Cruise Ships Passenger Accidents Attorney

About Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents

A large cruise ship is like a floating town, complete with apartments, restaurants, recreational and day-care facilities, and thousands of residents. And like a town, the typical weeks-long cruise witnesses its share of accidents, food poisoning, infectious diseases, and even crimes.

Although cruise ships strive to keep their passengers safe, serious accidents and illness can befall anyone on the open sea, including:

  • Being hit by unexpectedly swinging doors;
  • Slipping on wet decks, or other slippery surfaces;
  • Tripping on stairs with worn or uneven treads;
  • Escalator and elevator injuries;
  • Falling out of bed if the ship suddenly lists;
  • Swimming pool, hot tub, jacuzzi, and sauna accidents;
  • Falling overboard and drowning;
  • Illness or disease from being exposed to toxic chemicals;
  • Serious bacterial infections;
  • Food poisoning;
  • Failure to receive proper medical attention;
  • Burns or smoke inhalation from ship fires;
  • Burns from explosions, or chemical burns;
  • Vehicle accidents while on shore excursions.

Lately, there have been numerous instances of widespread food poisoning during cruises—for which the ship’s owner can be held accountable—as well as infectious diseases, which can also merit damages if it can be shown that the ship’s sanitation was below par. Recklessness on the part of the ship’s crew can also be grounds for collecting damages.

Mainland Tort Law vs. Jones Act

Passengers who are injured on cruise ships can rely on mainland tort law to collect damages from the cruise ship company. That’s not the case with a ship’s employees and crew, who are covered separately under the Jones Act (legislation, passed in 1920, that entitles maritime workers to a certain amount of compensation for injuries and accidents.)

One factor that complicates cruise ship liability cases is that the ship’s operator will often attempt to obfuscate the issue by citing international, rather than U.S., law, especially as pertains to the statute of limitations for filing claims (depending on who you talk to, this can be anywhere from six months to three years.)

Cruise Ship Passenger Accident and Wrongful Death Attorneys

Free Consultation – Serving Hawaii and California

If you don’t have an experienced lawyer by your side, the cruise ship company may attempt to settle claims under another country’s laws, either because the ship happened to be in a foreign port at the time or because it was registered to that country of origin. Attorney Preston Easley has more than twenty five years of maritime law experience you can rely on to get you the best possible outcome for your case.

At the appellate level, he has been a pioneer in expanding the rights of injured workers, frequently reversing lower court decisions and making new law. [Published Decisions]

Attorney Easley practices primarily in California and Hawaii. His clients include longshoremen, shipyard workers, tugboat crewmen, dredge crewmen, pile drivers, marine construction workers, merchant seaman and tour boat/recreational boat crews and passengers. His background in the Navy, and hands-on experience working in the maritime industry gives him a unique perspective on maritime accidents. For a free initial consultation, call or email our law firm today.