Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer

INJURED ON A CRUISE SHIP?
By: Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Alexander Perkins

 

If you are reading this article, you probably had a slip and fall on the Lido Deck (pool deck) of a cruise ship and broke your ankle, leg, arm, shoulder, wrist, elbow or knee. You probably had to cut your cruise vacation short and disembark the ship to undergo emergency surgery at a foreign hospital or get air evacuated by a medical helicopter or airplane flight. Well, if this did in fact happen to you, you are not alone and its not your fault. It has happened to hundreds of cruise ship passengers of the major cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity, MSC, Disney and Princess and continues to happen to this day with very little or no action taken by the cruise lines to prevent it.

The stories are all so similar. An unsuspecting cruise ship passenger enjoying their hard earned vacation is walking normally on the lido deck or stairs near the pools or hot tubs, and the next thing they know they are on the ground with a gruesome injury. Victims of these common slip and falls often say it all happened so fast there was nothing they could have done to prevent themselves from falling. Often the injury is to the ankle, with a tibia or fibula fracture, or a torn knee ligament. This is especially true when there is a fall down the stairs leading from the terraces (serenity decks) to the pool deck. These stairs on the Lido Deck of some of these boats have shown to be the most dangerous fall down areas onboard that I have seen in my many years as a cruise ship injury lawyer. We see broken arms, hands, wrists, shoulders, hips, femurs, ribs, elbows, jaws and teeth. The most common stair injury seems to be the broken ankle.

Slip and falls on the Lido Deck, happen so frequently that Miami cruise ship injury lawyers like myself, have lists of people who have had similar falls over the years. We learn of the other instances of slip and falls from our own cases and also from conducting discovery during litigation. We file and argue motions where the judge may order the cruise lines to disclose the information about other similar slip and falls that are substantially similar, involving the same type of flooring material and general location of the ship or class of ship. We use these other similar instances of slip and falls with injuries to show unto the court and the jury, not only the existence of the dangerous condition but also to show cruise line was on notice of the danger and did nothing to correct it. In order for the cruise ship injury lawyer to hold the cruise line liable under Florida law (which is applied by the Southern District Federal Court in Miami where these cruise ship injury cases must be filed as per the ticket contract), the injured plaintiff must show the cruise line was negligent for not using reasonable care in the operation or maintenance of the ship. The plaintiff must show the cruise line did not act reasonably in failing to correct or warn about the danger it knew or should have known about or created.

Many of the lido deck floors near the pools and hot tubs are made from teak or an artificial floor covering to appear like teak (sometimes Bolidt). If these surfaces are not cleaned and maintained properly, they can often become very slippery, more so than one would expect from a wet surface. The teak wood of the lido deck when wet can be like an ice skating ring. This is why the cruise lines are supposed to have crew members on duty constantly, monitoring and drying with a squeegee. Even more dangerous than the deck itself, are the teak stairs leading from the terrace and hot tubs. One can know they are wet and be holding onto a handrail and still they will slip and fall leading to serious injury. They can see a yellow warning cone or painted sign saying “watch your step” but that won’t stop you from slipping. The lido deck and jacuzzi stairs are a dangerous trap on many cruise ships in part because they become slippery when wet and also because the safety material such as nosing and anti-skid table are broken and worn out. There are also can be issues with riser and tread height disparity that can contribute to a misstep or slip.

The slippery lido deck is a problem that has been known within the cruise ship industry for years. Yet, the problem remarkably persists, leading to permanently injured passengers time and time again. Typically the cruise lines will defend their own negligence by blaming the passenger for the fall, saying they were themselves negligent. They argue things like the passenger was not paying attention, that the wetness or worn out flooring materials were open and obvious dangers, that flip flops or other shoes were to blame, that alcohol, poor vision, or other physical infirmities cause balance issues and they always try to say that hundred of thousands of passengers walk through the ship and there are only a handful of falls reported.

This is why it is important to have an experiences cruise ship injury law firm to handle your slip and fall on the Lido deck case.

If you were injured in a slip and fall on a cruise ship call me for a free and confidential consultation at 305-741-5297 or toll free at 855-741-5297 or email me at [email protected]