San Francisco Cruise Ship Accident Injury Attorneys

You wouldn’t expect to get injured while on a cruise ship. In most cases that are the last thought on your mind. However, accidents do happen, and when they occur the cruise ship or cruise line company can be held liable for the damages you have endured. Whether it is the contraction of illness, smoke inhalation injury, sexual assault, or any other damage to your person, if they occur under the care of a cruise ship’s staff you may be entitled to sue the cruise ship or cruise line company responsible. At Normandie Law Firm our skilled San Francisco cruise ship accident lawyers can assist you with building your case and filing a lawsuit against the party responsible. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to contact our San Francisco law offices for a free consultation.

Cruise Ships
Cruise ships are often considered hotels that cross the open seas. Just like hotels, passengers who purchase a ticket for passage, expect to enjoy a safe and pleasant experience. However, when this expected level of safety fails the cruise ship or cruise line company could be held as responsible for any damages that passenger may receive while under their care. Listed below are some of the more popular cruise lines throughout the United States:

  • Azamara Club Cruises
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Costa Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line

These are just a handful of the more common cruise lines that you may find yourself on. Regardless of their popularity, all cruise lines are expected to host a level of safety for all of their passengers. If this standard of safety is disregarded, a passenger has every right to hire a maritime injury or cruise ship injury attorney to file a lawsuit for the injury or trauma that they have suffered.

Food Poisoning
Often referred to as food borne illness, food poisoning occurs quite frequently on cruise lines due to the way they tend to prepare and serve food. Food poisoning is caused by food that is either ill prepared or contaminated in some way. A majority of food borne illnesses go undiagnosed as many of those who fall victim to them fail to seek the appropriate medical attention needed to identify their condition. For this reason, many health care experts believe food borne illnesses are far more widespread than they appear to be. Bulleted below are some of the more common food borne illnesses that a cruise ship passenger can contract.

  • Norovirus: This food borne illness tends to threaten cruise ships, hospitals, and fine dining restaurants most easily. This is because the way food is prepared and served makes these locations most susceptible to its spread. Norovirus is considered highly infectious and is responsible for over half of all the foodborne illness outbreaks each year.
  • E. Coli: This disease is often caused when victims come into contact with the feces of a human or animal. This can occur when food handlers do not properly wash their produce. In more severe cases, E. Coli can cause bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.
  • Salmonella: Roughly 1.5 million cases of Salmonella are diagnosed every year. This illness usually shows up in under cooked eggs, raw milk, and poultry. Salmonella is more likely to occur in the warmer summer months than in winter.
  • Shigella: This bacterial agent is known to cause severe cases of diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Every year, roughly 450,000 cases of Shigella are documented in the U.S and account for 18-25% of all food poisoning cases. Those infected by Shigella usually experience no symptoms at all but can still spread the bacteria to others.

Food poisoning on cruise ships can be incredibly dangerous due to the close quarters that passengers share. Cruise line staff are expected to properly rotate and check food servers as well as adequately prepare the food being served. When these procedures are not followed, it is more than likely that food borne illness will occur. The affected passenger can then hire a food borne illness personal injury attorney to represent them in a cruise ship injury lawsuit, and assist them in seeking compensation for the damages.

Burn Injuries on a Cruise Ship
Burn injuries can be incredibly devastating, and leave victims with residual scars for the rest of their lives. Burn injuries are considered to be damage to the layer of layers of skin of the victim. Burn injuries can range from minor superficial scalding wounds to severe injuries that can be life threatening if left untreated. Burn injuries typically come in four different degrees of severity:

  • First-Degree Burns: Typically the mildest, first-degree burns can be often treated with a bit of cold water and burn cream. They often only involve damage of the first layer of skin and are characterized by a slight reddening of the skin. In some, more severe cases, however, it is wise to seek medical treatment for the burn to heal properly.
  • Second-Degree Burns: Second-Degree burns involve damage to the upper layer of skin, as well as the layer of skin beneath. These type of burns cause the skin to blister and become red and sore. Blisters can pop open, giving the burn a wet and glossy appearance. It is important to keep the area clean and bandaged properly to prevent infection. Most second-degree burns heal within two to three weeks, and in more severe cases may require medical attention.
  • Third-Degree Burns: Often referred to as a full thickness burn, this form of burn destroys the outer and inner layer of skin. Third-degree burns are characterized by a charring and browning of the skin. If you experience a third degree burn medical attention should be sought immediately.
  • Fourth-Degree Burns: Fourth-degree burns damage not just the outer and inner layer of skin but also damage deeper tissues like the muscle, tendons, and even bone. These burns are characterized by a black appearance, and in some cases result in a removal of the affected region of the body. Treatment of this burn varies on the severity and location, but all fourth-degree burns should be followed with intensive and immediate medical care.

While it is more commonly understood that burn injuries can be caused by exposure to an intense heat source, they can also occur due to exposure to harsh chemicals, electrical currents, and even light radiation. Whether the injury was caused by a ship fire, a faulty ship room outlet, or any other potentially burning source, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for the damages that you have endured.

Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can result in minor bumps and bruises or in some cases cause severely damaging injuries that can leave a victim with life long conditions. Slip (or trip) and fall accidents can occur anywhere, but when they occur on a cruise ship due to the neglect or misconduct of the ship’s staff then a lawsuit can be filed for the damages. Listed below are some of the common injuries a victim can suffer from after a slip and fall accident:

  • Head Injuries: Head injuries can range from minor contusions (or brain bruising) to more severe traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. Some TBIs can cause ongoing seizures, mood changes, cognitive impairment and other debilitating symptoms. In most cases, head injuries require emergency room treatment, or hospitalization and in more severe cases can result in death.
  • Hip Fractures: Hip fractures often require surgery and extended hospitalization. In some more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to implant an artificial hip. Out of every five hip fracture patients, one of them dies due to their injuries
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other severe neurological and sensory impairments
  • Shoulder Injuries: slip (trip) and fall accidents can result in shoulder dislocations or more serious forms of shoulder injuries called brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that connect the shoulder, arm, and hand to the spinal cord. These injuries are often treated with surgery followed by extensive physical therapy
  • Sprains and Fractures: The force of slipping and falling can cause minor to severe bone injuries. In some cases, the impact of the ground could cause minor sprains, in others; it could cause debilitating bone breakage that may result in temporary disability. Some of the common fractures that victims suffer include hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.

In some cases, the injuries from slip and fall accidents require extensive hospital care to fully recover. These treatments can be incredibly expensive and leave the victim with a significant financial burden; especially when they have to foot the medical bill themselves. For this reason, it is important to seek out proper legal assistance from a slip and fall cruise ship accident attorney if the injury occurred as a result of the neglect or misconduct of cruise ship staff.

Assault and Battery
Assault and battery of passengers can lead to a significantly damaging lawsuit against the cruise ship line or company. In a majority of cases, assault and battery are often paired with a single offense as when someone commits battery they usually have the intent to cause harm and threaten the person before committing the act. To go into further detail, assault is commonly understood to be the threat of bodily harm that reasonably causes fear of harm in the victim. Battery, on the other hand, is the physical impact on another person meaning the actual practice of violence.

Assault can come in the form of sexual assault as well. Sexual assault can range from inappropriate touching to severe acts of sexual attack like rape. Sexual assault victims are often left emotionally and mentally traumatized, and in most cases are left with physical injuries that may require further medical attention. When sexual assault, or any other form of assault or battery for that matter, occurs on a cruise ship, it is often considered to be a failure of the cruise ship staff or security, and as such either party can be sued for damages.

Other Common Injuries that can Occur on Cruise Ships

  • Falling overboard
  • Drowning
  • Bed Bug Bites
  • Bed Bug Infestations
  • Contagious Diseases
  • Injury from Onboard Fires
  • Medical Malpractice of Cruise Ship medical staff
  • Mechanical Failures
  • Theft of Valuables or identity

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Cruise Ship or Cruise Line Company
Filing a lawsuit against a cruise ship or cruise line company requires that the victim must first be able to prove that the staff acted negligently. Proving negligence can vary depending on the circumstances of the particular case. However, the essential elements of a claim of negligence will always end up being the same. The key elements of proving negligence are bulleted below:

  • Duty: The plaintiff (injured or damaged party) must be able to show that the defendant (cruise ship staff or company) owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances.
  • Breach: The plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant breached that legal duty through a specific action or failing to act.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s actions or lack there of caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • Damages: The plaintiff must show that they endured specific damages. This can usually be demonstrated through the presentation of medical bills, medical records, a loss of wages, or a loss of potential income.

Regardless of the particular circumstances that make up your case, it is important that you hire a cruise ship accident attorney to assist you in filing a lawsuit. Having a skilled attorney on your side can mean the difference between collecting the compensation due to you and having your case dismissed from court.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
If you have been injured in a cruise ship accident, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your damages. Clients who file their claim with our San Francisco native law firm may see some if not all of the following damages compensable:

  • Any Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Wages
  • Loss of potential wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Trauma (such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc…)
  • Punitive Damages

Free Consultation and Zero Fee Guarantee
At Normandie Law Firm our skilled cruise ship accident attorneys are committed to ensuring every one of our clients has the resources to put up a fair fight for their burn injury case. As a show this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Call now for a free consultation by one of our skilled attorneys, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2018Normandie Law Firm