For many, cruise ship accidents don’t just occur on the actual ship. In fact, many injuries happen after passengers leave the cruise ship. Passengers have the option to book shore excursion activities. These range from snorkeling, parasailing, hiking and more. The activities may be different, but all passengers have the same false idea that these activities are safe.
About Cruise Excursions
A cruise line sells shore excursions to passengers, and they make a large commission. However, when it comes to liability, the cruise lines try to avoid any responsibility. They say that these excursions happen through independent contractors, but it is the cruise line’s responsibility to select competent independent contractors. However, no one supervises them. If no one trains the contractor properly, passengers could be injured. The law says that the cruise line has a duty to warn passengers of the various dangers possible on shore.
Cruise Ship Excursion Accidents
Cruise ships pretend that excursions are absolutely safe. However, countless reports of injuries sustained on them keep flooding the news.
In December 2017, a bus accident killed 12 cruise passengers, including U.S. citizens, when the bus flipped over on a highway during an excursion to Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico.
In January 2016, a tour bus collided with a truck in Falmouth, Jamaica. The accident killed a passenger of Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. It also injured more than a dozen others on a cruise line-offered excursion. A lawsuit filed against Royal Caribbean alleged the bus driver was driving erratically, speeding and frequently changing lanes.
Then, in November 2016, a bus carrying 10 passengers from the Carnival-owned P&O Azura crashed in Dominica, killing a British passenger and injuring nine others.
Other accidents have occurred not involving passengers on a bus. A sightseeing plane crashed and killed the pilot and eight passengers of Holland America’s MS Westerdam during a cruise to Alaska. The Seattle Times reported that the National Transportation Safety Board determined the sightseeing company had created a culture in which pilots felt compelled to risk flying in low-visibility conditions.
Cruise Lines Are Liable for Shore Excursion Injuries
Cruise lines have a responsibility to warn their passengers about any known dangers in a port. If the cruise line fails to provide a warning and personal injuries occur, you may be able to hold the cruise line accountable for damages. Most of the time, they will attempt to blame you, the victim. Cruise line officials will try to claim that the waiver of liability you signed or the excursion ticket releases them from liability. They may also claim that the contractor in charge of the shore excursion works independently from the cruise line. They will argue that the contractor, therefore, does not have legal ties with the company.
However, they have an obligation to warn cruise ship passengers of known dangers. Often, an excursion ticket or contract contains clauses saying the cruise line isn’t liable. Yet, they can be held liable under certain circumstances. Courts, generally do not like to enforce such clauses and an experienced complex litigation attorney can stand up for your rights to explain to a court why a particular clause is unenforceable. This paves the way to success in your lawsuit. Therefore, your lawsuit may include the excursion company and the cruise line for neglect.
Don’t Wait to Get Help After an Injury
If you, your child, or your relative suffered a cruise ship related injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once you disembark, your next step should be to get experienced legal help from a knowledgeable attorney.
At Michael Brady Lynch, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured people get justice and full compensation for injuries caused negligence. Many cruise lines require passengers to file civil lawsuits within a short time after suffering an injury, and there are important legal deadlines that injured people cannot miss. Contact The Michael Brady Lynch today, and our attorneys will review your case for free and help you protect your rights. For your complimentary consultation, call our office now.