Woman boarding a cruise ship that protects passengers from falling overboard.

Do Cruise Ship Companies Do Enough To Protect Passengers From Falling Overboard?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A cruise can be an excellent way to spend vacation time. However, are cruises safe? Passengers on a cruise ship are at risk for injuries or illnesses from a variety of circumstances, including falling overboard. Falling overboard may not be as prevalent as other cruise ship injuries, but it is a serious concern that needs to be addressed by cruise lines. Our California cruise ship accident attorneys take a closer look at these cases and what you should do if you are injured on a cruise ship. 

How Often Do People Fall Overboard on Cruises?

Each year, more than 21 people fall from ferries or cruise ships since 2010. Since 2000, more than 300 people have fallen overboard on cruise ships. Falling from a dozen or more stories above the ocean makes surviving a fall from a cruise ship unlikely. If the person survives the impact with the ocean, they may sustain life-threatening injuries or injuries that make it impossible to stay above water until rescued. Many people who fall overboard are never found. 

Cruise lines often blame the passengers for falling overboard. They claim that the falls are the result of intentional acts or reckless acts by the passengers themselves. Some groups call for additional steps to protect passengers from falling overboard on cruise ships, such as the installation of advanced technology that alerts the ship when a person falls overboard. 

Who Is Responsible When a Passenger Falls Overboard?

Cruise lines have a duty to provide a safe mode of transportation for passengers. That duty includes taking reasonable steps to prevent overboard accidents and falls. If a cruise line is negligent or breaches the duty of care owed to its passengers, it can be held liable for damages caused by an accident. For example, the cruise line failed to post adequate warnings, repair guard rails, or provide sufficient lighting. 

Victims and family members may have one or more causes of action against the cruise line and other parties after a cruise ship accident. Parties that could be liable for a cruise ship accident include the cruise line, the company operating the cruise ship, the company that sold the tickets, a tour company, or a person who directly caused the injury.

If you are injured on a cruise, report the injury immediately. Try to take pictures of the area and ask for the names of any eyewitnesses. Make notes about conversations with crew members and others regarding the accident and your injury. Avoid providing any written or recorded statements until after you have the opportunity to discuss your case with a cruise ship injury attorney. As soon as you arrive home, seek medical treatment from your physician and contact an attorney immediately. 

If a loved one falls overboard during a cruise, it can be difficult to think clearly. There is not much that you can do aboard ship other than monitor the situation closely. As soon as you can, make notes about what you remember immediately before and after your loved one fell overboard. Make notes regarding any statements made by witnesses or crew members. Also, make notes regarding the condition of the area where your loved one fell and whether there were any safeguards or warning signs. Several agencies may be involved in investigating the fall and searching for your loved one. It can be helpful to notate the agencies that were involved.

As soon as possible, contact a personal injury attorney for help. You and your family have sustained a tragic loss. An attorney can take care of the legal matters for you so that you can focus on your family. The attorney can coordinate with the various agencies to gather information about the investigation into how your loved one could have fallen from a cruise ship.

Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for More Information 

Personal injury claims involving cruise ships can be complicated. They may involve maritime law, state law, and other areas of law. Contact our California cruise ship accident lawyers now to discuss your case. Our California cruise ship accident attorneys can help you sort out the issues and pursue all relevant claims to recover the compensation you deserve for your damages and losses.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.