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Cruise Ship Accidents: Falling Overboard

When getting ready to take a cruise vacation, the last thing on your mind is planning for potential accidents. And while accidents do happen on cruise ships, like anywhere else they are more the exception than the rule. Yet, that being said, it is important to understand the potential risks involved when taking a cruise and your legal rights if an accident does occur.

One of the more serious cruise ship accidents is when a passenger falls overboard. To put this in perspective, since 1995, over 200 passengers and crew members have fallen overboard. Granted, sometimes falling overboard is 100% the passenger’s fault, but more often than not the cruise ship is responsible for the passenger falling overboard. When the cruise ship is at fault – because of their negligence – they can be held liable for your injuries. Examples of a cruise ship’s negligence resulting in overboard accidents include:

  • Failure to have sufficient crew monitoring the ship’s deck or surveillance cameras
  • Railings fail to meet industry safety standards for height
  • Passengers are over-served alcohol

The unfortunate truth is that once a passenger goes overboard, they are rarely successfully rescued, which again can be attributed to negligence. In fact, although the cruise ship is required by law to report and investigate all overboard accidents, more often than not they fail to do so.

When an overboard injury occurs on a cruise ship, one must show that the cruise ship was negligent. According to the law, negligence can be proved by showing that:

  • You were a paying customer and thus the ship owner owed you a duty of care
  • The ship owner failed in performing their duty of care
  • Because of this failure, you or a loved one suffered an overboard accident
  • As a result of falling overboard, you were injured

Since 1977, James Cunningham has been helping cruise ship accident victims receive justice and fair compensation for their overboard accident injuries. To ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your cruise ship accident injuries, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

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