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Cruise ship companies market themselves as a cost-effective way for cash-strapped travelers to get away for a week or two at a time and experience exotic locations for perhaps a fraction of what a traditional vacation would cost them. But recent news stories have illustrated the dangers that cruise ship passengers may face:

  • Death or near-drowning if a cruise ship capsizes;
  • Illness due to food contamination or unsanitary conditions;
  • Slips and falls or trips and falls on slippery or crowded decks and walkways.
  • Medical malpractice caused by negligent medical care received on board.

Cruise ship companies aggressively fight back against passengers who file claims for compensation due to injuries received while on board. If they are unable to reach a quick settlement with an injured passenger (often by offering some monetary compensation to the passenger for some of the medical expenses he or she incurred and offering free tickets for another cruise), cruise ship companies will attempt to minimize their legal exposure by arguing they took reasonable preventative measures to prevent your injuries and/or that you contributed to your injury accident. In these situations, the assistance of an experienced cruise ship accident attorney can be essential to obtaining full and fair compensation.

When is a Cruise Ship Company Liable to Its Passengers?

 A cruise ship owes it passengers certain obligations. When you buy a cruise ship ticket and agree to travel with the cruise ship company, the cruise ship company agrees to provide you with:

  • Clean accommodations and linens for your room;
  • Clean and unadulterated food and drinking water;
  • Safe and sanitized waste removal systems, so as to not contaminate your room or public parts of the ship;
  • Reasonably clean and safe walkways to board, disembark, and move around the ship;
  • Access to quality medical care in the event you become sick or injured while on board, including a reasonable ability to leave the ship and be transported to a land-based medical center if you require advanced treatment.

A cruise ship company who fails to provide any of these items to its passengers may be held responsible for the resulting medical expenses and losses experienced by injured passengers. A court will examine what the cruise company did do to safeguard you and other passengers from illness and injury and whether the cause of your illness or injury was within the cruise ship company’s ability to control. If so, the cruise ship must only take reasonable measures to protect your health and safety – the law does not require them to guarantee your safety and health under all conditions.


For example, a cruise ship company that hires an appropriate number of deckhands to patrol the ship’s walkways and clean debris and spills is likely acting reasonably; in this case it may be difficult to recover compensation for a slip and fall injury you sustain. On the other hand, a cruise ship that is understaffed and that does not devote enough employees to cleaning the walkways may be found to be acting negligently and thus be responsible for your slip and fall injury.

Contact a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer for Help

Cruise ship companies pay a significant amount of money to retain experienced legal counsel, so when you are injured on a cruise ship you too should retain experienced and aggressive legal representation. At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys have represented clients injured on cruise ships and have worked to obtain compensation for them for their injuries. We will evaluate your case and the circumstances surrounding your injuries; if the cruise ship company contributed or caused your accident, we will fight to hold them accountable for the damage you suffered. Contact us and schedule a case consultation by calling (800) 863-5312 today.