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Common Cruise Ship Injuries

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Cruise ships in Port of MiamiA cruise can be a great vacation trip full of fun for the whole family. As with any activity, however, there is a risk for harm. While some people might think that an iceberg is the biggest thing they might have to worry about on a cruise, there are other dangers that are more subtle that can cause injury to a person. Generally, these injuries are caused by the negligence of the ship’s employees and can be drawn back to some failure of the ship’s staff. Below are some common cruise ship injuries.

Contagious Diseases

While cruises are known for their world-traveling excursions, there is another side that passengers experience. Even the most spacious of ships can make it hard to avoid people on a cruise, and such enclosed living conditions can be a breeding ground for the transmission of viruses, such as the flu or norovirus. Regardless of how clean or hygienic the staff keeps a ship, all it takes is one sick passenger to spread a contagious disease.

Food Poisoning

Just as cruises are known for travel, they are also generally known for their plentiful food options. While the food may be good, getting food poisoning from a meal can put a serious damper on an otherwise pleasant vacation. It only takes a little negligence during the food preparation process to produce a disastrous effect.

Broken Bones

It is fairly accepted that there are some travels that contain unexpected events. From boarding accidents to injuries sustained by falling objects, there are several ways for an individual to be physically injured while on a cruise. In fact, due to the unsteady nature of a boat, it is not uncommon for passengers to incur injuries during a slip, trip, or fall. Some of the more serious injuries can even result in injuries such as fractured or even broken bones.

Concussions and Head Injuries

Just as with broken bones, passengers to a cruise ship may be at risk for concussions or head injuries. While there are safety measures that take place on a boat, there are also several other ways for a person to be injured. A passenger can incur a head injury anywhere from within their own quarters to the open deck of a ship. Even shore excursions can lead to unstable footing, which can cause head injuries.

Physical Assault and Battery

Few, if any cruises operate with only one person at a time. In addition, unless a passenger holes himself up in a confined area for the entire cruise, encountering others is inevitability, whether they are staff or passenger. There are times when a party might be attacked by either other passengers or staff members. Such actions by other persons can be caused by a number of factors, including inebriation and stress caused from either the enclosed quarters or because of employment purposes. In addition, due to the complex and varied crime-reporting rules that affect cruise ships, reporting a crime of assault or battery can be especially difficult.

Falling Overboard

Naturally, as with any sea-faring endeavor, passengers run the risk of encountering danger not just on the ship, but outside of the ship as well. Falling overboard can be one of the more frightening accidents a passenger can encounter while on a cruise, and can cause a myriad of other injuries, ranging from fractured bones to death. While cruise ships are generally fairly steady, passengers may fall overboard due to a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Passenger or staff carelessness
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Slick or unsafe deck conditions
  • Navigational changes

Injuries from Onboard Fires

While most people think of water when they think of cruises, it is not unheard of for a fire to break out on a cruise ship, especially on the larger ships. Unfortunately, passengers may also be injured by fires caused by cooking accidents, faulty wiring, or even other passengers.

Sexual Assault

While a cruise is supposed to be a relaxing, restful time, there are situations that can create more stress for passengers. Sexual assault or harassment is just one example of such an injury. In fact, in order to prevent such activity from occurring on a cruise, cruise liners are required to adhere to a set of rules that can help provide a safer environment for its passengers. Such rules include:

  • Monitoring crew activities, along with the activities of others onboard the ship
  • Installing security cameras in public areas
  • Running background checks on applicants
  • Employing an adequate number of security personnel
  • Providing lighting for public areas

Medical Malpractice

Finally, if a person does become injured or infirmed over the course of the cruise, they may likely have to see an onboard physician. Most cruises will typically have at least one onboard physician in order to help treat the sudden injuries or sicknesses that a patient may incur while on the cruise. Unfortunately, as with any other doctor, there is a risk for medical malpractice, in which a doctor misdiagnoses a malady, or causes some other kind of harm due to negligence.

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