A holiday on a cruise ship should be relaxing, exciting, and safe, and for most guests, that is the case. However, accidents on cruise ships can and do happen and can lead to serious injuries that not only ruin the enjoyment of your trip but may lead to suffering for many weeks, months, or even years after you disembark. If you’re injured or made ill on a cruise ship following an accident or incident that was not your fault, you could be awarded compensation for your suffering.
In this guide on cruise ship compensation claims, we’ll explain how to start a claim, how much compensation you might be eligible to claim, and how long you’ll have to make a claim.
Our specially trained advisors can help if you do decide to take action. They’ll begin by reviewing your case during a no-obligation telephone consultation. You’ll also be offered free advice about your next steps. If a cruise ship injury claim appears viable, we’ll pass it to a personal injury solicitor from our team. You won’t have to pay your solicitor upfront as all accepted claims are managed on a No Win No Fee basis. As a result, your solicitor will only be paid if you receive a compensation payout.
To find out more about how cruise ship compensation claims work, please read on. Alternatively, if you’re ready to begin a claim right away, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Cruise Ship Injury Claim?
- Examples Of Negligence On A Cruise Ship Causing Injuries Or Illness
- Common Injuries & Illnesses Suffered By Cruise Ship Passengers & Crew
- How Much Compensation For Being Injured On A Cruise Ship Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Cruise Ship Compensation Claim
- Cruise Ship Compensation Claim Time Limits
- Starting The Cruise Ship Injury Claims Process
The main criteria for claiming compensation for an accident or illness on a cruise ship are that:
- The operator of the cruise ship (or its crew) breached its duty of care toward your safety; and
- As a result, an incident or accident on the cruise ship occurred; and
- You were made ill or sustained injuries during the accident.
In a normal personal injury claim, UK laws would govern how your claim is processed. However, as cruise ships pass through international waters, UK legislation does not apply. Instead, the Athens Convention applies. This is an agreement between many nations to make cruise ship compensation claims easier regardless of where they occurred in the world. So long as your cruise ship docked in any other country as part of your tour, the Athens Convention will apply. If you are in any doubt about whether you could be compensated after being injured on a cruise ship, please call our team to check for free.
We mentioned in the previous section that a cruise ship operator has a duty of care towards its passengers and crew. They need to take reasonable steps to keep you as safe as possible. This can include carrying out risk assessments regularly and making changes if any risks or dangers are identified. Failure to uphold their duty of care could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation if the failure leads to an accident on a cruise ship in which you’re injured.
Some examples of negligence on cruise ships that could lead to a personal injury claim include:
- If you suffered a head injury when equipment fell on you because it has not been stowed securely.
- Where you suffered food poisoning because of poor hygiene practices aboard the ship.
- If you trip on a damaged or uneven floor and hurt yourself during the fall.
- If you are injured in your cabin because of faulty, damaged or poorly maintained furniture or equipment.
- Where you’re injured due to poor supervision or instruction while participating in sporting activities aboard the cruise ship.
- Where you fell down some stairs because of a loose or missing handrail.
- If you are burned or scalded in the ship’s restaurant because a member of staff spilt your food or drink over you.
The Athens Convention allows you to claim for any injury or loss that happened while you were on the cruise ship. Some examples of injuries and illnesses on a cruise ship that could result in personal injury claims either by passengers or crew include:
If you believe you have been injured on a cruise ship or suffered an illness through no fault of your own, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 to see if you could be compensated.
Determining how much compensation you should claim for a cruise ship injury or illness is important as it’s designed to help get you back on your feet after your accident. It should be used to cover any pain you’ve endured (general damages) and any costs or losses incurred as a result of your accident (special damages).
If your claim’s taken on by a personal injury solicitor from our team, they’ll review your claim in detail with you so that your suffering is fully understood. No two claims are exactly the same but, generally, a cruise ship compensation settlement could be based on:
- Physical pain and suffering caused at the time as well as any ongoing symptoms.
- Mental harm caused by the incident such as distress, depression or anxiety.
- Care costs if you needed a friend, relative or carer to support you whilst injured.
- Lost income where your injuries prevented you from working.
- Medical costs including private treatment in some instances.
- Travel expenses relating to your injuries.
- Loss of amenity – including any loss of enjoyment of your holiday, social life, or hobbies caused by your injuries or illness.
- Changes in your home or vehicle to help you cope with any continuing disabilities.
- Future loss of earnings if your ability to earn is reduced by your injuries.
To find out what you could include in your claim, please speak to one of our specially trained advisors today.
We’ve added a compensation calculator in this section to give you some potential compensation ranges for several different injuries that could be sustained on a cruise ship.
As part of most personal injury claims, a medical assessment is typically needed to help prove how serious your injuries from the cruise ship accident are. An independent medical expert will examine you and talk to you about how you’ve been impacted by your injuries. Once finished, a report will be prepared to offer a prognosis and list each of your injuries.
There are several steps that can be taken after a cruise ship accident that may help as evidence if you decide to claim compensation. These include:
- Reporting the accident to staff on the ship. Your copy of the accident report form might be a good way to prove that the accident took place and the date it happened.
- Asking anybody else who saw the accident for their contact details. Witness statements might be needed if liability for your accident is not accepted by the ship’s operator.
- Seeking medical treatment for your injuries. Whether you’re treated by an onboard doctor or at a hospital when you return, your medical records can help you to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Take photographs of the accident scene as soon as possible. If you can, try to take pictures before the cause of the accident is removed.
- Ask for a copy of any camera footage if the area was covered by CCTV cameras. This should be done quite quickly because data is often not kept for too long.
- Document all your accident-related expenses and losses. This might include any hospital bills, cost of diagnoses, treatments and prescription medication, cost of physiotherapy and long-term rehabilitation, cost of travelling to the hospital, loss of earnings if you’re unable to work, loss of perks and bonuses, and cost of making structural changes to your home or car to accommodate your injuries.
As part of your free initial consultation, we’re happy to look through any evidence you’ve obtained so please if you can, have it to hand when you call.
Unlike normal personal injury claims, cruise ship injury claims based on the Athens Convention have a 2-year time limit rather than the usual 3-years. Importantly, the time limit will begin from the date of disembarkation rather than the date you were injured.
To allow your solicitor enough time to arrange for medical reports and to collect supporting evidence, we’d suggest that you begin the claims process sooner rather than later.
It’s not possible to say how long cruise ship injury claims take because each case is unique. However, if the ship’s operator accepts the blame for your accident and injuries, you could be compensated within 6-months or so. Where they accept liability for your accident but need more evidence about the impact of your injuries, your claim might take more than a year. In these cases, your solicitor may be able to request an interim payment to cover costs associated with your injuries before the claim is finalised.
We are here to help if you have now decided to claim damages after being injured or made ill on a cruise ship. To find out more about your options, please call our team on 0800 6524 881. Your claim will be thoroughly assessed and if it’s viable, we could refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our team.
For more information about the cruise ship injury claims process, please call or use our live chat service to contact us.