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How Much Can I Claim If I Am Involved In A Cruise Ship Accident Injury?

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated 15th June 2022. Cruise ship accident claims are a suitable course of action if you have suffered an injury or loss due to the default of a third party. A cruise ship holiday should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but only for the correct reasons. Accidents at sea are not uncommon, from slips and trips to severe incidents such as the Costa Concordia disaster, and if you find yourself injured in a cruise ship accident you may be entitled to compensation.

Passengers of cruise ships and liners are protected against such accidents by regulations laid out in the Athens Convention, which is designed to ensure the safety of anybody attempting to enjoy a memorable and relaxing holiday. If you have suffered the consequences of an accident on a cruise ship for which somebody else was at fault, contact us.

Cruise ship accident compensation and injury settlements are among the many services that our experienced solicitors can offer, and we will always offer free consultations. With our many years of expertise and experience, we can ensure that you will receive the appropriate advice pertaining to your personal injury claim, and the restitution that you are entitled to.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch today:

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A Guide to Cruise Ship Accident Claims

cruise ship accident claims

Cruise ship accident claims

Part of our service is to look into any kind of cruise ship accident claim that you may be entitled to make following your personal injury or fatality of a friend or loved while at sea, including complimentary consultations that often lead to us representing your case on a no-win-no-fee basis. Should you approach us regarding a matter such as this, we can advise on what steps you should take.

Whilst every accident claim is unique and we will not be able to provide a definitive answer as to what compensation figure you can expect to receive, we strongly recommend calling us for provisional phone consultation if you have been injured on a cruise ship.

For more information about the cruise ship accident claims process, please read on to the rest of this guide.

What happens if you get hurt on a cruise ship?

If you become ill or injured on a cruise ship, you will be able to visit the medical facilities onboard for treatment if needed. If you’re unfit to continue travelling because your condition poses a risk to yourself and others, you will be disembarked and taken to a hospital for treatment.

What To Do If You Are Involved In A Cruise Ship Accident

It is pivotal that any kind of accident or personal injury is reported and recorded immediately, including incidents that occur at sea – or even while climbing aboard or disembarking a liner.

Imagine that you were involved in a cruise ship accident today. How would you react? There are a few steps you could take to give any future cruise ship accident claims you make the best chances of success.

Firstly, you should check if anybody else witnessed the incident, whether they were travelling companions or strangers. If so, confirm with these individuals that they agree the mishap was not your fault, and that they are prepared to make a statement to this effect.

Does the cruise ship in question have CCTV that was active in the area? If so, request a copy of the footage.

If you were the victim of a slip or trip that caused personal injury, especially if was due to circumstances that you could not avoid, note the location of the incident and take photographs of everything around you (including the consequences of your injury) using your camera, or even a smartphone. Be sure to report the accident to all relevant authority figures as soon as possible, too. This includes the senior staff of the cruise ship in question and if necessary make a call to the head office of the provider or even any legal authorities such as the police or medical services where appropriate.

You could also be eligible for compensation if you fall ill during a cruise with a condition such as food poisoning. As above, be sure to register and log every element of your condition as soon as the symptoms begin to manifest.

If you’d like to know more about how cruise ship accident claims can be made, our next section will be of use to you.

How to Begin a Cruise Ship Accident Injury Claim

As soon as you are able, make contact with us to begin the process of acting as your cruise ship injury lawyer. Part of our offering is providing free medical from a local medical centre, which is another reason why it is in your best interests to contact us as soon as you are able. We will speak with you over the telephone, or in-person if at all applicable, and ensure that we are in full possession of all the facts, our legal experts will discuss whether we are prepared to take on the case. In the majority of occasions, we will do so, and as previously intimated, this will be on a no-win-no-fee basis.

The sooner you contact us the greater your chances of success will be. Record everything connected to your injury or illness, and get in touch with us to discuss cruise ship accident claims and getting compensation for your injuries.

How long do I have to make cruise ship accident claims?

If you’re thinking about making a claim for a cruise ship accident, it’s important that you’re familiar with the time limits that could affect your eligibility for compensation.

In accordance with the Athens Convention, you will need to begin legal proceedings within 2 years of disembarking the ship. If your claim is related to seeking compensation for a cruise missing its port of call, this is also the case. Therefore, the earlier you make legal proceedings, the better chance you have of being within the relevant time limit for your case.

If you’re unsure of where your case’s time limit is up to, please get in touch for a free consultation with one of our specialist advisors. They’ll ask you a few questions about the incident you wish to claim for and give you an idea of whether you could be entitled to compensation for it. What’s more, they can even connect you to our panel of personal injury lawyers to handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

I Work on a Cruise Ship – Can I Claim After an Accident?

Of course, and most of the same advice as above applies in this case – record and report everything. However, you will be advised to pursue your claim against an Accident at Work format as opposed to dealing with a cruise ship lawyer, especially if you were abroad at the time, as the legalities surrounding these circumstances could differ from those that apply to passengers.

Rest assured, however, any solicitor will take these incidents extremely seriously. Whether your injury was the result of a slip or fall on a small ship or something as severe as the docking accident that afflicted the world’s largest luxury liner, Harmony of the Seas, and saw a crewman killed, you will be treated with the utmost respect and importance by our team of legal professionals.

To discuss your cruise ship accident claims with our team of specialists, please get in touch today.

What are the Most Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries?

The most common cruise ship injuries and accidents reported in 2016 related to fractures and breaks caused by trips and falls, or sickness outbreaks such as food poisoning or contagious viral infections such as the Norovirus or Gastric Influenza.

Outside of physical ailments caused by accidents and injuries, any of the following could be considered an incident relating to a cruise ship. In turn, they may enable you to make cruise ship accident claims. Investigate with us if you wish to discover whether you are eligible for any compensation for such occurrences:

  • Disasters, such as the ship sinking, grounding or capsizing, colliding with another liner or static object, or even terrorist attacks. Thankfully, these are extremely rare!
  • Mechanical Problems, including fires or a loss of power throughout the liner. More often than not these will result in a cruise being cancelled.
  • Weather-related problems or ‘Acts of God’, including heavy fogs, storms and strong winds. Again, these could cause a cancellation or missed connections as a liner is forced to change direction.

The chart below shows us the injuries reported to passengers in UK Merchant Vessels >= 100GT in 2019 from the 2019 Marine Accident Statistics report. Although this list isn’t specific to cruise ships, we can see that open fractures are the most common injury type reported by some margin.

Passenger injury statistics graph

Passenger injury statistics graph

Sadly, crime can also occur on a cruise ship, ranging from petty theft to more serious affronts such as assault or battery. Any crime must be reported to the relevant authorities before you pursue private compensation, but this is something that we may be able to assist within the aftermath.

To chat with our team about cruise ship accident claims, get in touch with our team today for free legal advice, or for more information continue reading.

Cruise Ship Injury Claims for Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls account for the vast majority of personal injury claims made against professional bodies, especially when they result in broken bones. Such an accident on a cruise

cruise ship accident claims

cruise ship accident claims

will not only ruin what should be a magical holiday but could also have a knock-on effect in terms of being forced to miss work upon a return to land, as well as the emotional and psychological impact that can be caused by such a mishap. Cruise ship accident claims can help relieve the financial impact that an injury like this can have.

If you experience a slip, trip or fall on a cruise ship that could have been avoided, and can provide some proof that any injury was the result of the incident and it was caused by inaction or negligence from the cruise liner operators, then this may constitute a breach of duty of care. Contact us to begin the process of a claim with us today.

Slip, Trip and Fall Statistics

One of the common reasons behind cruise ship accident claims are simple slips, trips and falls. As outlined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are various factors that could contribute to a slip and trip. For instance, the HSE states that there are three common factors that often result in a slip or trip, which includes the following:

  • Walkways
  • Housekeeping
  • Design and maintenance.

In order to combat these incidents from occurring, there are measures that can be taken to create a safer environment. For instance, a business could carry out:

  • Routine inspections.
  • Risk assessments.
  • Providing members of staff with training.

My Cruise Ship Missed Port – Can I Claim Compensation?

The short answer is… sometimes. This depends on the terms and conditions of the cruise liner – if the port was missed or delayed due to decisions made by the ship’s captain this is quite possible, but the compensation may not apply to certain ‘Acts of God’, such as freak weather conditions. If in doubt, contact us for a consultation on cruise ship accident claims.

What Can be Claimed for After a Cruise Ship Accident or Injury?

There is all manner of reasons to make a compensation claim following an accident or injury on a cruise ship. In this section, we’ll look at what you could be able to claim for as part of cruise ship accident claims. The five core areas of recompense are:

  • General Damages

General damages refer to any kind of impairment or suffering that would otherwise have been avoided if the accident had not occurred. This could include the physical pain caused by the incident and the aftermath, the mental and emotional trauma of being injured while you were supposed to be relaxing on holiday, any kind of lower quality of life that may follow as a result of the injury (being forced to retire from sporting participation due to a broken bone, for example), and any physical deformity that may follow. This could include scarification to the face or body, or even being forced to walk with a limp or cane following a fracture to a leg or hip.

  • Care Claim

If you have experienced an injury that has led to you seeking legal recompense, it’s probably a fair assumption that you were not the only person affected. Broken bones can leave an individual unable to complete even the most basic tasks for themselves, which means that a burden of care will fall upon spouses and other family members and friends. If this is the case, the impromptu carer can file a claim alongside your own, declaring any lost earnings as a result of being forced to take time away from work to meet the needs of the injured individual, as well as suffering their own general damages in terms of emotional and psychological distress.

Loss of earnings can be a major factor in all compensation cases. A broken bone alone could leave you unable to work for at least 6 weeks, potentially even longer if you are employed in a physical job, and this is not even taking mental strain into consideration. As discussed, a partner, friend or another family member may also have to take time away from work to provide care following the injury.

Nobody should ever be forced into financial hardship by an accident that was not their fault, so always pursue a claim to cover your lost salary payments at the very least, including any potential impact your injury could have on future earnings. Just be aware that you will be expected to do what you can to minimise these expenses, so get regular certifications of sickness from your GP that declare you unfit to work.

  • Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are another type of special damages that you could be able to recover as part of cruise ship accident claims. You may need to travel to several different hospitals for medical attention in the aftermath of an accident to ensure that you receive the appropriate care for your recovery. This is not an issue for many, but what happens if you have broken a bone in your leg and cannot drive for several weeks? Public transport such as buses and trains can be risky if you are nursing an injury, so taking a taxi multiple times per week can end up being your only option – and that rapidly becomes expensive. Fortunately, travel expenses are often covered as part of the compensation claim, so make sure that you get a receipt from every one of those journeys.

Much like travel expenses, any medical bills that you incur – whether that is prescriptions that you would not ordinarily require, private physiotherapy, or even trauma counselling – should be claimed back as part of the compensation process. Keep a track of all expenditures that you incur related to medical treatment following your accident, and ensure that you can back the claim up with the appropriate paperwork such as receipts.

This is an example of some of the more common elements of compensation that you could claim upon your return to dry land but is by no means wholly exhaustive. Contact us for a consultation to find out what can be included in cruise ship claims.

How Can I Enhance My Claim’s Chances of Success?

Ensure that you file your claim quickly. Ideally, do it as soon as you arrive back on dry land. The longer you wait, the more opportunities a liner may have to prepare a counter-claim against you, somehow transpire to lose pivotal CCTV footage that proves their responsibility or take appropriate steps to improve their facilities that may influence an arbitrator’s decision in their favour.

To save yourself a great deal of frustration when making cruise ship claims, follow our advice on recording and photographing everything that relates to the accident – the legal system is based entirely on proof after all.

Ensure that the incident is reported as soon as it happens, to both the operator of the liner and your GP by telephone if possible – and then schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional the moment you are able as a follow-up. The bigger the paper trail you can create, the more likely your claim will be looked upon favourably, and it’s key that you can provide evidence of following appropriate medical steps.

You may well be offered a token gesture by the liner to avoid any kind of legal action on your behalf, such as gift vouchers. It is your decision as to whether you accept this offering, but obviously, if you do so you will not be eligible to take further legal action after the event. We advise that you politely decline these offers, as they will almost certainly not match the value of your entitlement that a professional legal service such as ours will be able to obtain on your behalf. Don’t let yourself be bought off so easily, you never know what the consequences of your injury may be in the future.

Finally, however, always make sure that you read the small print associated with your cruise, and follow all appropriate steps to ensure you do not fall foul of any loopholes in the compensation process. Have a clear understanding of your own responsibilities surrounding the safeguarding of yourself and others, and those of the travel company you are using, and remain firmly within these levels of accountability throughout your cruise.

For more information about best practices in making cruise ship claims, get in touch with our team today.

Most Popular Cruise Ship Companies

Any cruise ship could be held liable in cruise ship claims for failing to uphold their duty of care to you. Don’t worry about the idea of a cruise ship holiday as accidents are rare – hence why it is always worth seeking compensation should they occur. Go ahead and book your cruise with confidence, however, below is a list of the most popular suppliers of these memorable holidays, all of whom recognise where the Athens Convention applies and take passenger safety very seriously.

Compensation Payouts For A Cruise Ship Accident

The portion of your settlement that’s calculated to account for the pain and suffering caused by a cruise ship accident is known as general damages. This amount can vary depending on factors such as the extent and length of your recovery, along with how severe your injuries are. Typically, injuries that severely affect your health and life tend to be worth more in general damages than injuries that heal completely and in a comparatively shorter amount of time.

Legal professionals are responsible for working out the value of your compensation for an accident on a cruise ship.  When they are arriving at a sum seemed appropriate for your general damages, they use resources such as a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Below, we’ve included some example general damages figures. They have been taken from the latest edition of the JCG, which was last updated in 2022.

As you can see, each injury is not assigned a set fee, but rather a range of figures that can be used as guidelines. You can see how the publication is laid out by viewing the information below. However, you’ll need to get in touch with us directly in order for us to accurately evaluate your own claim. Or you can head to our online compensation calculator for a more general evaluation.

Type of InjurySeverityAmountNotes
ParalysisQuadriplegia£324,600 to £403,990The typical case of quadriplegia attracting an award in the mid-range of this bracket is appropriate for cases in which the injured person is not in physical pain, has full awareness of their disability, has an expectation of life of 25 years or more, has retained powers of speech, sight and hearing but needs help with bodily functions.
ParalysisShorter durations£49,340In cases where death occurs for unrelated reasons within a short period of the accident a lower sum will be awarded. However some ‘front-loading’ is appropriate
Brain DamageVery Severe Brain Damage£282,010 to £403,990The peak payment will only apply in the event of substantial impact on an individual’s senses and an inability to function at the same physical level as before the incident. In case where permanent vegetation or fatality rapidly follows the incident, and the injured party is not aware of their injuries, any payment will be revolve solely around loss of faculties and will not reach the top echelons.
 Brain DamageModerate Brain Damage£150,110 to £219,070Very serious disability, which leaves the injured party unable to function independently and reliant on professional care, constitutes moderate brain damage. These life-changing problems could be either physical or mental in nature.
 Brain DamageLess Severe£15,320 to £43,060The sum of compensation awarded will be affected by the following considerations:
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£59,860 to £100,670To qualify as severe PTSD, the individual must be prevented from functioning at the same level as before the incident, including work.
 Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£23,150 to £59,860In these cases recovery will be complete and any continuing effects will not be grossly disabling.
Neck InjuriesSevereIn the region of £148,330Injuries causing breaks, fractures, a dislocation or notable damage to internal tissue/tendons that lead to prolonged medical problems and any substantial disability of an enduring nature.
Neck InjuriesMinorUp to £7,890Complete recuperation within 1-2 years, or aggravation of existing injuries in the same period.
Back InjuriesSevere£91,090 to £160,980Upper payments will require certain factors to qualify for such a level, particularly relating to orthopaedic injury, whether that be to the back or spinal cord. This may include, but is not limited to, permanent and irreversible damage to the roots of the nerves that leads to a loss of physical sensation, a reduction in capability of physical movement, diminished control and function of the bladder or bowel, reproductive difficulties and visually unappealing scarification.
 Back InjuriesModerate£27,760 to £38,780A full and complete return to previous health within three months.
Fracture of ClavicleSevere£5,150 to £12,240Breaks or fractures that result in long-term mobility problems, arthritis or unsteadiness on the legs that could lead to surgery such as a hip replacement.
Arm InjurySevere£90,160 to £130,930A full and permanent recovery.
Wrist InjuriesSevere£47,620 to £59,860Injury resulting in significant permanent disability, but where some useful movement remains.
 Wrist InjuriesMinor£3,530 to £4,740An uncomplicated Colles' fracture.
Leg InjuriesSevere£90,250 to £135,920Severe, complex breaks, fractures or injuries to any bone or tissue that results in unsteadiness, the need for sustained medical attention, a long period of non-weight-bearing, the near certainty that arthritis will ensue; extensive scarring.
Leg InjuriesModerate£27,760 to £39,200Simple Fractures to Tibia or Fibula or Soft Tissue Injuries.

No-Win No-Fee Cruise Accident Claims

Legal fees can be costly and add unwelcome pressures to an already difficult time, which is why we operate a no win no fee business model.

As the name suggests, you will not be expected to pay for any of our legal services in advance. We will take as much information from you as we can regarding your accident, including any photographs and witness statements (this is why it is so important to gather as much evidence of the incident as it happens), and decide whether we will take on your case – which, in the vast majority of times, we will.

Should your cruise ship accident claims then be successful – and as professionals, we have every confidence that it will be – as this is the reason we will agree to represent you, our payment will be taken as a percentage of your compensation payment. There is no risk at all to you in using our services, and the outcome could be extremely positive for you.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service for a Cruise Ship Accident or Injury?

We have a great many years of experience among our sizable team of legal experts, and we place the utmost importance on client satisfaction.

Our sole focus is on ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve following an injury, accident or illness that was no fault of your own. Our record of success speaks for itself, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch today to find out more about these types of claims or to start your claim today.

Call Now for Free Advice and to Start a Claim

If you have been injured in any kind of accident involving a cruise ship, there is nothing to lose and plenty to gain by calling us now and investigating the possibility of legal action. Remember, the sooner you start the process after the incident, the greater your claim’s chances of success will be.

Alternatively, you can fill in our online form and request a callback, which will see one of our experts contact you at a time convenient to yourself, or even use the live chat facility found on our website.

Helpful Links

Whilst it is undoubtedly important to take the appropriate legal action against any kind of accident or injury that may have occurred on a cruise ship, do not neglect to look after yourself in the immediate aftermath.

This NHS guide to first aid will help you understand how to deal with an accident as and when it occurs.

Holiday Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

If you have suffered an accident on holiday find out how much you can claim by contacting us today for free legal advice.

Restaurant Accident Compensation Claims – Find out if you can claim?

Have you had an accident in a restaurant on a cruise ship? maybe you have been burned by a hot drink or food, Find out if you can make a compensation claim today.

Hot Drink or Scalded Burn Injuries Can I Claim Compensation?

If you have suffered a burn injury due to a waiter or waitress with a hot drink contact us today for free legal advice.

Stuck In A Lift Compensation Claims

An article of ours on this subject.

Food Allergy Compensation Claims

Read up on whether you could be eligible.

Dental Abcess Compensation Claims

Find out whether you could be owed compensation.

Abdominal Injury Compensation Claims

Our guide on this subject.

Cruise ship accident claims FAQ

How often do cruise ships crash?

It is estimated on average that 2/5 cruise ships sink per year. Famously, the Costa Concordia partly sank off Giglio, Italy. As a result, it killed 32 people. The accident occurred after the ship hit a rock and submerged partly underwater.

Which cruise ships have sunk?

There have been various ships that have sunk, and each for different reasons. Let’s look at some of the most famous cruise ship disasters:

  • Costa Concordia
  • R.M.S Titanic
  • Star Princess
  • S.S Morro Castle
  • M.S Explorer
  • R.M.S Empress of Ireland

Is there a time limit on accident claims?

Personal injury claims have a time limit of 3 years, starting from the accident date or date you realised you were negatively affected by it. However, exceptions apply. Get in touch today to see if you could be able to claim.

How do I calculate my personal injury claim?

You can get in touch today for a free consultation with our specialist advisors to see how much compensation you could be entitled to.

What is a fair settlement for pain and suffering?

Unless we know the details of your specific case, we can’t advise you on what a ‘fair’ offer would be. This is because every claim is different and is valued according to the amount of suffering experienced by the claimant.

How is a settlement paid out?

Settlements are divided into general damages and special damages, which cover everything from physical and psychological injury to financial loss.

How could a No Win No Fee agreement work for me?

No Win No Fee agreements allow claimants from any financial background the opportunity to make a valid claim. If they work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, they’ll only pay them a success fee if they win their case. This is a small percentage of their payout, capped by law. If their solicitor loses their case, then they won’t have to pay them a thing.

How do I find a lawyer to handle my case?

If, after consultation with our specialist advisors, they believe you have valid grounds to claim, you could be connected to our panel of personal injury lawyers. With over 30 years of experience handling claims, why not get in touch today to see what our panel could do for you?

Thank you for taking the time to read our cruise ship accident claims guide.

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