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You could be at risk of soft tissue injuries going about your average day at home, so it stands to reason that you could suffer this type of trauma while enjoying an action-packed cruise vacation. Soft tissue injuries are quite common, as they can impact almost any muscle, muscle group, ligament, or tendon in the human body. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine define numerous conditions in the category of soft tissue injuries, including:

  • Bruises;
  • Ligament sprains;

After coming to a grinding halt in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Florida cruise industry is expected to rebound in a massive way in 2021. Cruise Market Watch predicts that numbers will hit $23.8 billion as 13.9 million passengers book their cruise adventures, representing a 96.2% increase over the number of guests during the pandemic year. Though passengers can expect some changes onboard, one constant will remain the same: The biggest selling feature for cruise vacations is the extensive range of world-class amenities available. 

However, while the water features, shore excursions, and world-class onboard entertainment are enticing, there is one amenity you hope you never encounter — the need for medical treatment because of an accident or illness. Cruise ships have an obligation to ensure passengers receive essential care, but medical malpractice on Miami cruise ships is an unfortunate reality. Negligence by onboard health care providers can exacerbate your medical condition, so understanding the risks is important.

Risks for Injured and Sick Passengers

Sexual assault is a serious problem in Miami and throughout the US, but you never expect such a tragic offense to affect your cruise vacation. Unfortunately, statistics from the US Department of Transportation reveal that rape, sexual battery, molestation, and related crimes are not just confined to land. According to a publication on Cruise Line Incident Reports, there are approximately 100 reports of sexual assault every year worldwide on cruises operated by some of the biggest, most reputable operators. Not only is your trip of a lifetime horrifically damaged, but you could experience long-term physical and emotional consequences. 

If you or a loved one suffered sexual assault on a cruise vacation, you should make it a priority get in touch with a Miami cruise ship attorney right away to discuss your options. It may also be helpful to review a few facts about the legal process.

Issues with reporting paint a distorted view of sexual assault on cruises. On the one hand, victims are often reluctant to notify crew about these incidents; however, the cruise lines themselves are not always truthful about sexual assault to avoid a PR catastrophe. Because they are “flagged” in countries other than the US, particularly the Bahamas, Jamaica, and other Caribbean nations, they are not subject to our laws that require reporting. Together, these factors make it difficult to assess the risk of sexual assault on cruises.

There can be no doubt that a highlight for many cruise guests is the food, featuring a range of culinary adventures from massive breakfast buffets and pizza on-demand to fine dining and late night snacks. You might not give a second thought to the sanitary practices regarding the preparation, presentation, and storage behind the scenes of your favorite dishes, but data reveals some safety concerns. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 21,600 passengers experience acute gastrointestinal illness and other food borne illnesses every year while traveling on cruises. 

When compared to the millions of guests that do not get sick on cruises, this figure is relatively low. Still, a bout with food poisoning can completely ruin your vacation, and do not expect a quick, automatic refund from the cruise operator. It is critical to work with a Miami cruise ship lawyer to protect your interests and seek appropriate compensation for your losses. You might also benefit from reviewing a few basics about food borne illnesses on cruise vacations.

How Cruise Passengers May Contract Food Borne Illnesses

Shore excursions are a fundamental part of cruise enjoyment, and many adventure-seekers will schedule extreme sports and other activities well in advance of their departure. One of the most popular water-based escapades is parasailing, an exciting ride that takes you as high as 300 feet in the air as you float on the breeze behind a power boat. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that an estimated 3 to 5 million people go parasailing every year, and the experience is exhilarating for the majority of them. 

However, numerous parasailing accidents have been reported in recent years, causing serious injury and death. These tragedies are concerning to US officials, who cite a complete lack of federal regulation as posing a serious safety risk. It is even more disturbing to note that any proposed laws would not apply to many parasailing operators, since they offer their adventures through cruise companies at foreign ports-of-call. Such factors make parasailing injury claims complicated, so it is wise to retain an experienced Miami cruise ship accident lawyer for assistance with your case. You should also be aware of some additional statistics and causes of parasailing accidents on cruises.

Causes of Parasailing Accidents on Cruise Ship Excursions

Regardless of which cruise line you choose, the length of your trip, or the size of the cruise liner, water-based recreation is a top attraction for cruise vacations. Children and adults alike enjoy the pools, hot tubs, waterslides, wave pools, and other features onboard; many shore excursions involve snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, skiing, parasailing, and many other activities. Still, all this fun does not come without risks. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an estimated 320,000 people drown every year, making drowning the third most common cause of unintentional fatalities worldwide. 

Though not all fatalities occur on cruises, the statistics should be disturbing for a key reason: When water attractions are the source of death and injury on land, you can expect that the frequency of accidents carries over to cruise ships and their numerous water attractions. If you or a loved one was hurt, time is of the essence to reach out to a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer. You can also protect your family when you know the top cruise ship accidents linked to water-based fun.

  • Drowning: With so many attractions onboard, it is no surprise that the third-leading cause of accidental death is a risk when cruising. Even when lifeguards are present, drowning can happen in less than a minute. Plus, if you suffer a head injury in a wave pool or while engaging in strenuous water activities, even the best swimmer may be unable to recover.

As a parent planning the trip of a lifetime with one of Miami’s many cruise lines, you are probably both excited and overwhelmed by the activities available for children onboard. The major cruise companies, operating some of the largest watercraft on earth, heavily market to families with children of all ages. In fact, according to a report published by the Cruise Lines International Association, approximately 15% of all passengers are under 20 years old – a rather large percentage of the 27.5 million passengers that board cruise ships across the globe every year.

Unfortunately, whether your child is into adventure, water sports, culture, or social activities, the risk of injuries is higher than you might expect. Just like on land, serious accidents can occur, especially when cruise operators prioritize profits over passenger safety. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer will pursue all available remedies, but some safety tips can help you protect your child. 

  • Supervise Children on Deck: Passengers spend much of their cruising time outside their rooms enjoying the countless activities on deck and in restaurants. These spaces, as well as the route you take to reach them, can be unsafe. Staircases, balconies, and railings are the location of many accidents that cause injuries to young passengers. Keep a close eye on children in these areas, and make older kids promise to use caution if you are not around.

Miami cruises are the trip of a lifetime for people across Florida and throughout the US, who are attracted to these vacations for their all-inclusive features, fun activities, fabulous amenities, and opportunities to explore ashore. Still, these adventures are not without their risks. Accidents on cruise ships are a more common occurrence than you might expect, and the statistics are proof. According to Cruisemapper.com, an online source of information regarding cruise line safety records, almost 3,500 accidents have been reported on 551 ships currently sailing the globe. Your vacation bliss could come to a screeching halt if you or a loved one is hurt in such an incident. 

Florida and U.S. maritime laws do provide you with rights under such circumstances, and a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can assist with the complicated legal process for recovering compensation. Plus, you can protect yourself and your family when you know the top types of cruise ship injuries and how they happen.

  • Broken Bones: Slip, trip, and fall accidents are usually behind bone fractures, and many of them occur due to the same factors as on land. Loose staircase and balcony railings, unsecured flooring, debris and luggage in hallways, and slippery surfaces are usually to blame. Besides broken bones, other common injuries in slip and fall accidents include lacerations, sprains and strains, and bruises.

For many cruise passengers, shore excursions are just as big a part of the experience as onboard activities. According to a survey conducted by CruiseFever.com, a site dedicated to providing tips and advice on cruise vacations, only 34.3% of US passengers will stay on the ship for the entire cruise; the remaining 65.7% enjoy outdoor and water sports, historical tours, dining experiences, and many other adventures by booking excursions. 

While you may have concerns about the risks involved with the excursion itself, you may overlook one key point — the potential for motor vehicle crashes during your journey to the location by taxi, passenger van, or bus. Cruise operators will attempt to deflect liability, so you will need an experienced Miami cruise ship accident lawyer when attempting to recover compensation for your losses. Plus, there are a few points to keep in mind about transportation-related injuries on shore excursions.

Default Rules for Cruise Line Liability

The cruise industry is a huge draw for millions of Floridians and visitors from other US states, which is why COVID-19 no-sail orders have been devastating for people who wanted to get away on a sea adventure during 2020. As such, a recent announcement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comes as welcome news for anyone looking forward to a vacation. The CDC released its Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships on October 30, 2020, opening the door for future sailings. In the document, the CDC outlines requirements cruise companies must follow to mitigate the risk to passengers and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, while the announcement may seem to be a positive development, there are still many concerns. If you contracted COVID-19 or any other illness while on board, you should discuss your legal options with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer. Some information on the recent CDC order may also be helpful.

Phased Approach to Cruises

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