a dock accident lawyer who wants to protect your interests.
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Types of Claims
There are many things for which a passenger may make a claim, some of which include: