Most cruise ship companies go to great lengths to minimise the risks of injury and illness before they set sail, as they should. They have professional teams that conduct risk analyses and put systems in place to ensure that all passengers have a safe and pleasurable holiday aboard their cruise ships. However, despite all of these safely measures, things can and do go wrong. A passenger may slip and fall on a liquid spill, suffer from a food-related illness, or get injured by a malfunctioning device.
If you fall ill or get injured while you are on a cruise ship because of negligence, you may be able to file a cruise ship compensation claim if you can prove that the accident or illness was due to the carrier’s fault.
Can I Make A Cruise Ship Compensation Claim?
Unlike most other personal injury claims which are governed by UK laws, cruise ship compensation claims are governed by the Athens Convention. This is because, during any one voyage, a cruise ship may pass through the ports and the waters of several different countries. This complicates the whole claims process as determining jurisdiction can get difficult. This is where the Athens Convention comes in.
The Athens Convention applies when the port of departure is in a different country from the place of destination. It also applies if the port of departure is the same as the destination, but there is also a port of call in another country.
According to the Athens Convention, a carrier is liable for loss or damage suffered by a passenger if:
- The incident causing the loss or damage occurred during the course of the carriage.
- The incident causing the loss or damage was due to fault or neglect of the carrier.
One of the many issues that injured cruise passengers face is determining where to file their claim for compensation? If the cruise ship departed from a port in one country and docked at a port in another country, where should the passenger file their claim for compensation? According to the Athens Convention, regardless of the where the ship is registered or which country it departed from, injured cruise ship passengers may file a claim for compensation in the country most favourable to them. In most cases, this would be their country of residence. This means, if you are a UK citizen, you can file your cruise ship compensation claim in the UK.
What To Do If You’re Injured On A Cruise Ship
- Get medical attention – This should be your first priority if you’re injured on a cruise ship. It is a mandatory requirement for all cruise ships to have qualified medical professionals and facilities that are equipped to handle some of the more common illnesses and injuries. Don’t forget to get the names of the doctors who treated you and ask for a copy of their diagnosis and prescription before you leave the ship. Do the same if you were treated at an overseas hospital.
- Gather whatever evidence you can – Photographs that show the cause of the accident can lend weight to your cruise ship compensation claim and increase your chances of being awarded compensation. Get photographs of your injuries too. Did anyone happen to get a video of what happened? Ask around and get a copy of the video or any CCTV footage to support your claim.
- Get the contact details of any passengers who witnessed the accident – With lots of other cruise passengers aboard, another passenger may have witnessed the accident. If so ask for their names and contact details so your personal injury solicitor can get in touch with them to get supporting evidence if necessary.
- 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 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.
- Get in touch with a personal injury solicitor – Winning a cruise ship compensation claim is never easy. All cruise companies are heavily insured and in case of any claims made against the cruise company, they will look to contest it or payout as little as possible. Having an experienced personal injury solicitor to represent you is your best chance of winning your claim and getting maximum compensation.
Making A Cruise Ship Compensation Claim
If you are looking to make a cruise ship compensation claim you should contact a personal injury solicitor to discuss what has happened. Taking advantage of a free consultation allows you to do this and generally doesn’t take too long to determine whether or not your claim is likely to be successful. Personal injury solicitors that have dealt with cruise ship compensation claims before should know exactly how to put together a strong claim that will increase your chances of winning the maximum compensation due to you.
In addition to benefiting from a personal injury solicitor’s knowledge and experience, you can also benefit from a No Win No Fee agreement.This agreement essentially absolves you from bearing any legal costs during the entire process. You are only liable to pay if your claim is successful. The amount that you will have to pay is usually a percentage of the compensation awarded to you. This ensures that you are never out of pocket at any time. However, you should always double check with your solicitor exactly what you will be expected to pay as agreements may differ.
If you have been injured on a cruise ship holiday and would like to know more about making a cruise ship compensation claim contact us today to speak with a solicitor for free expert advice.