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Severe Injuries–such as fractures or broken bones–can quickly disrupt the vacations of cruise ship passengers and quite possibly affect their quality of life forever. What many cruise ship passengers fail to realize is just how common severe injuries on cruise ships really are. These serious injuries should not be taken lightly and must be addressed immediately for a number of reasons.

It is important to be able to identify these injuries and take every precaution after the incident occurs on the cruise ship. The rule of thumb here is not to assume that the accident was your own fault and to report the injury to a cruise line employee right away. The cruise line will issue what they call a passenger injury statement form, which is a formal statement from the cruise line, outlining all of the details of the accident. It is important to understand that this document may be used against against the injured passenger if they decide to take legal action against the cruise line.

There could not be a more unfortunate time to suffer such a severe injury as a fracture or broken bone than while on vacation at sea. Passengers are often at the mercy of the medical staff onboard the cruise ship, especially when traveling outside of the country. Many passengers are shocked when they find out that most ships don’t even have a doctor available on board.

The medical care that passengers receive from cruise ship doctors is often mediocre at best, forcing many injured passengers to endure the hassle and discomfort of disembarking the ship and seeking proper medical treatment elsewhere. Up until late 2014, cruise lines were not legally responsible for any medical malpractice by their own medical staff. This immunity granted to cruise lines was revoked after the recent 11th Circuit ruling on the Franza V. Royal Caribbean, a case involving an elderly man who died due to negligent medical care after suffering head trauma aboard the Explorer of the Seas ship.

A recent study conducted by the American Medical Association reported that 72% of nurses on board cruise ships lack the proper advanced medical training to deal with trauma. While the majority of passengers recover from injuries or illnesses that may have developed while at sea, on average 20 people die while on their cruise vacations each year–the most common cause of death being heart attacks.

How can you be sure to protect yourself and your loved ones if an incident were to happen while at sea? We recommend that you check with your physician before sailing to make sure you are in good health. Be sure to pack a good supply of your medications as well as a copy of your medical history. We also recommend that you check and make sure that your cruise line complies with the ACEP recommendations.

Numerous potentially hazardous situations can occur on a cruise ship–such as fires and inclement weather. Just this year video footage of Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas captured during a terrifying storm surfaced on social media outlets; it showed significant damage suffered by the ship itself while traveling from New Jersey to Port Canaveral, FL. Our cruise ship injury law firm in Miami, FL, received numerous phone calls from passengers who had suffered significant injuries while onboard the ship.

Injured Aboard a Cruise Ship

If you find yourself victim to a fracture or other injury on a cruise ship anywhere in the world, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately, whether still on board the ship or immediately after returning from your vacation. Our Miami personal injury lawyers have been litigating cases against cruise lines who continue to put their profits ahead of passenger safety for over 20 years, and we are happy to assist you with your claim by providing a free initial legal consultation. Our firm works strictly on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless we are successful in recovering monetary damages for our clients. Contact our office today via telephone at 1-866-597-4529, Skype, or email at [email protected].