Cruise Line Liability for Actions of Employees

Cruise vacations have always been popular in South Florida, but recent data indicates that they are becoming even more so since the unfortunate lockdowns of the COVID pandemic. According to industry researchers at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise tourism forecast for 2023 was predicted to exceed 2019 levels by 6%. These figures would mean around 31.5 passengers took cruises for 2023, though exact data is still being compiled. To support the industry, cruise operators employ approximately 200,000 workers globally. 

The vast majority of these employees do quality work for their positions, but there are some that do not act in the best interests of cruise passengers. Through intentional conduct or negligence, injuries can happen. Fortunately, you may have grounds to pursue the cruise line for damages if you were hurt. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can assist with your claim, but some information on liability is useful for understanding your rights.

Liability and Potential Parties 

It is logical to pursue the party whose actions directly caused or contributed to your cruise ship injuries so you could sue the individual employee. However, you have an advantage when you pursue the cruise operator because the company carries insurance for accidents. Going after an employee as an individual is not productive because the person may have limited assets, unlike the cruise line.

Still, seeking compensation from the cruise operator requires you to prove certain facts. You are not suing the individual who directly caused your injuries but rather an associated entity.

Grounds for Pursuing a Cruise Line

There are two theories of liability for going after a cruise operator for the misconduct of its employee:

  • Negligent Hiring: When reviewing candidates, cruise ships must use reasonable care to ensure their decisions do not create a risk of harm to passengers. The company may breach this duty by not properly vetting employees or conducting background checks.
  • Employment Relationship: A cruise can be liable for the negligent acts of its employee by virtue of the employment relationship. If the actions were under the direction of the cruise and part of performing job-related tasks, the employer is responsible for the worker’s negligence.

In addition to having grounds for cruise injuries caused by crew member negligence, you must also prove causation. You need evidence showing that the misconduct by the employee was the direct reason that the accident occurred. Through a cruise ship injury claim, you may qualify to recover amounts for:

  • Medical costs;
  • Lost wages, if you missed work because of your injuries;
  • Pain and suffering; and,
  • Other losses that affect your quality of life.

Contact a Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Attorney Right Away

Cruise operators have large legal departments tasked with paying as little as possible to injured passengers, so it is crucial to get skilled assistance with your claim. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, is prepared for challenges and ready to fight for your rights. Please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL, today to set up a free case evaluation.

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