Cruise Ship Worker Injury Lawyer
Cruise ship employees, including club singers, chefs, housekeeping, and the ship’s crew, are considered seamen under the law. As such, on-the-job injuries fall under the scope of maritime law – specifically the Jones Act. If you or someone you know suffered an on-the-job injury while employed in any capacity onboard a cruise ship, you have the right to fair compensation from your cruise line employer.
At Brian White & Associates, our Houston cruise ship injury attorneys are familiar with the laws that protect injured cruise line workers. We have a demonstrated knowledge and a history of success in the field of maritime accidents.
Cruise Ship Worker Injuries
While cruise ship passenger injuries often make headlines, cruise line worker injuries may get swept under the rug. Cruise lines rely on positive reputations to inspire consumer confidence and keep their ships running. They often do not admit to negligent actions that result in worker injuries. Like other maritime workers, however, cruise ship employees regularly face on-the-job hazards. Some of the accidents and injuries we see in cruise line worker cases include:
- Slip and fall accidents in improperly maintained areas. These injuries can result in head trauma, fractures, deep lacerations, and other injuries. Some slip and fall accidents may result in permanent damage and chronic pain.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Crews on tightly run ships may routinely walk stairs, lift heavy containers, and engage in repetitive motion activities in maintenance rooms, kitchens, and during housekeeping. These strains, sprains, and tears may require months of rest and recuperation or years of physical therapy.
- Exposure to dangerous substances. Improperly stored food and chemicals can all contribute to job-related illnesses and injuries including food poisoning, chemical burns, and exposure-related health complications.
- Assault. Ship workers may work within a large crew on a regular basis. When these encounters get violent, crew members may suffer serious or life threatening injuries.
In these circumstances, negligence may play a role in the accident an injury. To qualify for benefits under the Jones Act, employees must show an employers’ or colleagues’ negligence or malicious actions to receive benefits including maintenance and cure to cover the costs of the injury and time away from work.
Legal Jurisdiction in Cruise Ship Worker Incidents
Understanding the differences between Jones Act benefits and traditional worker’s compensation represents only one uniqueness in cruise line worker injury claims. Often, our attorneys must determine the jurisdiction for filing an injury claim. Many cruise ships hold registrations in foreign countries, and some stipulate where a claimant must file an injury claim.
Local, federal, and international laws and jurisdictions may all add layers of complexity to when and how the courts handle the claim. Many attorneys understand the basics of maritime laws, but only those who routinely handle these cases can use the law to protect your rights and fight for a fair outcome.
Steps to Take After a Cruise Ship Accident
If you suffer an on-the-job injury on a cruise ship, take the following steps:
- Record the incident. Make a mental or physical note of witnesses, the location, possible hazards, and the time the incident took place. Smartphone recordings and pictures can help you record the scene quickly and easily if you can access one at the time of the incident.
- Report the incident. Make sure a supervisor allows you to file a written accident report including all of the details of your injury and the incident. Keep a copy of the incident report.
- Avoid signing any legally binding document until you speak to an attorney. Some cruise lines may try to get workers to sign a liability waiver to avoid paying fair benefits. Allow a maritime attorney to review all documents to protect your recovery rights.
On-the-job cruise ship accidents leave many injured workers feeling confused about their rights and prospects for recovery. To learn more about maritime law, the Jones Act, and your claim, contact Brian White & Associates in Houston for a free consultation.